Monday, June 6, 2011

Living without a microwave

In January I wrote a post about resolutions and how our family was instituting some permanent changes to the way we cook for 2011. As part of that, we made the decision to get rid of our microwave and replace it with a large convection toaster oven. I was a bit hesitant to take the plunge because I knew it would make things less convenient for us, but my husband and I agreed that it was a good decision for our family.
In case you aren’t aware, microwave ovens actually destroy the nutrients in your food and can have other harmful effects. Dr. Mercola wrote a great piece on the various hazards of using a microwave. Here are a few quotes I pulled from the article:
Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in it to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat your food, what most people fail to realize is that it also causes a change in your food’s chemical structure.
According to Powerwatch, a non-profit independent organization with a central role in the microwave radiation debate:
“Even when the microwave oven is working correctly, the microwave levels within the kitchen are likely to be significantly higher than those from any nearby cellular phone base-stations. Remember also that microwaves will travel through walls if the microwave oven is against an inside wall.”
The handful of studies that have been done generally agree, for the most part, that microwaving food damages its nutritional value. Your microwave turns your beautiful, organic veggies, for which you’ve paid such a premium in money or labor, into “dead” food that can cause disease!
When I began my search, I was looking for a toaster oven with convection that was large enough to fit a 9 x 13 pan or my large skillet. I also wanted a model with lots of positive consumer reviews because I had never used a toaster oven before and I needed as much information as possible. We ended up buying an extra large Oster like the one pictured here.
At first it took a little while to get used to how much time things would take to make. It was no longer a simple matter of throwing something in to be reheated or cooked really fast. It took more effort and planning but the results were better than I expected. Now I don’t even think twice about the time.  
We’ve had the toaster oven for more than 4 months now and we’ve fully adjusted to our new way of life. I hardly ever use my regular oven now. It uses less energy than my standard oven and the convection feature helps cook things faster and more evenly.
To solidify our commitment to the microwave-free lifestyle, we gave away our old microwave! Some of my friends think I am absolutely, positively nuts. My friends who are much more fluent in natural health than I am wonder why it took me so long to get rid of my microwave.
Do you think you could live without your microwave?       
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