Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Friday, November 22, 2013

Do you Microwave?

Tuesday night I was cooking some sweet potatoes in the microwave when the microwave made some loud popping noises and then started to smoke and smell really terrible. We unplugged it, let it sit, and then tried it the next day. Same thing. So that's the end for my poor little microwave.

I didn't realize exactly how much I use the microwave until I didn't have one! I usually get up and make my coffee right away. I have a little while I check my email and get ready to run. Then I microwave the rest and have it when I get back and start working. My go-to cold weather breakfast is oatmeal.... which I microwave. When it comes to lunch I usually warm up left-overs from dinner the night before .... in the microwave. Since it is freezing in my house I also usually have a cup of tea in the afternoon, which I also heat in the microwave. I usually make the main part of dinner on the stove or oven, but I frequently use to the microwave to defrost something frozen first or warm-up frozen veggies. And since I have a raging sweet tooth, I always need dessert. But to keep myself from eating an entire pan of brownies, a lot of the time I make a single serve no pudge brownie in the microwave. 

So, I was feeling a little lost without my microwave and put a post of facebook asking if anyone had one I could borrow until I get a new one. I was surprised by the comments. Quite a few people told me I didn't need a microwave and they are actually bad for me and my food. 

When I was little I remember my grandmother running over to shut the microwave door if I left it open because she was convinced something bad was emitted from the microwave even when it was off. But, I didn't know so many people still feel that strongly about microwaves. 

So I did a little Googling. 

Opinions are mixed. But I think this article from Dr. Oz's website sums it up pretty well. He breaks the issue down into 2 different questions. 

Question: Are microwaves “bad” for food?
Basically, they aren't any worse than other cooking methods, and may actually be better! Most cooking methods destroy some of the antioxidant and enzyme content of food. But because microwaving has a reduced cooking time compared to other methods, it actually limits this destruction. A key is to limit the amount of water you use when cooking.

Question: Are microwaves “bad” for you?
Microwaves do emit radiation, however this is tightly regulated. And microwaves are only a small source of environmental radiation as many other devices in our lives including laptops, cell phones,and  tablets also contribute. However, it is important to use microwave-safe containers, such as glass and ceramics, and to avoid plastics, metal and aluminum. Using non microwave safe plastics can leach harmful chemicals into your food. He also recommended checking your microwave to make sure it is functioning correctly and to stand several feet away while microwaving.

I will be getting a new microwave and soon (I have Thanksgiving for 15 to prepare), but I did some new things about how to use a microwave more safely.

Do you have a microwave? How often do you use it? Do you ever think about microwave safety?


  1. We don't have a microwave, but I use the one at work sometimes and it's super old school so I try to stand far away when I use it. LOL. Like that blurb you posted though, other things emit radiation too!

  2. We have been microwave free for about a year and a half now simply because we don't have the counter or under cabinet space. We've adjusted well and can make anything stove top, we're now more mindful cooks too.

  3. Funny ..... I just bought a microwave about two weeks ago. I haven't owned one for about 15 years. Mainly bacause I moved around a lot and I didn't want to lug it around :) I used to worry about all the radiation stuff but now I kind shrugh it off now. I'm super busy these days and I need the convenience of being about to re-heat food & coffee.