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CHEFMIKEB SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (300)
Posts: 7
2/9/11 8:01 A

Microwaves are a great convenience. They are also a useful specialized tool (just like a waffle iron or a crockpot). You can use one to prepare certain kinds of foods that come out awesome (risotto comes to mind). There is an old cookbook from the 80's called "The New Basics Cookbook" by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins. It has some really great microwave recipes in it that will really impress you with how versatile a microwave can be.

CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (2,485)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 996
2/9/11 6:53 A

I find that food cooked in the microwave just simply doesn't taste as good, by and large. I am thinking the jury is still out other aspects (are nutrients more degraded there than using some other means of cooking, and I don't mean by over cooking?) I don't know. I certainly no longer use plastics in the nuker.

I use mine at home to re-heat coffee the second day, and back when I was doing quesadillas (not regularly on my current diet plan), it made cleanup easier. I did cook bacon for awhile in there, but I found that the taste in the skillet is superior and I can control done-ness better.

I do bring previously-cooked food to work to heat up at the company microwaves for lunch.

Edited by: CEDARBARK1 at: 2/9/2011 (06:54)
JGORDGE SparkPoints: (27,338)
Fitness Minutes: (29,146)
Posts: 1,139
2/9/11 6:36 A

Discovered cooking chicken breast or salmon in the microwave is just great. Less than 1 1/2 mins and its ready and so moist. Must save a bit on energy useage too as I used to grill chicken for 10+ minutes and fried salmon steaks for about the same time.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
2/8/11 11:57 P

I make my oatmeal in the microwave with water to get volume and add the milk when it hits the table.. I like to keep the tradition of adding milk to the finished product..
I also add fruit in the microwave and it needs water to expand..
I also like the deal of having some milk left to my morning cup of coffee..

DEMARLECOOK SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (730)
Posts: 31
2/8/11 5:08 P

I use a microwave at work. I do not own one. I only put hot water in my oatmeal no milk.

BIGRED721 Posts: 126
2/8/11 11:23 A

I don't cook so much in the microwave as I use it to reheat stuff.

The only big 'no-no's for microwaves are no metal and no plastic.

HIRIEL87 SparkPoints: (4,652)
Fitness Minutes: (3,015)
Posts: 4
2/8/11 8:57 A

The microwave heats your food. That's all. In large doses microwave radiation can be damaging, but this radiation doesn't escape from the microwave oven. And the food will not radiate anything but heat after you've cooked it.

The one potential danger I can think of is using plastic dishes that aren't microwave safe. Some plastics will degrade in high temperatures and leach chemicals, some of which are harmful, into the food. Where I am (Norway) plastic dishes that are microwave safe have a little microwave oven symbol on them, I assume there's something similar elsewhere as well. These chemicals will hardly kill you overnight, by the way, but they're not healthy.

YANKEEGIRL6 Posts: 1,178
2/8/11 8:19 A

I cook things in the most convenient fashion. I've lived in homes with a microwave for 30 years and no one has died yet.

(Though I feel like I'm becoming my mother every time I use the words "no one has died yet".)

MOMOF3FORLIFE SparkPoints: (31,273)
Fitness Minutes: (57,248)
Posts: 308
2/8/11 8:16 A

I was wondering the same thing about microwaves. I've seen so many articles saying it's not good to use one, and so many that say it is safe. Unfortunately, that is what happens with everything...people will always write about opposing sides, which makes it confusing! I'm glad you started this topic and glad to have some answers!

1/18/11 3:48 P

well thanks for your opinions people! lol And can I say I'm inspired by your little tracker thingys telling how much weight you've lost. If only... *sigh* but thats why I'm here.

Yeah I'm still using both microwave and stove, just trying to be conscious of not overcooking and actually using recommended heat settings. I used to be the type to blast the stovetop on high to get the job done quickly. xD

CRZYQUILTER Posts: 4,680
1/18/11 1:51 P

I normally just use the microwave for potatoes, popcorn and to reheat food. Most other foods I cook on the stove.

ANARIE Posts: 13,042
1/18/11 3:33 A

The people who tell you that microwaving is unhealthy are usually selling infrared cookers or some other special expensive machine to replace your microwave.

