I thought I’d do a little research on microwave ovens, how they work, the effects on food and plastic containers. Since I sell Tupperware and I’m often asked about this very subject. I have found a great article at Eat Local Grown by Kris Gunnars. I will use it in the blog in six parts.
The Truth About Microwave Ovens: 5 Facts That Might Surprise You
Cooking with a microwave oven is highly convenient.
It’s simple, doesn’t require stirring or flipping things, and is incredibly fast.
However, many people believe that this convenience must come at a cost.
They believe that microwaves produce harmful radiation and cause damage to healthy nutrients.
This article takes a detailed look at microwave ovens, and how they affect the nutrients and health effects of foods.
What Are Microwave Ovens, and How do They Work?
Microwave Ovens are kitchen appliances that turn electric energy into electromagnetic waves, called microwaves.
These waves can stimulate molecules in the food, making them start to vibrate, spin around and clash with each other, which turns the energy into heat.
This is similar to how your hands heat up when you rub them together really fast, except that it is happening on the molecular level.
Microwaves primarily work on water molecules, but they can also heat up fats/oils and sugars, just to a lesser extent than water.
Because the waves are dispensed throughout the food, it can heat up much more evenly compared to other cooking methods like frying.
Bottom Line: Microwave ovens turn electric energy into electromagnetic waves. These waves stimulate molecules in the food, making them heat up.
1. Can The Radiation Harm You?
Microwave ovens produce electromagnetic radiation.
You may find this concerning because of the negative connotation of the word “radiation.”
However, this is NOT the type of radiation associated with atomic bombs and nuclear disasters.
Microwave ovens produce non-ionizing radiation, which is similar to the radiation from your cellphone except that it is much stronger.
Keep in mind that light is also electromagnetic radiation, so clearly not all “radiation” is bad.
Microwave ovens have metal shields (and metal screens over the window) that prevent the radiation from leaving the oven, so there shouldn’t be any risk of harm.
Given that microwaves are a relatively minor source of radiation, compared to things like cell phones, then I don’t believe this is a good argument against using them.
Just to be on the safe side, don’t press your face against the window and keep your head at least a foot (30 cm) away from the oven. Radiation decreases rapidly with distance.
Also, make sure that your microwave oven is in good repair. If it looks old or broken, or if the door doesn’t close properly, then consider getting a new one.
Bottom Line: Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation, similar to the radiation from cell phones. The way the ovens are designed prevents the radiation from escaping.
End of Part 1 by Kris Gunnars
Tupperware has several product lines that are used in the microwave ovens and they are all BPA Free. I sell the CrystalWave line for storing and reheating your left overs, the Vent N Serve I take a step further and use them to cook in at my Tupperware Demo Parties. The Microwave Rice Cooker, Pasta Maker and the Breakfast Maker are all super helpful items. My personal favorites are the Stack Cooker and the SmartSteamer. Our newest product is the Microwave Pressure Cooker fast becoming a big favorite with everyone.
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