Microwaving IS safe.

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by MikeMartial, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    Taken from the Nutrition Data website; this topic seems to, for whatever reason, pop up from time to time, and it drives me crazy.

    Is microwaving safe?

    [​IMG] Q. Is it safe to microwave food? Does it affect the nutrient content of foods?

    A. This question came up at the Nutrition and Health conference I recently attended, and it's especially timely given our recent discussions about how to reduce energy use in the kitchen. Microwaving is a very energy efficient way of cooking foods. But many people have concerns about the effect of microwave radiation on foods.

    First off, no radiation remains in the food (or in the oven) following microwaving. As long as your microwave oven seals properly, radiation is not a concern. (If you're unsure, you can buy an inexpensive radiation leakage detector to test the integrity of your seal.)

    But what about the nutritional value? In fact, the nutrient content of microwaved foods may be slightly higher than that of conventionally-cooked foods, because the cooking time is vastly reduced and less water is used. (Long cooking times degrades nutrients and exposure to water leaches vitamins and minerals from foods.)

    There have been some concerns about the effects of microwaving on protein foods, particularly that microwaves denature or otherwise alter protein configuration. All cooking denatures proteins and although I've certainly heard a lot of rumors, I haven't been able to find any conclusive evidence that normal microwaving alters proteins in a way that would be dangerous.

    The main danger associated with microwaving foods is the absorption of dangerous compounds from plastic containers or plastic wrap that comes into contact with the food being cooked. This truly is a concern, even for containers or wraps that are labeled "microwave safe." Use only glass or ceramic containers to microwave foods.

    Microwaving can't always match the results of baking or roasting foods, in terms of taste or texture. For many tasks, however, such as heating liquids, cooking frozen vegetables, or reheating leftovers, it's perfectly acceptable.

    The bottom line? Microwaving offers a quick and energy-efficient way to cook or reheat foods while minimizing nutrient loss. Just keep in mind 3 safety tips:

    1. Never use plastic wrap or containers. Use only glass or ceramic to microwave.
    2. Cover cooking dishes and stir foods during cooking to ensure even heating.
    3. Avoid over-cooking foods.
     
  2. vonanaka

    vonanaka Orange Belt

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    nice find
     
  3. Rowan11088

    Rowan11088 Purple Belt

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    I don't know, doesn't seem very conclusive to me. Basically just a rant. I'd like to see some proof, one way or the other. I'm not concerned with safety at all, just nutritional content...rumors may be just rumors, but they could also be fairly accurate, for all I know.
     
  4. likkuid

    likkuid Brown Belt

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    "stir foods during cooking to ensure even heating." but you said the radiation doesn't remain as long as you have a good seal; wouldn't opening it during cooking "let out" the radiation?
     
  5. KOnah

    KOnah Red Belt

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    Make sure you leave it stand for 1minute after microwaving (just as the instructions say) and I have no concerns.

    All a microwave does is excite the molecules in your food, exactly the same way as cooking it on a stove does. But you must let the microwaves dissipate before eating, else its still cooking (and emitting microwaves) in your mouth/throat/belly.
     
  6. Clint07

    Clint07 You like blood? Violence? Freaks of nature?

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    :icon_conf Ummm The molecules vibrating is not what emits the microwaves. The magnetron in the back of the microwave produces the waves
     
  7. Saith

    Saith UFC poster boy

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    His point was there is no proof to the rumors that microwave heating damages foods in any way. How do you prove something is wrong any other way than by showing there is no evidence to support that claim?

    [​IMG]

    However, if you want to avoid microwaved foods anyway that's your call, and I won't give you any shit for it.
     
  8. TopCat

    TopCat The Most Tip-top

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    Right, the food won't emit microwaves. It'll emit energy in its emission spectrum. Being irradiated just results in it getting hotter (from frictional heating) and emitting more.
     
  9. SnowMongoose

    SnowMongoose Blue Belt

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    Moral of the story: don't be an idiot when you microwave things.
    melting plastic all over your food != great idea
     
  10. Rowan11088

    Rowan11088 Purple Belt

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    You obviously missed the point of what I said. This guy CLAIMS that there is no proof that microwaves damage foods, but cites no sources that actually back this up. Now I haven't looked through any scientific studies on this particular topic (perhaps I will now), but I have seen the claim that microwaves destroy nutrient content in many places stated as fact. So this one guy claiming that there's no proof, then offering no proof of his own, is hardly convincing.
     
  11. ChingChang

    ChingChang White Belt

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    most microwaves turn off when you open them....
     
  12. Jumpman24

    Jumpman24 Black Belt

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    Very good post Mike.

    I've been wondering this for a really long time, glad to finally have a better understading. Thanks for the info.
     
  13. Saith

    Saith UFC poster boy

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    But if there was no proof to begin with in the original rumor, then why do you need to be convinced that the microwave is bad for you? If there's no proof and only rumors, why did that convince you in the first place?
     
  14. ronin0352

    ronin0352 Lift, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

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    Apparently it's that guilty until proven innocent thing.

    Basically if someone says something, even with no evidence to support their claim, they're right unless the accused can provide evidence to prove that there was nothing to prove to begin with.

    Or some ignorant sh*t like that anyway.:rolleyes:

    Rowan11088, if you have no sources saying it's unsafe, why would you believe that over someone who sites their sources telling you that it is?
     

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