Microwave ovens are generally considered off limits when it comes to eating healthily. Even the term “microwave” carries a connotation that makes most healthy types scoff; microwaves are for the masses who don’t take time to actually prepare food and who have no desire to ensure their food is as vibrant and healthy as it could possibly be.
Microwaves are one gadget in a long line of conveniences taken for granted in the twenty-first century. The appeal of them is no secret – food can be cooked quicker and with less energy than in a conventional oven. But does that convenience come at a cost?
The age of convenience has brought with it as many challenges as advantages; the technological innovations and scientific advances that have been made in food production have, without question, made food less healthy. While producers are able to provide a greater quantity of food than ever before in human history, the vibrance and nutritive value of that food is certainly in question. The quality of the meat grown by conventional methods is abominable, which goes a long way towards explaining why meat is implicated in so many diseases. Similarly, while food is able to be prepared quicker than ever – often via the aid of a microwave oven – the quality of that food gets compromised for the sake of convenience.
Microwaves use a type of non-ionizing radiation to heat food. Microwaves ovens generate microwave frequencies that molecules in food absorb. These frequencies cause the molecules in the food to vibrate, creating friction. This friction creates heat, thus heating the food. This type of radiation isn’t like the kind of radiation used in, say, X-Rays (ionizing), so it doesn’t pose the same risks. However, there have been studies implicating microwaves in both lowering the nutritional value of food by destroying nutrients and amino acids, and in creating carcinogenic compounds in microwaved food.
The other thing to consider is this: much of the food that is intended to be cooked in the microwave is nutritionally void to begin with. Usually, it is prepackaged and loaded with preservatives, sugar and/or grain/corn products. Needless to say, sugary and grain/corn laden fare is off limits for the Kaufmann 1 diet.
Like all conveniences, microwaves are a mixed bag. Is it best to avoid them while trying to eat healthy? Absolutely. Cooking food from start to finish in them is probably ill advised. However, if you are in a pinch on occasion and need to heat up leftover steak and veggies from the night before on your way out the door, microwaving won’t be the deciding factor on your health.