You might want to think twice before going to heat up that plastic covered stew from last night.
Along with a fridge, stove and TV, I am pretty willing to bet you have a microwave in your home. That is a pretty safe bet as 95% of Americans own a microwave oven.
An Accidental Invention
Many things around us today have come about as a pure fluke such as post it notes, the Slinky, and Kim Kardashian’s career.
The Microwave falls under this category as well.
Percy L. Spencer was an electronics genius who served during World War II. On a tour, one of his laboratories he stopped for a moment in front of amagnetron, not the villain from Transformers but a large tube that drives radars. The tube’s ability to heat was noticed from a melting chocolate bar that was in his pocket.
To see if it was genuine heat, Spencer tested a bag of popcorn kernels that ended up popping all over over the room.
Seeing an Opportunity
This phenomenon might have just been regarded as an amusing experiment to Percy, similar to people dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke; however he had over 150 patents to his name and saw a possibility.
The first microwave oven stood five foot six inches tall and weight 750 pounds.
The microwave found a place early on in restaurants, rail cars and ocean liners as a means to cook large quantities of food.
It would take decades though before the microwave oven was developed as beneficial and affordable for the average family.
Cooking With a Radar Box
Make no mistake, a radar box is exactly what a microwave oven is. A microwave cooks food with oscillating electromagnetic energy that are very similar to radio waves but move back and forth at a much greater speed.
Where a normal oven’s heat slowly penetrates through food, microwave oven heat immediately reaches molecules around an inch below the surface of the food.
Microwaves produce non-ionizing radiation and there are studies that show that this can affect changes in your blood and heart rate along with microwaved food causing certain type of intestinal and stomach cancers
What specific things can be compromised by using a microwave?
Microwave ovens have to go through much more extensive testing and safety procedures these days so manufacturers will say the health risks are greatly reduced. Convenience is paramount and people will understandably try to save time when possible, but here are 5 things you are better off never putting in a microwave oven.
1. Breast Milk
A key benefit of providing a newborn breast milk is being able to introduce the baby to powerful bacteria-fighting agents that are contained within the milk.
The Journal of Pediatrics ran tests on 22 samples of frozen breast milk heated in a microwave on either low or high heat and found that breast milk heated on high heat showed greater E-coli growth. This was 18 times higher than the milk heated without a microwave.
The samples microwaved at lower temperatures dramatically decreased isozyme activity as well as promoted the growth of harmful bacteria for babies
Broccoli is no stranger to the microwave as it is one of the most common quick heated vegetables around.
Any form of cooking is going to destroy some nutrients in food. Steaming is the most gentle and still causes a loss of around 11% of the antioxidant content of broccoli.
Cooking broccoli in a microwave with a bit of water lost up to 97% of its beneficial antioxidants.