Microwaves are just electromagnetic waves, like radio waves. You've heard of shortwave radio, right? "Micro" means small-- microwaves are shorter than shortwave. Electromagnetic waves turn into a different form of energy when you channel them. Radio waves become sound, and microwaves become heat. Microwaving your food won't harm it any more than setting it on top of your radio would.

Microwaves can burn you. If you could somehow get a microwave oven to run with the door open and you stuck your hand in it, your hand would eventually start to cook the same way meat does. But that would also happen if you stuck your hand in the regular oven. The blood transfusion death (if it's even true) happened because the blood basically got cooked, which can happen if you're careless warming it by any method. The only danger from microwaves is burns, not radiation or any change in nutrients.

1/17/11 8:29 P

This is not my opinion...this is the research:

Research shows that cooking in the microwave is SAFE!

Some foods (some vegetables) do retain more of their nutrients with a faster, less water used type cooking method--such as steaming or using the microwave.

dietitian Becky

KRISTIN9924 Posts: 952
1/17/11 1:07 P

I don't think there has been any conclusive proof that cooking with a microwave is any worse for you than cooking on the stovetop. The act of cooking will change the nutrients that you get from the food because it is breaking down the food (this is why with veggies it is recommended to steam rather than overcook).

I prefer to cook on the stovetop just because I feel like I have more control over how my food is cooking. With the soymilk, I alway have to be careful when heating it in the microwave because if it is in there too long it will separate (you'll end up with chunky stuff floating in liquid).

I've also noticed that cooking in the microwave does not cook the food uniformly. The outer parts of the food are scorched while the inner parts are still cold. The microwave can be convenient, but I'd much rather cook on the stove top if I have time.

LOVE_TO_PLAY SparkPoints: (689)
Fitness Minutes: (1,778)
Posts: 81
1/17/11 1:06 P

Haha, as Killah mentioned, this will probably be a heated thread!

We don't own a microwave. It started because I broke our microwave (by dropping it on the floor...) and then we were too lazy to go buy one, and then too cheap, and then just got used to not having one. And now our place is too small for one.

More for us was the taste/texture/flavour of microwaved food - we just don't like it. And don't miss it. Secondly came the radiation issue which, I don't think is a huge issue, but whatever, we just figure one less thing to worry about.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
Posts: 1,939
1/17/11 12:57 P

I also hear that the radiation from the stove top destroys vitamins, denatures proteins and kills the enzymes! Oh no, not the enzymes! Oh, wait....that is HEAT!

Microwave ovens do the same thing by making the water molecules all 'giggly' causing them to heat up. That is all.

KALORIE-KILLAH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (19,921)
Posts: 5,261
1/17/11 12:53 P

Oh, geez. This post is bound to get opinions flowing!

For me, I have no fear of the microwave. Nobody I've ever met, known, or heard of has grown extra limbs or developed tumors from microwaving food. The cases that are in the news are those once-in-a-million occurring where things go wrong. People get food poisoning all the time from vegetables and fruits (yes, even the organic kind!), so does that mean I should avoid fruits and veggies? Nope. Drunk drivers are on the roads all the time, so shall I hide in my house all day? Nope!

1/17/11 12:23 P

This is something I've just been wondering about. I am about to microwave some oatmeal with soymilk and I was wondering if the radiation in the microwave was reallt bad for you. I read that it was, that the radiation distorts the molecular structure of the foods and the nutrients in them. Is this true? One guy mentioned that there was a case where microwaving baby formula turned trans-amino acids into their synthetic cis-isomers. I'm no chemist but that doesn't sound like a good thing. lol There was also a case apparently where someone died of a blood transfusion just because the nurse microwaved it to warm. Studies have already shown that radiation can have negative effects on health, so can it also have negative effects on the foods we eat too?

On the other hand, I also read that cooking frozen vegetables (which are the only kinds I use) for example on stove top in water takes away from the vitamins, and that you should steam them in the microwave without adding water because the ice has enough moisture. This side claims that the radiation of microwaves isnt an issue, and that they use less heat and timing to cook the food which is essential to preserving nutrients, opposed to the quick boil on high heat on the stove.

So ya see I'm confused and don't know what to do for the best results in food prep. :/

What are your thoughts?

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