A Cook's Diary

Does microwave cooking result in the healthiest meals?

Does microwave cooking result in the healthiest meals? | casaveneracion.com

Fans of microwave cooking are rehashing the news. According to them, microwave cooking may be healthier than traditional cooking methods.

It is essentially the same claim made over two years ago in an article in Time Magazine that said “Nuking may be the healthiest way to cook because of its short cooking times, which results in minimal nutrient destruction.”

But, what! Nuke? Radio waves? Radiation? Shouldn’t they ring alarm bells? So, I read. And read. And discovered this from Lifescript:

The radio waves used by microwaves, as with any device that uses radio waves, produce a type of radiation.

However, as scary as that may sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your food is radioactive after you’ve heated it up.

There are two main types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing.

Ionizing radiation is the kind of radiation you come into contact with when you have an X-Ray or the type that’s used in nuclear power plants.

This type of radiation can be dangerous if you receive large doses of it because it has the ability to change your DNA and damage your body. It can cause cancer to occur in your cells, for example, and can result in birth defects if you’re pregnant.

Microwaves produce non-ionizing radiation.

Non-ionizing radiation doesn’t have the power to change your DNA and is not as dangerous as ionizing radiation…

Of course, there are caveats. A defective microwave may be emitting levels of radiation that are higher than what is safe. And there really is no need to expose your body to unnecessary radiation, even the non-ionizing kind, by standing in front of the microwave while it’s doing its work on your food. And then, there’s the controversy about microwave-safe plastics not being safe at all.

On the other side of the debate are claims that microwave cooking is unhealthy and dangerous, period.

Except for a period when we went loco over microwave mug cakes, there were very few instances when I actually cooked a meal in the microwave oven. Not that I didn’t try to maximize the wonder cooker of the era. I did. I tried browning meat in the microwave, I tried cooking rice in it… Still, I don’t know… Maybe, it’s a generation thing. Or, maybe, I’m really just a stove, grill and oven girl.

Too many conflicting (and, often, unsubstantiated) claims, too many theories, too many unanswered questions. In the end, you have to choose which claims sound reasonable and decide how and how often you should use your microwave oven.

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