Microwaves

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Nachos
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Microwaves

Post by Nachos » Wed Oct 25, 13:34 2017

I've been told by three people this week that microwaves are bad for you because "you are changing the molecules in the food you are heating up and that is bad for your body", "If it does that to your food imagine what it does to your body?" and other various arguments. Now, I am a scientist and this all seems ridiculous to me. Does it seem ridiculous to other people too? Or what arguments do you have for me?
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Re: Microwaves

Post by rowan » Wed Oct 25, 16:51 2017

For the first one: cooking tends to make food nutrients more accessible (painting with broad brush strokes here) so ask them why they think cooking with one method is different than the other. The microwaves just jiggle the water molecules around faster (aka heats them) which then cooks things just like any other heat transfer process. So unless they are eating their meat raw in general... which uh I don't really recommend...

As for "what it does to your body" microwaves are well designed to keep the microwaves inside. So unless they are standing next to it *feeling hot* at which point if that's the case they should idk REPLACE THE MICROWAVE they're fine. If you look at the mesh over the door the holes are smaller than the microwaves which means it can't get out. (the very first microwaves did not have this and radiation did get out but I mean it's just gonna make you warm)

People fear the word "radiation" and I think a lot of that comes from the conflation/use of the term in terms of radioactivity, but microwaves are just light. But microwaves are long-wave light and aside from jiggling water molecules around (which heats them) they aren't ionizing radiation like UV or X-rays so there is far more to be concerned with going out in the sun than your microwave.
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Re: Microwaves

Post by Skeezy » Thu Oct 26, 9:01 2017

That was very helpful. Killed some concerns I had.

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Re: Microwaves

Post by Sonic# » Thu Oct 26, 11:41 2017

Related to the first one: microwaves aren't magic. The same elements will still be in the food.

And do people think you're getting into the microwave, The Fly-style?

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Re: Microwaves

Post by DarkOne » Fri Oct 27, 4:55 2017

Soooo, some insight into how big of a loser I am. This topic came up enough on the crazy Mom forums around the time solid foods were started, that I had a canned response to the tinfoil-hat-brigade who posted stuff like "OMG microwaving your food is like eating cancer-loaded cardboard." Here goes it:

No, microwaving does not kill all nutritional value in the food. Says Harvard, says the National Institutes of Health, and say many fine folks who embrace science. Unless you're nuking it to oblivion.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/21/health/up ... ving-food/
https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/mi ... nutrition/
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-h ... -nutrition
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7047080
In summary "The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method."


Crazy Mom forums were my guilty pleasure for a while.

Sidenote:
"If it does that to your food imagine what it does to your body?"
Are these people sitting INSIDE the microwave while it's cooking their food?
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

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Re: Microwaves

Post by rowan » Fri Oct 27, 10:05 2017

I think you have confused "loser" with "awesome"
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Re: Microwaves

Post by Nachos » Tue Oct 31, 5:14 2017

Ah! I'm so glad people here agree with me. I'm sick of trying to explain that cooking also changes the molecular structure of the food (denaturing proteins for one) and that microwaves aren't harmful to you as long as you are not using the microwave with the door open. Which you cannot do. Argh.

I've also recently found out that one of the people against microwaves is also against cooked food in general, so yeah.
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Re: Microwaves

Post by melsbells » Tue Oct 31, 11:55 2017

DarkOne wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 4:55 2017
as little liquid as possible.
Is that assuming that the liquid gets dumped, like with boiling, instead of used as part of the food, like soup?

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Re: Microwaves

Post by DarkOne » Wed Nov 1, 6:20 2017

Yes, from the context of the article, I think that is what they are referring to. The quote came from the linked Harvard article -- I should have probably sourced the specific quote. RIght before that quote, there's the following passage in the article.
As far as vegetables go, cooking them in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients leach out into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing compound that may give the vegetable its cancer-fighting properties (as well as the taste that many find distinctive and some find disgusting). Is steaming vegetables — even microwave steaming — better? In some respects, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds on to more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

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Re: Microwaves

Post by rowan » Wed Nov 1, 9:24 2017

Nachos wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 5:14 2017
I've also recently found out that one of the people against microwaves is also against cooked food in general, so yeah.
ah, one of those. one can only hope they are vegetarian at least, unlike the people who were advocating eating raw chicken.
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Re: Microwaves

Post by Enigma » Wed Nov 8, 17:39 2017

Ugh thank you! I keep coming across people who are really proud of themselves for not having a microwave. I think it's a case of not really understanding the science but having a vague sense of unatural = bad.
"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

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