Is microwaving food safe?

Is microwaving food safe? Here is everything you need to know

Microwave is like a hero that saves us when we want to eat quickly. But is there any risk of using it? Read on and find more information

Microwave is considered a lifesaver for those who can’t, or won’t, cook but for chefs, it is an appliance that drags the art of cooking into the gutter. But there is another debate about the positive and negative things about microwaves. 

Are the microwave’s radiation bad for you? According to the World Health Organization, when the microwave is used correctly, there’s nothing to worry about. But there are other concerns that are less clear. Let’s see them. 

1) Heating plastic

According to some scientists, putting plastic containers inside the microwave can be bad for your health. When exposed to heat, these plastic additives can break down and leach into food, leading to phthalates ingesting

Putting plastic containers inside the microwave can be bad for your health

Juming Tang, professor of food engineering at Washington State University explains that some plastics are not designed to use in the microwave. “[That is] because they have polymers inside to make it soft and flexible, which melt at a lower temperature and may leach out during the microwave process if it goes beyond 100C (212F).” 

There are several plastic containers designed to contain food but the majority has chemicals such as Phthalates that can translate into food. As a result, this chemical has been proven to disrupt hormones and the metabolic system. Moreover, in children, it can increase blood pressure and insulin resistance. So the best way to minimize risk is by using microwave-safe materials such as ceramic. 

2) Losing nutrients

Some research has shown that vegetables lose some of their nutritional value in the microwave. However, it depends on the type of vegetable and cooking time. On the one hand, it is said that shorter cooking times didn’t compromise nutritional content. On the other hand, some foods like peas, lose nutrients when microwaved or steamed while others such as green beans do not. 

Some foods like peas, lose nutrients when microwaved or steamed while others such as green beans do not

3) Heat risks

Besides the plastic concern, there are other potential risks of heating food in the microwave. These include uneven heating, and the high temperatures used.

Firstly, it is important that you should consider the microwave to reheat, rather than cook, food, as it may cook unevenly. Secondly, food must be heated until it is 82C (176F) so as to kill any harmful bacteria. Lower temperature can be bad for your health and so do reheating a meal more than once since the bacteria can grow when the food cools. 

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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