The microwave used to be the defining appliance of the middle class. It brings to mind images of an American family in ’70s-era fashion sitting around a TV with frozen dinners on their fold-out tables.
Most Americans still use microwaves because they enjoy convenience (that is, they like being lazy); however, such convenience with food usually comes at a cost.
Abel James, fat burning man and real food advocate, doesn’t have a microwave. Here are his top three reasons why, which might make you consider chucking yours out as well.
Reason #1: High Heat
Microwaves blast food with high heat, and while the modern world has made us addicted to immediate gratification, slowly cooking your food is actually much better for you. Slow-cooked veggies retain more micronutrients and fiber, and slow-cooked meat retains more gelatin (highly nutritious collagen) and contains fewer carcinogenic compounds than grilled or pan-fried meat. Not to mention slow cooked meat and veggies taste way better.
Reason #2: Radiation
Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to heat food, which, unfortunately for those of us who love instant popcorn, leaks out of the microwave and can cause leukemia and cataracts. Studies also show that this leakage, even at levels below the federally accepted standard, has quite a negative impact on your heart, including chest pains and a rapid heart rate. As flavorful as instant popcorn can be, the risk/reward ratio is just out of whack in this case.
Reason #3: BPA Leakage
BPA is a chemical used to make certain kinds of plastics. It’s also an endocrine disruptor, which is a fancy term for chemicals that mess with your hormones and cause cancer, birth defects, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and mental illness. When microwaving food in plastic containers, BPA leaks into the food and puts you at risk for one of the previously mentioned afflictions.
Microwave Alternative #1: Pot or Slow Cooker
Yes, using a slow cooker or even a frying pan to reheat previously cooked meals will require washing an extra dish/appliance, but think of every dish you wash as another day being added to your life. As the expression goes, the best things in life are worth waiting for. Food is no exception. While the extra few minutes required might not be suitable for every situation, the long-term benefits of using a pot or slow cooker over a microwave make the slight time difference well worth it.
Microwave Alternative #2: The Oven
Save all the food you cook in glass or ceramic containers that can easily slide into the oven when you’re ready to heat them up. Warming up food in the oven may again take a little longer than a microwave, but in continuing with our theme of referencing appropriate expressions, good things come to those who wait. That includes health.
Microwave Alternative #3: Eat It Cold
Fried chicken, pizza, meatloaf, spaghetti—none of these are particularly healthy, and all of them usually taste even better cold. Microwaving unhealthy foods just takes them from bad to worse. So if you’re going to eat healthy foods, you already know that the microwave isn’t your meal’s friend. But if you’re eating junk, at least spare yourself from adding another negative to an already poor health choice.
Nothing great comes without a cost. By using a microwave, you’re sacrificing health for convenience. Food isn’t meant to be rushed, it’s meant to be enjoyed and to provide you with nutrients. So do yourself a favor—quit vying for the laziness championship belt and explore better ways to enjoy leftovers!