Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Week Without The Microwave

Welcome to the June 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: A Natural Challenge.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members took 1-2 weeks to explore a natural practice that they had yet to try. Today, they're going to tell you about their experience! Hopefully, you'll find some inspiration to try something new on one or more of the posts.


As time passes on, our society's desire to learn towards convenience becomes greater and greater. Family life isn't as simple as it used to be. Time to prepare a healthy family meal has been greatly diminshed, especially for those who have two working parents or those who are frequently distracted by modern technology (something I often deal with).

The creation of the microwave has found it's way into the modern home and has minimized the tedious efforts of baking a full meal. If preparing meals couldn't get any easier, you can also purchase "ready-to-heat" or freezer meals (I will return to this issue on a later date).

However, much literature has been written about the harms of microwave use and radiation. Not only do the electromagnetic waves break down the molecular structure of the food being heated, but they destroy beneficial nutrients and form carcinogenic material.

Of course, with every study comes "evidence" or lack of evidence in order to refute actual harm.

According to Dr. Oz,

"While it's true that microwave ovens emit tiny amounts of radiation, studies have shown that they're not nearly enough to cause cancer. A microwave could cause other injuries (like burns or cataracts), but only if it's been damaged and starts leaking large amounts of radiation—an unlikely occurrence. If you're worried your appliance may be faulty, replace it, or ask your state health department to test your level of exposure." - From the June 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

On the other hand, Dr. Lita Lee (and researchers from various European countries) state that "every microwave oven leaks electro-magnetic radiation, harms food, and converts substances cooked in it to dangerous organ-toxic and carcinogenic products". - Health Effects of Microwave Radiation - Microwave Ovens

Regardless of what studies have been done, the fact that the microwave releases any radiation at all, TERRIFIES me. I want to minimize use as much as possible. In fact, the Soviet Union had banned the use of microwave ovens in the 1970's, which is more than enough to convince me that maybe taking a few more minutes to warm up a meal may be worth it.

For more information, check out the Global Healing Center page.

In light of this information, I made the decision to ditch the microwave for one week.

At first, I was overwhelmed by the increase of dishes, because sometimes it took a few glass dishes to warm up one family meal in the oven.

Yes, it was difficult waiting a few more minutes for warm food, but our meals cooked more evenly on the stove top or in the oven. I do plan on avoiding the use of the microwave for another couple of weeks, and hopefully, get rid of that appliance and rely on our toaster oven instead.

Just a few warming dishes left over from a large Indian food spread

During the past couple of weeks, I have also learned a few ways to deal with the mountain of dishes too.

Tips To Keeping Dirty Re-Heat Dishes To A Minimum :

* Use one large baking dish to reheat your meal - unless of course so of the components will "run" into each other.

* Have plenty of raw fruits and veggies on hand - you don't need "gourmet" sides to compliment your main course, plus you will benefit from the higher nutrient levels that are often lost during cooking.

* Invest in glass containers in multiple sizes - what I love about our glass containers is that I can take them from the fridge to the oven without transferring to baking dishes.

* Make large batches of easy-to-heat food - such as chilis, curries, stews, etc. then measure out servings into storage containers based on your families need. This way, you won't have to deal with leftovers.

Do you have any microwave-free tips of your own? Feel free to share!


Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

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  1. we didnt have a microwave for a year, and it never bothered us except when it was time to reheat leftovers. even now that we have it, we dont cook in it or buy microwavable food.

  2. I didn't have a microwave for awhile. I kept a tea kettle on the stove on low so I always had warm water to start with which made reheating faster.Thanks for sharing

  3. Fantastic! Thank you for reminding me that I used to care about this issue. When I was pregnant and then when my first child was born (going on 4 years ago), I pretty much BANNED the microwave. I'd hide around the corner with the baby or behind the bar with my pregnant belly when someone was using it & wouldn't even let company use it! But I have to admit that today, "Chef Mic" has a hand in MANY of our family dinners, especially when reheating leftovers - and I use it reheat my coffee pretty much daily! You have inspired me to go back to more conventional means of reheating, even if it means more dishes. Better that than cancer, even if it's only the slimmest chance, right?

  4. ThePistachioProjectJune 20, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Love that you ditched the microwave for this challenge! Planning on doing the same next month and the thought does terrify me. I'd love to never use a microwave again but I'll admit the time factor is a huge crutch.

  5. Amber EasyGreenMamaJune 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I never thought about ditching the microwave, but you bring up some good points. I already own a toaster oven so I think I will start using that more! Thanks for the minimizing dish tips!

  6. We've been relying on the microwave a lot to reheat leftovers. I love your tips and we'll have to give it a try.


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