microwave ovens-good or bad?

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  • Hi all, I've just been reading on the internet about how microwaving your food and drinks can change the molecular structure of some things and can make some foods/drinks carcinogenic. Of course there is also lots of information against these ideas saying microwaving your food is perfectly fine. There is an experiment where plants are watered with microwaved water and die, but the plants watered with water boiled on the hob thrive :S

    What are all your thoughts on this?

  • Where I work there are microbiology and R and D labs, there are a few scientists there that will switch the microwave oven on then stand behind the kitchen door untill it has pinged, one collegue was laughing about it untill I reminded him that they are scientists and maybe know better than us :S

  • A leaking microwave is dangerous; there used to be a big thing about how to check, but saddly mine is at head hieght and I cant remember alot about it

  • I'm not sure I buy the "it's been around a long time" theory, I think we're kept in the dark about a lot of things.

    I hate jacket potatoes done in the microwave. Many truck drivers have little ovens in their cabs with a grill element, I think that could make a good alternative except for nuking tea which I do a lot.

  • Got rid of my microwaves about 10 years back, one came with the Van, that got pulled out straight away.
    If I want to heat something up, it goes in the pan or in the oven. Why do we need a microwave anyway? Is it to get the cooking done quickly? Im sure cooking a chicken in a microwave takes just as long as in the oven.


  • it's toothpaste ya gotta worry about.. (maybe a paranoid theory?) too many people in the lil country, they give ya cancer an other shit it toothpaste, n maybe water, gotta be summit the lowest class use(ish)??? i refuse to believe microwaves are bad for ya though.. i mean weatherspoons grub tatses so good hahahaha ;) it's all the fluoride

  • I personally feel that microwaves are not positive creatures. I haven't used one for years because cooking in them feels dirty to me.

    The thing is, virtually everything on planet Earth is bad for you - the water, the food, the air quality etc. You can spend your life trying to dodge it all but to no avail. I wouldn't use a microwave but I sometimes eat non-organic food so what do you do? Everything in moderation - even moderation (as Nigella says) perhaps. :S

  • Hd one a long time ago but gave it away. Don't want one, as I can't see it's use apart from baking spuds and even then they're soggy compared to done in the oven. If I want fast food there's always the sandwich toaster (nom nom nom). I prefer to cook on the stove or oven, and like Sensi we have a whistling stove top kettle.

  • Some food already get a does of radiation before it reaches you.

    Which categories of foods may be irradiated and sold in the UK?In the UK there are seven categories of food which may be irradiated. For each category of food the 'maximum overall average dose' that can be used is specified in units of kilograys (kGy):

    • fruit, 2kGy
    • vegetables, 1kGy
    • cereals, 1kGy
    • bulbs and tubers, 0.2kGy
    • dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings, 10kGy
    • fish and shellfish, 3kGy
    • poultry, 7kGy

    These categories of food can also be irradiated and used as ingredients in other food products.

    Is it safe to eat food that has been through a X-ray scanner, for example at airports?Yes, it is. X-ray scanners used at airports for baggage control operate at very much lower energy and give rise to radiation levels very much lower than radiation sources used in food irradiation facilities. The radiation doses used to process food can be as high as 10,000 gray, whilst X-ray scanners operate at less than 0.5 gray.

  • :-/ Why are they irradiated?

    There are 2 trails of thoughts for this.

    The first is that it's healthier for you, makes the food last longer and removes unwanted bacteria.
    The second is conspiracy led, where 'they' change the food you eat, removing a large percentage of the goodness.

    Which one resonates with you ?

    PS - Looking at the list above, I think this covers all food groups, except beef, pork and horse.

  • Its interesting seeing the general consensus on this.. I'm a physics graduate and I studied microwave radiation at university.
    I think there are two points here... one about safety and one about good practice.
    On safety.. yes it is safe. The level of absorbed radiation is negligable.. certainly you would absorb far more keeping a mobile phone in your pocket or living near a phone mast. In fact, more of a concern to health is the plastic trays that often house the microwavable meal... chemicals (diethylhexyl adipate, if you're interested) often leak out into the food itself if overheated or exposed to uneven levels of radiation. There are also concerns over levels of estrogen within certain types of plastic food packaging, with microwave trays some of the worst culprits.

    On the other hand, microwaving certainly doesn't help or even preserve the nutritional value of food. Many of the natural enzymes and bacteria that are found in raw foods particular are 'de-natured' by intense heating in microwaves.

    Finally, i'd just say that the point raised by boxvan is true and important, but the scale is fairly restricted. There's only one irradiation facility in the UK, and no licence is currently held for doing so. If you buy local, ideally organically sourced food, you'll avoid irradiation completely.

    'Hope this helps :)

  • Surely if Microwaving food was bad for you, then surely somebody would have noticed by now. They use less energy than a conventional oven to cook food, so in that sense they are good.

    TBH what makes them bad is this. Put a gourmet meal in both the oven and in the microwave, the one cooked in the oven would taste delicious whilst the one put in the microwave would taste like shite and be a soggy mess.

  • I really wouldn't count on 'someboody' to have noticed that anything to do with nutrition, given that we still serve coke by the pint and have a MacDonalds on every street corner....

    - - - Updated - - -

    I really wouldn't count on 'someboody' to have noticed that anything to do with nutrition, given that we still serve coke by the pint and have a MacDonalds on every street corner....

  • Agreed there jayk, where money and greed is concerned, it's amazing how many things go un-noticed. It's a convenient kind of blindness!

    In terms of irradiation, agreed the doses are probably not a safety concern, but it all depends on whether you (as I do) believe that the character of your food is more than the sum of its chemical structure - some energetic qualities.

    Also, wholly agree with you on the various endocrine disruptors that are finding their way into food packaging; mainly breakdown products of plastic. Most of these are analogues of oestrogen and it's interesting to note that male infertility and female oestrogen dependent breast cancer are higher than 100 years ago (though you can argue that before they weren't being diagnosed). Hard to avoid as now even water piping is going plastic.

    I don't tend to buy into conspiracies on this subject, just the eternal lazyness, wilful ignoring of what's going on, and greed over our food (and many other areas) that profit encourages in everyone from large corporations through to individual people.

    Oh, and just to return to the original point... I don't use a microwave: the food all tastes like cardboard and I don't like the idea of my food's energetics being meddled with by microwave activity...

    Interesting thread so far...

  • Agree agree Calon, and apologies for my americanised spelling of Oestrogen :) You'd be surprised at how effective microwaves are at killing things... if you're food isn't totally dead before you put it in, it certainly is by the time it comes out...

  • That is true... nasty stuff (says he thinking about that video of the microwaved cat that was a scandal a couple of years ago).

    Doesnt really matter which spelling you use... oh I always try to to use the british spelling as I've been told I may be marked down if I don't. I remember the oes bit in as in welsh that means yes - so its the yes chemical - makes women say 'yes' (I'm told!!!)