Bidding Farewell to the Microwave Oven

The evidence on the unsafe nature of microwaves is controversial, to be sure. Most people scoff at the idea of microwaves actually doing damage to our bodies and our food, and say the infamous “yeah, well everything causes cancer”. This kind of “stick your fingers in your ears and hum loudly” technique can be pretty dangerous when it comes to your health. We all know somewhere deep down that when you start to research things, and learn about the dangers of the things that the industry tries to pass off as safe, you then have to make tough decisions. Many people would rather live in blissful (unhealthy?!) ignorance, so they don’t bother questioning to begin with. Personally I don’t get this mentality. I’d rather do what I can to live healthfully, for the sake of myself and my family, and that includes reading and researching, gaining as much knowledge as I can to make informed decisions.

In this healthy living journey that our family is on, we are asking some tough questions, such as “is it safe?”, “how sure can we be?”, and “if we’re unsure, can we live without it?”.

The microwave has been under suspicion in my mind for a while, and we’ve recently decided that it’s probably not worth the potential/likely negative health effects for our family. Here are some online articles & blog posts on the dangers of microwaves that influenced our decision:

Global Health Center :: The Proven Dangers of Microwaves

Dr. Mercola :: Why Did the Russians Ban an Appliance Found in 90% of American Homes?

Naturally Knocked Up :: Are Microwaves Dangerous to Your Health?

Keeper of the Home :: Life Without a Microwave Oven

Currently our microwave sits in our garage. When we moved almost two weeks ago, we never brought it in to the kitchen. There’s an opening for it, which currently houses my cookbooks, etc, and I rather like how it looks. We may sell it at some point, when we get around to it.

When we first decided to get rid of it, we (especially my hubby) wondered how we’d do without it. Would it be ridiculously annoying? Well, so far I honestly have not missed it. Here are some examples how we do things differently…

  • To cook/heat up frozen veggies to go with a meal, I throw them in a pot on the stove with a splash of water. They also taste better this way, instead of being “nuked”.
  • To melt butter or anything else for a recipe, etc. I use either a pot on the stove, or the oven. I often measure the butter I need (I find myself melting butter fairly often, since I don’t use industrial oils like canola, corn, or vegetable oil at all), stick it in a glass bowl, and put it in a warm oven. It melts in a few minutes.
  • To heat leftovers, again, I use a pot on the stove (pasta/rice dishes steam nicely in a covered pot with a splash of water), or a covered dish in the oven. I find leftovers taste better and are more evenly heated this way.
  • For defrosting meat, I now have gotten into the habit of taking whatever I need out of the freezer a day or two before, and putting it in the fridge to defrost naturally. Meat tastes better when it’s not partially nuked (ew!) when it goes into the frying pan/oven. If I forget to take something out to defrost, then we improvise, and have a meatless meal (or almost meatless, like last night when we had homemade pizza – the cut up ham in the freezer didn’t really need to be defrosted before being put on the pizza).
  • You can also defrost meat a little quicker by putting it in a sink of cold water for a few hours or longer, depending on what it is.

I can’t really think of any other reason we used the microwave, and even my hubby doesn’t miss it!

So, the question is… will you click those links, and go even further with your own research? Or will you continue living in ignorance? At the very least, I hope you read the available evidence, and come to your own informed conclusions. If you’re not convinced to get rid of your microwave, I’d love to hear your reasoning… I love a good debate/discussion!

It’s up to you!

I am a Food RENEGADE!

(This post has been entered in Food Renegade’s “Fight Back Friday” Weekly Carnival. Check it out here!).


About redandhoney

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22 Responses to Bidding Farewell to the Microwave Oven

  1. naomi says:

    TOO funny.
    I was just saying to Mat about a month ago; “I hope the microwave breaks soon so that we’ll stop using it, because I am not going to buy one to replace it”
    His response: “OK”

  2. I don’t like microwaves! We gave ours away a few months ago and we haven’t missed it at all! Hubby got me a toaster oven to replace it! I heat up all of our food in it. Works great and food taste way better than if we were nuking them in the microwave.

