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?       


Cari said...

I'm right there with you. No microwave for us either. I do miss the ease of it all, but really it's not so bad anymore. Nice convection though!

Yvette said...

I no longer microwave anything for my boys, but I do use it sometimes to heat up leftovers for my husband and me. I'd love to get rid of it! I'm glad you wrote about what your replacement; I can't wait to look into it more!

Yvette said...

Sorry, what your repalcement *was*.

Accidental Expert said...

Oh, that would be a tough one. But I've been wanting a convection oven too. Sounds great.

Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

Cari, good for you!

Yvette, let me know if you go microwave-free! :-)

AE, it's not as hard as you think it might be. Truly! Let the idea simmer for a while and then maybe revisit it and give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

We might give it a go too!

Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

Go for it, Anonymous! :-)

Anonymous said...

We have been microwave free since our last one died at just about the very same time our two boys were both regressing/health going down, and then to their Autism DX...and its been pretty freeing to say the least..
AND we have saved money because before we would think about making extra pasta/rice/hard to reheat in an oven type of foods because we could nuke it the next day for leftovers..and more times tah. Not we never did and they were just tossed away and wasted anyway!!!
Now we still utilize leftovers b we are so much more conscious about the amounts of food we buy, which has allowed us a a squeaky tight budget to keep as organic as possible for everything!!

I am anxious though to try convection! I have been for sometime, it's been about 5-6 YEARS (wow seems much longer when I type it than it's actually FELT these past 5-6 years! ) since we have been micro free...

It's been great the last year or so as more are getting educated and taking control of their own health and well being that it's gone from "you are crazy, we have a micro you can have of you cant afford one" to "wow, I want tonreallys top using ours too, you have great willpower!"

I never thought the day would come when I would explain it's a CHOICE not to have a micro rather than a financial sacrifice! Lol!

Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

GREAT comment, Anonymous! I, too, find that I am much more mindful of the food I prepare. It has been a good exercise for us to make the change.

Rosie said...

Thanks for posting the link on my FB page...I really want to do away with it. We cook so fresh and clean that we really don't use it but to heat leftovers....which we could do in a toaster oven. I'm going to talk to my husband about taking it away for 2 weeks as a trial!

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