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votes

So there's no evidence that microwaves are bad, right?

Commented on October 31, 2013
Created October 30, 2013 at 6:30 PM

In the sense that they don't cancer-ify your food and destroy all the nutrients in a few seconds or something? I really don't feel like dirtying another pot or skillet to reheat this lobster.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 31, 2013
at 05:52 PM

While it's true that the absence of evidence cannot prove anything, it certainly suggests something. Maybe I took it too far and said they're never be anything truly damning about them, but it's quite unlikely.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 31, 2013
at 03:17 PM

use google with the site:paleohacks.com tag, i.e.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=are+microwaves+bad+site%3Apaleohacks.com

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on October 31, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Ah yes, as with most things broad generalizations don't universally work, and I am just as guilty as any other person of making them.

I was more trying to say, "Don't try to do your Christmas turkey in the microwave".

D371623b5671d11fa678b201ff23442b

on October 31, 2013
at 01:38 PM

Search bar doesn't seem to be working properly, but I figured this was asked before.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 31, 2013
at 01:16 PM

There's no real difference between a microwave chemical reactor and a conventional microwave. In fact, my microwave reactor is a mere 300W, most household microwaves are 700-1200 W. There's been no documented effect due solely to microwaves that I am aware of in chemical studies.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 31, 2013
at 01:12 PM

Has this been shown to anything more than a computational effect?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 31, 2013
at 05:22 AM

I wonder what the science is behind why microwaved food often tastes worse than other methods.

Edit: Interesting stuff.

Medium avatar

(238)

on October 31, 2013
at 05:18 AM

I cook raw sweet potatoes several times a week. The exterior is not charred and the interior is perfectly cooked. Not sure what you are talking about.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 31, 2013
at 05:15 AM

"Microwave-assisted high-speed chemistry: a new technique in drug discovery: The efficiency of microwave flash-heating chemistry in dramatically reducing reaction times (reduced from days and hours to minutes and seconds)."

I don't think Grok would have cooked his food in a 'microwave chemical reactor' used for fast drug discovery of diverse compounds.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 31, 2013
at 04:57 AM

What are your thoughts on terahertz scanners / radiation? Just thermal effects?

(Even when you point them at animals, ripping apart their DNA and try to study it, the research is quite difficult to prove.)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 31, 2013
at 04:48 AM

Blasting electromagnetic radiation at your food until it cooks itself isn't exactly same same kind of 'thermal effects' as cooking with fire or an oven. It's the kind of effect that lets you run a reaction that would take hours in minutes. (superheating.) The research is still out on this one, it's been debated back and forth for about a decade now. Agree to disagree. I prefer not to eat from a 'microwave chemical reactor.'

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 31, 2013
at 12:27 AM

I happen to use a microwave chemical reactor on a nearly daily basis (it's right next to my lab bench), so I've read up quite a bit about it. There is no magic to microwaves, it's all thermal effects, nothing more, nothing less. The success of microwave heating in chemical synthesis comes down to localized superheating (which we all know happens in the microwave all the time!)

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 30, 2013
at 09:42 PM

i dissaprove of this logic

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 30, 2013
at 09:32 PM

People smoked cigarettes for decades. The USDA food pyramid has been in use for decades. It can take a while for issues to manifest enough to warrant study, then to find a way to do it in a reproducible environment and present a convincing argument. Cooking with microwave radiation is `unnatural` as far as I'm concerned.

"Microwave assisted organic synthesis is a technique which can be used to rapidly explore 'chemistry space' and increase the diversity of the compounds produced."

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 30, 2013
at 09:17 PM

Microwaves have been in use for decades, if there's nothing damning them yet, there's not going to be.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 30, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Lobster + microwave sounds like sacrilege.

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7 Answers

0
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on October 31, 2013
at 04:19 PM

Robb Wolf discusses microwaves on a couple different occasions:

Podcast 84 [2:46] Microwaving

Episode 156 [45:31] Microwaving and Steam Bags

Basically, he says they're safe.

0
3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on October 31, 2013
at 03:09 AM

Really, between microwaves and fire, fire seems much more likely to cause large, unhealthy, changes to a food (e.g. charcoaling your steak). Speaking from a culinary angle microwaves are different enough from fire that it will produce different flavors and textures, so it should be avoided as a substitute in that respect.

In terms of physical harm it is absolutely analogous to fire. Wonderfully useful and harmless if handled correctly, potentially dangerous if not. Modern microwaves are fine, but the really old ones were poorly sealed and HILARIOUSLY (read: seriously) overpowered.

EDIT: Absolutely do not use microwaves to cook raw food. They just do not do a good job of this and will either leave the interior raw or the exterior charred.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 31, 2013
at 05:22 AM

I wonder what the science is behind why microwaved food often tastes worse than other methods.

Edit: Interesting stuff.

Medium avatar

(238)

on October 31, 2013
at 05:18 AM

I cook raw sweet potatoes several times a week. The exterior is not charred and the interior is perfectly cooked. Not sure what you are talking about.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on October 31, 2013
at 02:05 AM

When fire first became all the rage, at least half the people were dead set against it. Grok junior said I'm not throwing my Woolly Mammoth ribs into that flaming disaster, it will give us cancer for sure.

I use it all the time but I stand away from it as I'm not sure about rearranging my brain cells.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 31, 2013
at 01:27 AM

D371623b5671d11fa678b201ff23442b

on October 31, 2013
at 01:38 PM

Search bar doesn't seem to be working properly, but I figured this was asked before.

0
Medium avatar

on October 30, 2013
at 08:08 PM

The thing about microwaves is that they agitate molecules and super-heat parts of your food while leaving other parts cooler. Ever microwave something frozen and end up burning the edges while the middle is still hard? The agitated molecules thing kind of worries me. Heating up your food by spinning water and wiggling carbs/fat molecules seems weird but it works and it's CONVENIENT!

No - they don't do anything drastic to your food. Yes, in some cases, they destroy some micronutrients and defile your macros. Microwaving a potato instead of boiling them bumps up the glycemic index and destroys those nifty resistant starches that feed your gut flora. Of course, baking them is somewhere in between and most of us don't want to exclusively boil potatoes, so make a trade off and bake or mocrowave occatinally.

It's not enough to worry about as long as you're not on a microwave diet. Using it to "cook" your food might have unwanted consequences, but re-heating things is harmless.

There are even some cases in which microwave "cooking" is said to leave your veggies more nutritious than boiling/baking. Water saps the goodies out of broccoli for instance, as well as time spent in high heat. You can nuke your broccoli with less water and less time, potentially keeping more nutrients. Of course, since the edges got hotter, some of the nutrients on the outskirts will be destroyed.

And no - I didn't cite any sources. Trust me; I'm smart.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 30, 2013
at 08:01 PM

I try to limit my use of the microwave. No major evidence as of yet. The Weston A. Price foundation recommends not using one.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 30, 2013
at 09:17 PM

Microwaves have been in use for decades, if there's nothing damning them yet, there's not going to be.

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