The Microwave was created in 1947 by Percy Spencer, then known as a radar range. Countertop microwaves were not introduced until 1955 and were fairly large and expensive. It was another 12 years before the microwave became more adaptable for use in the home.
Microwave ovens are found in 90% of American homes but are they healthy for cooking food? While extremely popular for reheating food, making popcorn and defrosting foods, they do not brown or caramelize foods. As the quality of fresh food has diminished over the past 100 years due to soil erosion, unsustainable farming practices and herbicides and pesticides, cooking in a microwave may further deplete the nutrition from our food supply.
Microwaving quickly heats food but it can also change the chemical structure. Microwaving has the tendency to make some nutrients inactive and when cooking in plastic and paper containers, some carcinogenic toxins can leach into your food. In the past, radiation leaking from the microwave was also a concern though newer models emit very small amounts.
People who have been exposed to radiation, whether from the microwave or other sources, can experience a number of symptoms. People who live near cell phone towers or other high frequency antennas can also suffer symptoms including:
- Insomnia, night sweats and sleep disturbances
- Headaches and dizziness
- Weakened immune system
- Vision and eye problems
- Depression and irritability
Many people use the microwave regularly to prepare their food. In fact, for some seniors who live alone, it’s easier, and often cheaper, to throw a frozen dinner in the microwave than to shop for fresh foods and make meals from scratch.
If you are a caregiver, a friend or family member of an elderly person who lives alone, consider these ideas:
- When making a casserole, meat loaf, lasagna etc…., make enough to take to your loved one. They will appreciate a good meal.
- Make soup, put it in containers and freeze it in one meal portions. Instruct your loved one to heat it on the stove rather than the microwave.
- Take them to out to dinner once a week or a month.
- Invite them to your home for dinner.
- Pack a picnic lunch and take them to the park, a museum or find another activity they enjoy.
Keeping your loved one from eating too many fast-food and microwaved meals will be better for their health and nutrition.