    • redandhoney says:

      I have a toaster oven too, but don’t really know what to do with it! I never grew up with one around, so it’s been sitting on my counter for 2 weeks, unused!

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  4. ButterYum says:

    It’s hard to imagine life pre-microwave, but we certainly survived then just like we would now. They aren’t the most attractive of kitchen appliances either!


  5. Melodie says:

    Great post. Before I married my husband five years ago I gave up my microwave and was very happy about it, and lived without it for about 4 years. Then after a year of marriage hubby couldn’t stand it anymore and went out and bought one. Now I use it again, mostly for re-heating tea or coffee. I still try to use the oven for everything else, much to my husband’s chagrin.

  6. FoodRenegade says:

    Even if I weren’t suspicious of the health effects of microwaves, I *still* wouldn’t use one. That’s because they’re terrible at heating food up. Everything comes out unevenly hot, and then cools down far too quickly to be palatable. Plus it really distorts the texture of foods, too. I never understood their popularity when compared to, say, a good toaster oven.

    Thanks for participating in today’s carnival!

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  7. Milehimama says:

    I have been trying to keep up with the latest developments, but so far I’m not convinced. I used to love Mercola but lately his credibility with me is tarnished. I’m not so sure he’s objective.

    However, in more than one place we’ve lived, we simply had no microwave at all. I found buying a small pan (we’re a family of 10, all of our pots and pans are generally VERY LARGE) was helpful for reheating just one or two servings.

    I’ve never defrosted meat in the microwave. Wouldn’t that just cook the meat? Yuck!

    • redandhoney says:

      Microwaves generally have a “defrost” setting, which is basically just a lower power setting. Even still, it does cook the edges sometimes… white edges on chicken and the rest still raw… brown edges on ground beef, etc. It’s beyond gross. And it tastes yucky when you then cook it, IMO.

  8. Karen says:

    Welcome to Fight Back Fridays! Congratulations on giving up your microwave! I did the same about a month ago. I very rarely miss it. Actually, what I miss most is the space on top for storing “stuff.” 🙂 (Can’t store stuff on top of its replacement, the toaster oven, cause it gets too hot) One day it dawned on me that if I’m going to spend so much time and money cooking healthy foods (grass-fed meat, etc), why ruin the benefits in a microwave?! Nice post!

  9. tina says:

    I use the microwave when I sprout nuts, seeds etc – I leave the door open on the wave and the light stays on and keeps it warm. It’s like my own warming oven.

    I use the toaster oven quite often and couldn’t live w/o it.

  10. tina says:

    I meant warming cupboard not oven

  11. I don’t use my microwave anymore either. We bought a counter top convection oven when our toaster oven lit on fire. It works for all our little projects.

  12. Laura says:

    We threw out the microwave almost 8 years ago. We are a family of five and the kids just got used to heating stuff up the old fashioned way.
    I have not missed it at all. I used to hate hearing the noise it made when it was running.
    Think of the counter space you will gain when you make it disappear!

  13. Linda says:

    Ours broke in Feb. after 14 years. We never replaced it. The only time I miss it is when I need to defrost frozen bread in a pinch. We just do it the “old fashioned”way. Everything heats up on the stove or in the oven. Popcorn in the air popper. Funny how people can’t believe we survive without it.

  14. Kara says:

    I found your blog through Simple Organic and I love this concept. I have found that I hardly use mine since I’ve started cooking from scratch more and using the stove/oven for reheating. I also especially like that I may be moving soon into a place that doesn’t have a microwave already installed…and I think this post may give me the courage to not buy one! Thanks. 🙂

  15. Lisa says:

    Our microwave died several months ago and while I was perfectly happy finding alternate ways of doing things, my husband was not, so he went out and bought a new one. It’s like you said, “stick your fingers in your ears and hum”.
    There are far too many people that do this, we could be a much healthier society if people would just be willing to do a little reading, use a little common sense and realize that their health is worth a little inconvenience sometimes.

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