by Elise Bowerman
On a cool, crisp October day my husband and I decided to no longer use our microwave. We had slowly moved away from using it, but still kept warming food up with it. It was there and convenient. This meant it had to go out of sight. Into the basement storage room! That was in 2012 – and we’ve never looked back!
Can you believe it?! Do you find it hard to imagine not warming up your cooled coffee, reheating a quick meal for the kids, or even making popcorn without the microwave?! You’re not alone. Our family was in that rut until that October day. We can rely on quick, easy, and convenient technology like the microwave to make our lives better, but does this technology truly support our environment or our health?
It doesn’t. Not at all. Not in the least way. I call it the “poison machine.”
Not only is it important to know what you’re eating, but how it’s cooked is just as significant.
My favorite go-to source for information like this is Dr. Mercola (physician and surgeon.) He’s written a detailed article about the effects of using a microwave. For sure we know microwaves damage the nutritional value of foods. What Dr. Mercola also includes is evidence and discussion about long term effects of how our bodies react to microwaved food and its radiation.
The above article really sums up everything out there... one stop shop by Dr. Mercola. He's awesome.
Become Microwave Free
Use a toaster oven or convection oven to reheat foods. Often they are faster than using the oven.
Meal plan or plan ahead. This one takes effort as it may be a new skill for you. Once or twice a week take out of the freezer what you plan to have thawed. Write it down so the household knows what’s going on for the next few days.
Use the stovetop or oven. It takes a bit to get used to reheating foods this way, because it takes an extra amount of time compared to the seconds of a microwave.
When my kids were bottle fed I simply used a small saucepan, heated with water, and then placed a glass baby bottle in it. It only took a few extra minutes, but worked perfectly.
When dining out: ask if they use microwaves in the kitchen. You’ll be surprised to find out the majority of restaurants use them. It’s unfortunate, but it’s important to be a knowledgeable consumer. As a family we avoid chain restaurants as much as possible, because they are thriving on quick service due to the use of microwaves, then salting their foods to hide the taste of blandness the microwave offers.
Teach your children how to cook real food safely. It's important for kids to know about why they eat certain foods, so it's important for them to know how foods are prepared. We don't eat frozen foods often, as my awesome seven-year-old nephew once called a frozen pie a "chemical pie!"
Children learn by example. Adults are that example. Show them how you enjoy actually tasting your food, and appreciate the art of making it. The kitchen is my least favorite room in the house when I have to be the cook. (I LOVE when someone prepares a meal for me while I sit at the island having conversation... and perhaps enjoying a beer or glass of wine, too.) But my kids believe I enjoy cooking or baking, because I make the effort to include them in the process. They will learn what ingredients are, why we use them, and how they serve our bodies. If they don't know any different, how will they know how to take care of themselves when they're independent?
It takes at least 66 days to develop a new habit. The more resistant you are, it may take longer. The more motivated you are, it may take shorter. For us, within a month we were on a roll – even during the holidays. We went through the holiday season without reheating anything in the microwave. It felt so good!
Start out with one change at a time. Like make popcorn with an air popper. I've used a hot air popper used since childhood. We drizzle coconut oil on top with salt and paprika, too! Yummy!!!