Although microwaves are one of the greatest innovations in the cooking industry, known for their efficiency and safety, and are used worldwide in millions of kitchens, many myths surround them. Misconceptions about what they do, how they work, health and safety are some of the most common questions that first-time users have. This article looks at some of the most popular myths people have about microwave ovens of all forms and check the facts behind them.
Myth 1: One Must Never Use Plastic Vessels in a Microwave Oven
Any microwave-safe container, including certain plastic ones, is perfectly good to heat food in a microwave oven. One must note that not all plastics are manufactured equally. Different forms of plastic are made of different compounds. Plastic containers are certified by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand to be food-grade for storage and microwave use which can be used safely. Note that one must throw away the damaged containers and use ceramic or glass containers in place of non-microwave-friendly plastic containers.
Myth 2: Microwaving Reduces the Nutrition in Food
This is another popular myth that mostly surrounds reheating cooked food or using high-frequency waves to heat the food. But it is untrue. It is a known fact that any fruits or vegetables, when consumed raw, have the most nutrients in them, and they lose some in the cooking process.
Microwaving food does not affect its nutritional value any more than other traditional forms of cooking. Usual nutrients like antioxidants, omega three fatty acids, vitamin C, etc., breakdown while cooking in any form. Microwaving is sometimes a better cooking option as it requires less water and prevents food items from releasing nutrients into the water.
Myth 3: Microwave Ovens Are a Health Risk and Increase the Probability of Cancer
Despite millions of families using them in their kitchens every day, the question about the safety of their use and the microwave radiation still circulates the internet. This comes from the lack of understanding about how microwaves work and what they do to heat/cook food.
Ovens emit a type of electromagnetic radiation of a certain frequency called microwaves that cause the molecules in the food to vibrate, causing them to heat up. They are not harmful and don’t leave traces in the food after the microwave oven is switched off. All the radiation emitted is restricted to the oven’s insides, and even if there is a leak due to damage, their energy is far below any level that could cause any harm. As they don’t produce gamma rays or X-rays, they don’t pose the risk of developing cancer.
Myth 4: Microwaves Do Not Heat Up the Food Evenly
Any cooking process requires a certain amount of planning and preparation, considering the type of food, the ingredients and the container they are cooked in. Just pouring the ingredients into a bowl and throwing them inside the microwave would not result in the food cooking properly, not unlike traditional cooking.
It is important to keep a note of the fact that microwaves do not travel far. Hence, if one uses a large plate or container, it would take more time to cook or heat the food evenly. It also depends on the positioning of the food, the temperature, power and cooking time.
With these common myths debunked, it is time to buy the best microwaves available in the stores and cook.