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Microwaves & their impact on food & our health: To use or not to use?

Although, microwaves are considered convenient & efficient. Some people still have their reservations regarding this kitchen appliance. That is the reason people refrain from cooking in them and use them only for defrosting or warming up food. Over the years, we all must have heard about the hazardous effects of microwaving on food & health. But the truth is far from it. Therefore, today we decided to debunk some microwave myths about their effects on food & our health in general. It will be a reality check for all of us.

We will list down all the possible microwave myths that we have heard or read and then present our viewpoint on them.

What Are Microwaves & how do they work?

Let’s understand first what are microwaves? The simplest definition is that they are kitchen appliances that change electricity into a type of electromagnetic waves. Since these waves are called microwaves, hence the name of the appliance.

Now, let’s see how they work. The waves they produce stimulate water molecules in food. They can also heat up fats & sugar molecules. But their main job is to activate the molecules & cause them to vibrate, spin & clash with one another. This results in friction & thus heat is produced. Similar to how you rub your hands & as a result they heat up.

Is electromagnetic radiation harmful?

No! Absolutely not! We know you are finding it hard to believe. Because the word Radiation has a very negative connotation. But we wish to clarify your perspective.

Did you know that light is also a type of electromagnetic radiation? Therefore, not all types of radiations are bad.

Microwaves produce non-ionizing waves. These are similar to the radiations produced by your mobile phone, but just stronger.

Are mobile phones dangerous to use? No! Hence proved that microwave radiations are not harmful.

What happens to food when it is cooked in a microwave?

People have assumed that when you cook food in a microwave, it has negative impact on the nutritional value of the food. That is not true!

Cooking food in any form will affect the nutrients present in it. The factors that make a difference is the method, cooking time & temperature that is used during cooking. It means that whether you boil, grill, bake or microwave your food, the nutritional value will be affected.

Microwaves are ideal for whipping quick meals. That is the reason they are able to retain nutrients better in foods. Other methods need more time & thus result in a loss of more nutrients.

Do microwaves heat food evenly?

Well, this is definitely a problem that occurs while warming food in microwaves. The heat is not distributed evenly. But there is a simple way to tackle this. You can microwave foods while stirring them in between intervals.

Some people may argue that microwaves tend to make some foods rubbery & dry. Yes, sometimes this may happen but a little pro tip is to add a little bit of water. It prevents the food from losing moisture completely.

Should we use plastic containers?

We Pakistanis love to reuse plastic boxes that we receive in food takeaways & deliveries. The ladies love to collect disposable boxes which they later prefer to use in microwaves or to store food in the fridge. Now, moving on to our actual question about using plastic containers. They are a complete no-no for microwaves.

Unless, it is specifically mentioned on them, that they are microwave safe. The simple reason being that they leach toxic compounds into foods when heated.

We recommend using glass containers instead. They are ideal for heating/cooking food in the microwaves because they do not release any toxic compounds & your food remains safe from contamination.

Should you use Microwaves only for heating & defrosting foods?

This is also another misconception that is followed without any proof. Microwaves have been designed to do more than just warm up food & defrost frozen foods. They can help you prepare quick meals. You can check out some of our recipes on Westpoint’s Official Youtube Channel.

All in all, it is the manner in which you make use of the appliance is what makes the difference. We always recommend reading the manual that is given to make sure that you don’t end up blowing your appliance or your experiments ending badly. Not only this, but make sure to clean your kitchen appliances thoroughly so they can function optimally.

Concludingly, these are some of the myths that surround the microwaves. If you have any know of any myth related to microwave, feel free to share with us. We would love to share our thoughts regarding it.