In this day and age, almost every American kitchen possesses a microwave. The latter known to cook in a literally a blink of an eye everything from popcorn to meat slices with a relative ease of use compared to the old-fashion oven, making it a necessary kitchen appliance.
As advantageous as it sounds, the microwave has some drawbacks directly affecting the health of the people in the house, so that’s why you should be aware of what it does to the food and how it affects your health before it’s too late.
How a microwave cooks our food?
The way a microwave treats food, is not through the traditional way of generating heat, instead through emitting high frequencies known as non-ionizing radiations, that interact with the thing it crosses much like a flame or heat would.
Ionizing radiations include gamma radiation, nuclear medicine which used for CT scans and Mammograms, x-ray… etc. Which are much powerful than the microwave and aren’t allowed for anyone to use.
Don’t stand by an operating microwave at all costs!
If you didn’t know, the frequency in which the microwave is cooking your foods at is 2.4 billion hertz! Quite a gigantic number, no object can survive that power except a rock, maybe! But as long as it’s well sealed and not leaking from any side the harm is reduced enough. But even though still several harmful levels of electromagnetic frequencies get leaked in a proximity to the microwave that can penetrate human bodies like how an X-Ray does.
So, you should pay attention and keep a distance from it as only 10 hertz in enough to do the human body irreversible harm which isn’t noticed until it’s done and becomes late to react to the serious health issue especially to kids.
The EPA recommends limited exposure to EMF of 0.5 mg – 2.5 mg. If your distance is 4 inches from the cooking food in the microwave, you will be exposed to 100 mg – 500 mg. Standing 3 feet away from the operating microwave will expose you to 1 – 25 mg. And the further the better.
The main risks that come with microwaves
Overall, microwave cooking isn’t toxic or will immediately kill you, there’s just one case where there’s a big danger eating microwave-ed food, which is when it’s not been thoroughly cooked.
Meaning, when cooking stuffed poultry on a microwave oven, it’s not recommended according to the USDA. Because the stuffing inside may not reach a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria. But this has a solution coming in the next section of this article.
Some people believe and claim microwaves alters the chemical make-up of the food which is proven to be just a myth because other wise it would have produced new compounds to the food such as carcinogens which is not the case.
And according to studies conducted by researchers of Health Canada, found that microwaving doesn’t render the food any toxic or produce any carcinogenicities.
Minimizing microwaving health risks
Although microwave has risk associated with poorly cooked food, there are solutions and several ways to help you identify and ensure that your food is safely cooked and ready to be eaten, which are:
- Microwave only small quantity of food and avoid microwaving large ones that are roughly more that a couple inches thick. Try cutting it up into smaller pieces if possible, to ensure your food is safely cooked, as thicker food is harder for a microwave to fully penetrate it.
- Some food packaging has directions on how to properly cook it in a microwave, look for it and follow instructions precisely, and pay precise attention to timing and power values as that makes sure your food will be cooked the way it should.
- Don’t forget to periodically clean your microwave from leftovers as doing so on a regular basis (every week or so) ensures a better functionality of the oven, and your food will always be cooked how it should.
- To make sure your meal parts are heated evenly and, on all sides, rotate your food partway through the microwaving process to check.
- If you have a thermometer in hand use it to check thicker items like cuts of meat if properly cooked. As Health Canada explained that in order for a food to be cooked well, it should be at about 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, cooking with a microwave isn’t that scary as it seems, however cooking the food well is the right way to prevent yourself from any health issue that may come from it.