More than half of century a lot of people in USA in all the world use the microwave oven as the indispensable helper at the kitchen to save time of cooking food and making it warm and ready to eat. But last years we can see a lot of posts in internet which says: microwave dangerous to your health, it can cause cancer, food from microwave is “dead” and without nutrients. So let see what is the true or myth in this statements.
On the average, as we can find in scientific research, our microwave cooking power is 500 watts and frequence 2.45 GHz. Power increase is directly related to an increase in temperature and decrease in cooking time. Microwave works on the principle of dielectric heating, when microwave radiation heats the polarized molecules within the food and it is warmed more evenly.
Is microwave radiation dangerous?
Yes, microwave oven is emitting radiation, but according to the conclusion of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this radiation is much less than that can cause harm to humans. Also very important how far from the microwave oven you are standing because scientific research was just at distance 5 cm from it. This device is designed so that even if a leak of radiation occurs, it will be much lower than that which may harm. All microwave ovens, which are produced in the United States conform the strict standard the Food and Drug Administration / Center for Devices and Radiological Health (FDA / CDRH) . So if you will use microwave in good condition and properly everything be fine.
Microwave effects on food nutrition
Okay, it is about radiation but what about food products which “lose all nutrients by cooking in microwave”. It is not true. Of course some vitamins and nutrients are destroyed in cooking process, but it no any difference between heating ingredients in oven or microwave. But from another side, preparing many kinds of vegetables increases the levels of antioxidants in them, such as carotenoids and ferulic acid than when eat raw. There is a lot of scientific studies on this theme and according to them microwave effects on food nutrition are safe. For example in the 2004 the “International Journal of Food Properties” published results of study in which was not found difference the level of iron, phosphorus and calcium in spinach by using three kinds of cooking: ordinary cooking, cooking in a pressure cooker and microwave oven. But pay attention on containers you put into microwave, they can be really unsafe for your health, because a lot of plastic or other materials are not suitable for high temperature and will fill your food by harmful substances.
Microwave hazards to health
One more unpleasant and fearful opinion about microwave oven, that its radiation can cause cancer, damages the reproductive system, seriously destroys the center of the nervous system and suppress the immune system. But there are no scientifically-confirmed cases of cancer due to the use of microwave ovens.
In 2005 “American Journal of Epidemiology” published the results of study about using electrical appliance and risk of adult brain tumors: ” results indicate that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields from commonly used household appliances are unlikely to increase the risk of brain tumors” .
So in addition it would be rightly to say that microwave and other electronic devices makes today’s busy life more easy and comfortable. And your choice to use them or not. But use only serviceable microwave and put in it containers of glass or other safe material to prevent microwave effects on food nutrition.
Somali K Chakrabarti
Thanks for digging into the facts/ myths about the health effects of microwave cooking. So we don’t yet know if microwave radiations cause cancer or damage the immune system. I guess it is always better to use glass containers for microwaves.
Thanks for attention to my post. I completely agree with you about using special containers for microwave. It is important to protect ourselves.
Thanks for sharing. Up until now I heard varying opinions on the use of microwaves but really not about the containers used to heat the food in. The information in your post is valuable.
I’m glad you found useful information in my post. Yes, the material of containers for using in microwave is very significant for health.