Gigi's BlogFebruary 21, 2012
Ever wonder what happens to your food when you close the door to the microwave and push start?in Rants,General
Ever wonder what happens to your food when you close the door to the microwave and push start? Or are you like me (until now) and just hope for the best?
As long as most of us can remember a microwave of some sort has been a part of our culinary lives. Many of us have prepared our very first meal or hot chocolate with the aid of this miracle machine. So, how does a microwave cook our food anyway? Well, let's start by talking about how it doesn't heat our food. The common belief is that a microwave (aka nucrowave in our house growing up) cooks or heats food by using radioactive energies. Scary but not true. Microwaves actually create high-frequency electromagnetic waves, and microwave ovens create a high-intensity electromagnetic field that create waves to cook food. They operate at about the same frquency as most cell phones but with a lot more power and that's why the FCC tightly regulates their manufacture. They want to make sure they're built well enough to contain all of the radio emissions according to Swamy Anantheswaran, Penn State professor of food science. These waves permeate the water in foods, causing the agitation of water molecules that charge salt ions to produces friction and a quick rise in temperature to warm food fast, this according to Juming Tang, PhD, professor of food engineering at Washington State University in Pulman, Washington.
Okay, so here's my take:
- Electromagnetic waves heat food by traveling through water molecules fast.
- Don't open the microwave door early because the FCC has gone to great lengthes to be sure those waves stay in their compartment(s) because...well I'm not sure but I'm thinking it's because exposure to electromagnetic waves might be dangerous.
So, how is nutrition affected by microwaving?
As with all science, there are several sides to a story and to microwave or not to microwave has several such stories. So, after reading gobs of information on this subject, I'm just going to bullet point some of my own thoughts and facts I've learned along the way.
- If the only way way you know you will consume healthy food is heating vegetables in the microwave then go for it. Some vegetables are better than no vegetables.
- Microwaving destroys nutrients by changing them into biologically inactive forms, according to Lita lee, PhD and chemist and enzyme therapist in Potland, Oregon.
- Microwaves may render certain vitamins useless and zap away antioxidents found in many vegetables and oils through the cooking process.
- Over cooking vegetables by boiling them for too long can rob nutrients far faster than microwaving them in a microwave in less time.
Finally, although there are varying opinions amongst the scientific community rgarding the safety of microwaves, one thisng is for sure. If you must microwave food, DO NOT USE plastic containers, even those that say BPA Free. BPA isn't the only ingredient you have to worry about in plastic. Plastic contains many other environmentally unhealthy ingredients that we are yet to discover. Therefore, before you use the microwave, think about what might leach into your body from the recycled margarine container you plan to use to heat up today's lunch...
- March 28, 2012 4:54 AM
i believe the water muolceles are artificially forced to vibrate faster and more heat is madethe oven gradually heats it and so crispens things up which a microwave cannot do it can only make it heated.. i think thats why i prefer oven baked too but in the 21st century i have no time to do that all the time!
Posted by Geor