Microwaving food - how bad is it? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-04-2008, 05:45 AM
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I was arguing with someone who said that microwaving food is no worse than cooking it in the oven or boiling it. Could someone give me some good scientific information as to how microwaving food is bad?
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#2 Old 02-04-2008, 06:37 AM
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Microwaved veg loses nutrients:



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3188558.stm



although I have read the total opposite (which I cant find) which says it is BETTER to microwave vegetables.





Pesky scientists contradict each other all the time.
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#3 Old 02-04-2008, 06:41 AM
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I microwave some things. I'm just careful not to microwave in plastic because my own personal belief (that is not really founded on any scientific knowledge) is that plastic and the microwave don't mix. I have in the past over nuked something and it had a plastic taste. That was enough for me to know to never micro in plastic. That said, the microwave still freaks me out a little.



Sorry for the lack of science
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#4 Old 02-04-2008, 07:00 AM
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Perhaps it is because you are more likely to overcook something in a microwave than you are on the hob as you aren't watching it as closely? I don't know though. I think it largely depends on what and how you are cooking something.
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#5 Old 02-04-2008, 07:07 AM
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I only ever use the microwave to re-heat meals. Maybe they lose some nutrients, I don't know. I don't really care after a long day at work when I'm starving!!!
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#6 Old 02-04-2008, 08:11 AM
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Why would microwave cooking be bad (for the food that is)? It doesn't ionize anything, it just causes water, fats, sugars, (and some other substances with dipoles) to rotate (called dielectric heating). This movement causes the item to heat up.



We're bombarded by microwaves all day from wireless networks, etc all day.



I agree with Beachbnny though, plastics (any plastics) and the microwave don't mix.

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#7 Old 02-04-2008, 08:53 AM
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Microwaving may destroy nutrients, but doesn't boiling and otherwise heating food above 115˚F destroy nutrients too?



I remember learning about microwave ovens in uni a few years ago, and I think it's as nogardsram said: they do nothing more than cause certain molecules to vibrate, which makes them hot.
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#8 Old 02-04-2008, 09:34 AM
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I've heard a lot of people saying lately that microwaving is bad for you.

My friend has recently been quoting a study (which I have not found a source for yet)

where plants were given either regular tap water, or tap water that had been microwaved, then cooled. The plants fed the microwaved water did not thrive the same way.



*shrug*



Personally, I'm too lazy to always cook using the stove. I eat healthier because I can steam veggies in the microwave

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#9 Old 02-04-2008, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synergy View Post

Personally, I'm too lazy to always cook using the stove. I eat healthier because I can steam veggies in the microwave



Me too

And if you cook something in the same bowl youre eating it out of, less washing up!
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#10 Old 02-04-2008, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synergy View Post

I've heard a lot of people saying lately that microwaving is bad for you.

My friend has recently been quoting a study (which I have not found a source for yet)

where plants were given either regular tap water, or tap water that had been microwaved, then cooled. The plants fed the microwaved water did not thrive the same way.



A better study would probably be to give one plant tap water that had been microwaved, and give the other plant tap water that had been boiled.
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#11 Old 02-04-2008, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synergy View Post

I've heard a lot of people saying lately that microwaving is bad for you.

My friend has recently been quoting a study (which I have not found a source for yet)

where plants were given either regular tap water, or tap water that had been microwaved, then cooled. The plants fed the microwaved water did not thrive the same way.



That study doesn't sound very well designed. The control (or a second one) should have been the same tap water boiled traditionally, then cooled. The study was meant to test whether a particular heating method was harmful and yet there was no other heating method included in the design! There were two water variables (heated, unheated and microwaved, not microwaved) but they were not independently tested. All one can conclude from these results is that tap water that has been heated OR heated in the microwave may not be as good as normal, unheated, unmicrowaved, tap water for plants. Shoddy science! It might have just been that the basic act of heating water kills off or alters the chemical structure of some nutrients that plants need. After all, most plants don't naturally get boiled water... ;-)
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#12 Old 02-04-2008, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synergy View Post

I've heard a lot of people saying lately that microwaving is bad for you.

My friend has recently been quoting a study (which I have not found a source for yet)

where plants were given either regular tap water, or tap water that had been microwaved, then cooled. The plants fed the microwaved water did not thrive the same way.



I'd have to see more of that study. As others have stated, it doesn't sound like a study based on science, and it doesn't make sense.

I believe everything.
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#13 Old 02-04-2008, 07:22 PM
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I try not to use the microwave too much. I prefer to cook one portion of a meal and eat it right there. If I have to microwave something, I don't overheat it, and I avoid using plastic wherever possible.



There's so many things we fear thee days... sigh.
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#14 Old 02-04-2008, 07:43 PM
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I agree the study doesn't sound well designed and I have no idea what kind of sample size they had, and how they were measuring results.



I have a feeling it's just another attempt at a scare tactic.

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#15 Old 02-04-2008, 07:55 PM
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I have bigger day to day concerns than whether my microwaved oatmeal is problematic. That's the majority of the "cooking" I do in the microwave.



Occasionally I'll steam veggies in the microwave, but that's like... once every other month? Not too often. Other than that, I reheat things, and melt chocolate. :P

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#16 Old 02-04-2008, 08:07 PM
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#17 Old 02-04-2008, 08:16 PM
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#18 Old 02-04-2008, 08:31 PM
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Microwaves are bad because they take up space in the kitchen and they burn holes in one side of your food while leaving the other frozen.
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#19 Old 02-04-2008, 08:37 PM
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Well, that is reason enough to not use them!!!

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#20 Old 02-04-2008, 09:41 PM
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I just don't use them. Call me paranoid. They just freak me out a little.



So does the aluminum foil in my hat but it's there to keep the aliens from sucking my brain.



No, seriously, I'm a firm believer in in the validity of conspiracy theories. I think they're part of a government plot to remove all nutrients from our food.
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#21 Old 02-04-2008, 09:44 PM
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"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#22 Old 02-04-2008, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwerks View Post

Microwaves are bad because they take up space in the kitchen and they burn holes in one side of your food while leaving the other frozen.




I believe everything.
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#23 Old 02-05-2008, 12:48 PM
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Theyre also very bad for the health of poodles and human infants, to which decades of urban legend will attest.
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