Safety of Food Cooked in Microwave oven
Recently I got this disturbing message!!!
“Food cooked in microwave oven is bad for humans. Also, the Japanese Government is likely to ban the use of microwave oven!”
Nothing could be further than the truth.
Lies are spread faster in electronic media.
People who stand afar from the truth spread these messages that seem appealingly true! We rarely get to know the originator of such lies. And many people fall prey to such misinformation.
It is true that there are many objections raised against the cooking of food in a microwave oven. Some claim ‘it may destroy nutrients in food’, and others say ‘it destroys antioxidants’. Some reports even falsely claim of ‘eating food cooked in a microwave oven can cause cancer’.
These are all baseless allegations! We shall see the facts with the reason for each one of them.
Understanding the basic concept of microwaves
Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They have wavelengths varying from one meter to one millimeter. The very name suggests that they are small (shorter wavelength) than the radio waves.
Widespread use of microwaves
We already know that microwaves are widely used in the kitchen for cooking food.
However, that’s not all!
Microwaves are also used in various other fields. It is used in wireless networks; radar, satellite and spacecraft communication. It is also seen in TV Broadcasting.
Microwaves play a role in telecommunication including mobile phones. It is used in medical diathermy, spectroscopy, and industrial heating. Microwaves are also used in collision avoidance systems, garage door openers, and keyless entry systems.
Hazards of using the Microwave oven
Like any equipment, improper use of microwave oven presents a different set of hazards.
To avoid these hazards, one needs to use the microwave oven as advised by the manufacturer. Right from how-to and where to place it. The user must also take precautions to close the door of the oven properly while in use.
Liability of manufacturers
Like most equipment, the microwave oven is built with complete security in mind. The design of microwave ovens ensures that the microwaves are contained within the oven.
Further, the microwaves are generated when the oven is switched on with the door of the oven shut. Leakages of microwaves around and through the glass door are limited by design to a level well below the recommended number by international standards.
Although microwave ovens can leak radiation, the levels that might be released are fairly minute.
Further, the radiation levels drop sharply with increasing distance. It has been shown that the levels two feet away are about one-hundredth the amount at two inches.
Precautions we prescribe in using a microwave oven
However, leakage can occur from the damaged or unclean microwave oven. Here are a few precautions you must follow while using a microwave oven:
- To prevent leakage, the door seals should be kept clean.
- Seals need to be intact.
- The outer casing must be damage-free.
- Old or faulty door seals are the most common causes of microwave radiation leakage.
- Do not use the oven till the oven is repaired by a qualified technician replacing the damaged parts.
Benefits of using a Microwave oven
Microwave cookery offers many advantages.
- It saves time because of quicker cooking.
- It saves energy while offering a clean and easy method of handling food.
- Reheating food in a microwave oven is better.
Microwave Oven: Fact vs Myth
Fact: Microwave oven-cooked food has a slight advantage over conventional cooking.
It was thought that since the cooking in the microwave is quicker, microwaving may preserve nutrients in comparison with traditional cooking methods.
This assumption was based on the fact that boiling vegetables tends to leach out the soluble vitamins into the cooking water. Conventional ovens expose food too much longer cooking times and higher temperatures.
However, preliminary studies have not confirmed this presumption. Though there could be a slight advantage in favor of the microwave method.
Myth: Microwave cooked food can increase the risk of causing cancer.
The food cooked in a microwave oven is as safe as that made by the normal cooking method.
Since there are no changes in the quality of food prepared by the microwave method, obviously, there is no reason to believe that microwave cooked food can increase the risk of causing cancer.
Fact: There is a possibility of uneven cooking
Precaution: Due to the uneven distribution of heat, there is a possibility of uneven cooking. Hence food cooked in the microwave oven should be kept undisturbed. This will allow even distribution of heat throughout the food allowing proper cooking.
Conclusion: Food cooked in Microwave Oven is Safe
To sum up, properly maintained and used microwave oven offers huge convenience. When cooked properly, microwave cooked foods are as safe as normally cooked food with a likelihood of better conservation of vitamins.
There is no enhanced cancer risk and that no government has banned the microwave ovens.