Have you ever thought about how a microwave actually heats your food? Are they really safe to use? They’ve been around for decades so they must be, right? Well…Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation which is similar to the radio fields your cell phone uses. When you think about how we’re constantly exposed to Wi-Fi and EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies) from our cell phones, microwaving food really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But microwaves use non-ionizing radiation which is a part of the EMF spectrum and can cause potential health risks if over exposed. osha.gov/SLTC/radiation One study I found while researching this article shows that eating microwaved food can change your blood cells and cholesterol levels. dr mercola-microwave-electronic-devices-emf-dangers.aspx
Microwaves can also give off high magnetic fields as well, which in some doses, have been categorized as carcinogenic. This is one of many reasons why you shouldn’t stand in front of your microwave while it’s cooking. These magnetic and electromagnetic fields are even emitted through microwave energy in brand new microwaves. This link goes into detail about microwave safety. are-microwaves-safe-the truth about cancer As a point of reference, this is similar to holding your cell phone directly next to your head. (I always use a headset or speaker phone to reduce exposure.)
You probably know from experience that microwaves don’t heat food evenly. This is because they don’t heat from the inside out. Instead, they cause water molecules to vibrate which turns to steam and eventually heats your food. Because not all areas contain the same amount of water, the food is heated unevenly. Microwaving destroys nutrients in your food and even causes carcinogens to form. Breast milk is one liquid that is never recommended to microwave because it can destroy the important proteins and vitamins in the milk. And of course, you don’t want to accidentally burn your baby because of the uneven heating process. Life energy is depleted when using your microwave to heat or steam vegetables and other “living” foods. naturalsociety.com/microwaves/
Another problem if you heat water for tea in the microwave is that different types of tea are best at certain temperatures and steeping times. For instance, a tea kettle will heat water to a rolling boil at 212 degrees fahrenheit. Herbal tea is best at 210 and black tea is fine anywhere between 200 and 212 degrees. Green tea, however, can taste bitter or grassy if brewed over 180 degrees and actually is best between 150 and 180 degrees. how-to-brew-tea-water-temperatures. Heating water in the microwave is difficult to get the temperature just right for your specific type of tea.
If you read my blog on plastics, which I’d highly recommend, (wendraswellness.com/plastics and weight gain) you already know you shouldn’t be heating or microwaving food or drinks in plastic. When heated, plastics can leach unsafe chemicals such as BPA into your food causing endocrine and metabolic disorders.
I realize most people use a microwave without giving it a second thought but is it really that inconvenient to heat up your food in a toaster or conventional oven? When I’m in a hotel room without heat, I usually pack something like a salad that doesn’t require heating. Eating more raw food is also an option. Another great option to heat or reheat when traveling is this cool device available through Amazon HERE.
For my fellow airplane crew members, do we really need any more radiation? From what I understand, flying a transcon from LA to NY (my usual route) is the equivalent of 2 chest x-rays. How we heat our food is something we have control over. Cosmic radiation is something we don’t.
So when you go to heat up your holiday leftovers in the microwave, think about what you just read. Maybe you’ll take the time to turn on the oven and slow down a little more while you enjoy your meal.
are-microwaves-safe-the truth about cancer
HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven
thanks Wendra!! This is amazing info!!!
Jen, so glad you enjoyed it!
Jennifer Halverson says
You’re so right Wendra! We don’t give it a second thought and just throw the leftovers in there. It’s just so darn convenient! I do try to always heat things up in a glass or ceramic dish, but stovetop reheating is probably best, huh? Thank you for the reminder to stay safe and healthy!!
Jennifer, I think a toaster or conventional oven is ok along with the stovetop. I think it depends on what you’re reheating! Glad you liked the post!
Ariel Bouknight says
I like your writing style truly enjoying this site.
Thank you Ariel!
Rumiel Daymiel says
Great blog, good content and informative. Learned a lot today. Thanks for posting.