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On January 6thΒ we tried an experiment. We gave up our microwave. Not for good, necessarily, but for now. I wanted to see how my family (or how I) could function without this crazy convenient appliance. I also wanted to give myself some time to research the good, the bad and the ugly of this controversial machine. Well, I can’t say that I have come to a conclusion about it, but I have learned a lot.

There are few things that we can know without a shadow of a doubt when it comes to controversial matters and food. Sometimes it seems like researchers have a hypothesis, or a mission, and spend their research time trying to prove it although not necessarily looking for any answers. Or maybe I am just a conspiracy junky – well, only when it comes to movies.

Spencer Percy was responsible for creating the very first microwave in the mid 1940’s. Since then microwaves have developed a lot, had a lot of support and taken a lot of (r@p. There are a plethora of studies and sites that claim microwaves are awful for you. They claim that radiation is getting into your food, your house and/or your body. They claim that it changes the molecular structure of your food and heats it at a rapid speed which is harmful to you. On the other hand you can always find a study proving the opposite. Many studies and sites claim that microwaves are now safe and will not allow any heating energy to leave the ‘box’. They state that heating in this method does not change the food in any way and that other methods would change the food. In fact, I read that microwaves are a superior heating choice as they heat faster, exposing the food to heat for a shorter period of time which helps preserve more nutrients. Oy, what’s a person to do?

My gut has been telling me for a while that the microwave is not something that I want to be using. I don’t feel like I am at a disadvantage by not using one. This week has shown me that. I’m not creating a rule for our family. There may be a day in the near or distant future when we use a microwave inside or outside our home again. I’m just not yet sure when or why.

So I can’t tell you if microwaves are good for you or bad for you at this point. But what I can share are some of my notes from the time without a microwave.

  1. Don’t wait for a convenient time. If you want to give up the microwave or start anything new, the time is now. I started on a Tuesday morning when I needed to warm up leftovers for the kids for lunch and I had no plan for doing so. Jumping in is the best way to learn.
  2. Prepare the members of the household for longer waiting times. My daughter was not happy that she had to wait three minutes instead of thirty seconds to warm her almond milk. But she learned.
  3. The stove and oven are your new best friends. I used to nuke my squash in the microwave for a minute or two so it would be easier to cut. Guess what? Now the oven has it’s turn to shine.
  4. Invest in a good thermos. (Good has so many connotations here. One that works, is made of acceptable material, maybe even from a sustainable company) If you want to have hot food throughout the day at work or on the go you will have to heat it in the morning.
  5. Controversial conversations on FB allow you to learn. So don’t be afraid to challenge your friends in a respectful manner.
  6. Using a double boiler or a steaming. TheseΒ can be good ways to heat food without having to boil it up again.

So in order to further delve into this topic, we hope to have some more conversations about microwaves on The Plant Trainers Podcast soon. In the meantime, if you have any REPUTABLE information to share on the subject, please send it our way.

Some additional readings:

The Microwave Was Invented By Accident

Microwave Cooking and Nutrition – The Harvard Medical School

Are Microwaves Safe?

Why We Should All Get Rid Of Our Microwaves

~ Plant Trainers

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