A microwave oven must be one of the most popular kitchen appliances ever. But the real question is — are microwave ovens safe or dangerous? Can microwave radiation be harmful to our health?
World Health Organization‘s experts say that the main difference between traditional methods of cooking and microwave cooking is that the energy of microwaves goes into foods faster and deeper, so our meal is cooked faster. Food cooked in the microwave is just as safe as food cooked in the oven.
Generally, there are no significant changes in the quality of food since the influence of microwave radiation affects only how hot the food is, so food cooked in the microwave oven is not harmful. It can taste bad only if it is overdone and overheated.
In this article, we have prepared in-depth research on microwave ovens, so keep reading.
Is Microwave Radiation Bad for Your Health?
Microwave radiation is non-radioactive radiation. Radiation, which poses a threat to people’s health, has a much higher frequency than that used in microwave ovens. Microwave ovens are smart appliances that can eliminate microwave radiation because:
- Microwave ovens are made in such a way that when the door is closed the waves can’t escape from the chamber of the oven.
- Microwaves cannot pass through metal, for this reason, microwave ovens are not dangerous for us.
- Microwave ovens have several special protection schemes that exclude the operation of the microwave generation with the door open.
- Microwave ovens are metal-sheathed, so it prevents microwave leakage.
- All manufactured microwave ovens are checked for compliance with the required safety standards, which are determined by the mandatory sanitary and technical regulations.
Are Microwaves Bad for You | Dispelling Microwave Oven Myths
Do Microwaves Destroy Nutrients and Vitamins in Food?
We all know that most nutrients and vitamins are partially lost with any heat exposure while some vitamins may be completely destroyed. Cooking vegetables with a lot of water generally leads to the transformation of nutrients into a liquid which means that useful vitamins and minerals simply disappear.
World Health Organization‘s experts say that the main difference between traditional methods of cooking and microwave cooking is that the energy of microwaves goes into foods faster and deeper, so our meal is cooked faster. The food cooked in the microwave is just as safe as in the stove.
By the way, you can bake a lot of things in your microwave oven, check out some hacks and recipes here.
Is Microwaving Water Bad?
Microwaving water is not bad at all, but heating water in a microwave oven is difficult to control. When we heat water in some dish, bubbles help to cool the water, preventing overheating. However, if the water is poured into a container and microwaved for a long time, the water temperature may exceed the boiling point. It may seem that nothing extraordinary is happening but if you put a spoon in the water you will see it is boiling and this can lead to burns and other injuries.
If we just heat the water within 30 seconds, such microwaving is not bad at all. However, if you need to heat or boil water, it is better to put some object in the glass because it will create the necessary bubbles protecting the liquid from unforeseen reactions. It is not worth risking, though, this is why you should never microwave water.
Watch the video and see the potential hazards involved with this everyday activity. Water alone should never be heated in a microwave. Watch and find out why.
Is it Bad to Microwave Vegetables?
Microwaving vegetables is not bad for your health but it is not good either. The reason is simple: heat treatment kills a number of nutrients in vegetables, that is why the most gentle way of cooking vegetables is steaming.
Does Microwaving Food Destroy Its Vitamins?
Can You Defrost Chicken or Meat in Microwave? Is it safe?
You should not defrost meat or chicken in the microwave oven because it turns into a source of microbes because of the sharp temperature increase. Therefore, it is better to place a piece of meat or chicken under a stream of cold water or just out in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Is It Safe to Stand in Front of Microwave Ovens?
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), microwave damage is very rare, so it is completely safe to stand in front of microwave ovens. In theory, microwaves can heat body tissues in the same way that they heat food, and at high power levels, they can cause burns and damage to the eyes. But these types of injuries are extremely rare and usually occur when people are exposed to a large amount of radiation “seeping” through the holes in the oven. Some people also wonder whether standing in front of a microwave while pregnant is harmful. So, the microwave oven is safe for a pregnant woman as long as your microwave oven works properly.
The agency advises that it is necessary to ensure that the door closes tightly and is not damaged. Also, the FDA recommends not to stand for a long time directly in front of the microwave oven and do not lean against it while it is working. But who does it anyway?
Is Burnt Microwave Safe to Use?
NO, burnt microwaves are NOT safe to use! Enamel in the microwave serves not only as an aesthetic surface but it protects our food from various bacteria and our oven from becoming worn out, polluted or broken.
When the enamel is chipped off, the “iron box” gets exposed. It would seem like not a big deal, but the problem is that unprotected metal can begin to corrode. If this process is aggravated, then there may appear a hole due to rust which can cause a fire. You do not want to have your house burned down, so please, DO NOT USE YOUR MICROWAVE IF IT IS BURNT.
Do Microwaves Cause Cancer?
Radiation can really cause cancer as well as many other diseases. However, only strong radiation can be dangerous to health, for example, x-rays, gamma and ultraviolet rays.
“Microwaves do not make food radioactive,” says the Australian Council on Cancer Diseases. “Microwaves emit very weak waves, which are only enough to make the water molecules vibrate, creating heat.”
The American Cancer Society also reports that the level of radiation in microwaves is very low to be harmful to humans. Moreover, microwaves are created with a metal mesh that shields the radiation.
So, Are Microwave Ovens Safe or Dangerous?
Of course, based on the abovementioned advantages, using a microwave oven is completely safe. Food from the microwave will not be radioactive and microwaves will remain inside the oven and will not affect food’s quality.
Some people worry that microwaves destroy food’s nutrients, but any cooking process affects food’s nutrients. For example, vitamin C is always destroyed when the product is heated. But microwave ovens take less time heating food, which means there will be even more nutrients in food cooked in a microwave than if you cooked on a stove or in the oven!
If everything is done correctly, you will enjoy the microwave oven’s advantages such as speed, easiness and effectiveness.