Smaller and cheaper than ever before, microwaves have come a long way in the past few decades and are now a staple item in most family kitchens. With the ability to cook meals in minutes, microwaves fit perfectly with today’s busy lifestyles.
Microwave ovens energise the water molecules inside food so they vibrate and rub together. This generates friction, which heats the food from the inside. As with any piece of electrical equipment, it’s important to use your microwave safely. Following the manufacturer’s instructions will help prevent injury as well as avoiding illness caused by food poisoning. It’s important to check your microwave regularly – never use a microwave that has a damaged door, or signs of damage elsewhere.
Some people worry about the effects of radiation caused by microwave ovens and the possibility that they could cause cancer. Studies have failed to show a clear link between microwaves and cancer, and most experts suggest the small amounts of energy given off are unlikely to cause harm. However, to be on the safe side, you may wish to stand away from the microwave when it’s in use.
Using a microwave for cooking can reduce the nutritional value of some foods, especially fruit and vegetables. It is possible to live without a microwave – it just takes a little more organisation:
Plan ahead – Take your meat out of the freezer early in the day to be able to cook dinner towards evening. It thaws during the day. Frozen soups and stews take less time to defrost so you can remove them an hour or two before using. Place in a sink of water until it can be slipped into a pan and slowly heated on the hob.
Use the gas stove – Instead of routinely slipping your plate of food into a microwave, heat food on the gas stove. It may take a little longer but is a more natural process.
Go raw – Incorporate more raw food in your diet, full of digestive enzymes and nutrients, they provide a great boost to your health.