Many of us rely on microwaved food for nourishment. Whether it’s leftovers from last night or a frozen meal from two days ago, having a microwave means fewer chances of going hungry even when you haven’t prepared anything.
Having so many things to do with so little time has probably led many of you to reheat your favorite meals daily using the microwave. But is this necessarily a bad thing? Despite a number of experts claiming that it’s not, some are still cautious about using the microwave. It’s been proven that proper usage of this appliance can even boost food's nutritional value because of the quicker exposure to heat.
Safety becomes an issue when the appliance is defective or doesn’t seal correctly. You also have to consider the type of food you’re heating up daily. Are they microwavable meals or processed food? If they happen to be the latter, we’ll tell you right now that it won’t be a good idea to eat them every day.
The Microwaved Food Process
A microwave uses waves of energy similar to sonar waves to cook or reheat food. These waves target water inside your food items, which causes them to vibrate and produce heat.
Are Microwaves Safe for Everyday Use?
When used correctly, there shouldn’t be a problem using the microwave daily. Safety issues usually stem from defective appliances that leak waves into the surrounding areas.
The energy from microwaves is only released during activation, so when the appliance doesn’t function properly, there could be a chance for these waves to leak out. That said, your job is to inspect these things and make sure the appliance is sealed properly.
There is a slight issue of thermal damage from waves, but this isn’t likely to result from the microwave's everyday use. There’s a slight chance the sensitive tissues around your body could get damaged from exposure to these waves. However, this would have to be under the condition that the exposure is lengthy and the temperature is considerably high.
Radioactivity is something you don’t have to be concerned with when it comes to microwaved food items. Food heated up using the appliance does not give off this damaging energy. In fact, the energy waves vanish altogether once you switch off the microwave.
The Kinds of Food You’re Microwaving
Food selection is crucial if you’re using the microwave daily. Are you heating leafy greens or frozen, processed foods? The latter isn’t a food item you want to be consuming daily, microwave-heated or otherwise, because of its high-caloric content, preservatives, and lack of nutritional value.
[Related article: DIY Microwave Popcorn]
When microwaving every day, you want to pick out fresher and non-processed food products.
How Microwaving Can Impact Food
There are both pros and cons as to how microwaving can affect meals. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Check out this recipe for Rocky Road Fudge. I show you how to microwave your chocolate instead of using a double boiler.
Prevents Excessive Nutrient Loss
You know how they say regular reheating removes a significant amount of the food’s nutrients? This usually isn’t the case with microwave reheating. With this appliance’s ability to reheat quicker than other methods, it helps retain most of the nutrients otherwise diminished by prolonged exposure to heat.
Quality Control Becomes Harder
When reheating larger portions of food in the microwave, the waves’ inability to penetrate thicker areas could result in uneven cooking. Thus, the quality might become inferior to that of other cooking or reheating methods.
When reheating leftovers from a party, it’s a good idea to opt for a more manageable method of cooking. This allows you to have more control of how the process takes place, helping ensure more desirable results.
Microwaved Food Has Potential Risks
There’s a chance your microwave could be defective without you realizing it. It could fail to seal properly without you knowing and, thus, affect how safe the cooking or reheating process becomes. So, you want to pick a microwave that adheres to the international standards for safety to get a lot of good and safe years from the appliance. And, if your microwave is old or doesn’t seem to be working correctly, make sure to have experts take a look at it right away.
Microwaving food inside plastic containers is a bad idea. Compounds such as BPA are usually found in plastics and are easily absorbed into food through heat exposure. Hence, stick to microwavable glass or ceramic containers for heating your dishes.
The Real Deal About Microwaved Food
People might be questioning the safety surrounding everyday microwave use, but most experts suggest there’s nothing to worry about in general. In fact, proper use of the microwave can even prevent nutrient loss in your meals.
Just make sure to use non-plastic microwavable containers, perform regular inspection, and minimize the heating of processed food and you’re free to enjoy the convenience of the microwave any time you desire.