Facts And Myths About Microwaves

Whether you own a microwave oven or not, chances are you've thought about the possibility that its use could be harmful to you and the people in your household. You might have heard statements from neighbors and friends saying that microwaved food poses serious health risks, not to mention the ones caused by electromagnetic wave emissions issuing from the device. And then there are others who attest to the fact that these are pure myths or old wives' tales.

It's difficult to come up with a final supposition due to the mixed opinions about the safety of microwaves. In this article, we make an attempt to separate them in order for you to better decide if it's wise to have a microwave oven lying around in your kitchen.

Microwave Food Is Cooked From The Inside Out: Myth

Contrary to popular belief, microwave ovens don't cook food from the inside out. Microwave ovens heat the food starting from the surface. This in turn excites the water molecules, which facilitates the heat transfer inside the food. If you have tried cooking a big chunk of meat using a microwave before, you might have noticed that the full effect of the cooking can reach a depth of about one inch inward.

Boiling Water In A Microwave Causes Explosions: Fact

Boiling water in a microwave can elicit an explosion if left alone for too long. This is because the bubbles are suppressed in the heating process, thereby causing the water to reach past its boiling point. If water is disturbed, it will release the suppressed heat and in turn cause the water to erupt.

To prevent this from happening, boil water at the minimum time. Placing a conductor such as clean wood can also prevent eruptions.

Microwaves Emit Harmful Radiation: Myth (in most instances)

The radiation that comes from microwave ovens is non-ionizing, making it much safer than ionizing radiations being emitted by X-Ray machines, nuclear radioactive decay and ultraviolet light.

The FDA also monitors every microwave that is sent out for production, making sure that the levels of radiation are far below the scale where it can be considered harmful. The federal standard also ensures that each machine has an auto-interlocking device that halts radiation emission every time the door of the microwave is opened. It's also comforting to know that there's a considerable decrease of microwave energy when we move away from the machine. Just to be on the safe side, you can keep a wide berth from the machine when it's operating.

Microwaves Cause Food To Lose Its Nutrients: Fact

Cooking in general can cause food to lose some of its nutrients, so it's wrong to assume that microwaves alone are causing this. In fact, the amount of nutrients that is lost can be reduced significantly when cooked by microwave, since the time of heating is much shorter than regular cooking. And there's also a contention that it might even help preserve the nutrients.

The choice to use microwaves or not is entirely up to you. While we have downplayed its harmful effects, it is also important to consider its possible hazards.


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