7 Surprising Reasons Why Your Microwave is Your Paleo BFF
CAVEMEN DID NOT USE A MICROWAVE!
Yeah, I’m fully aware of the fact that microwaves were not around in prehistoric times. In fact, they were invented by Percy Spencer shortly afer WW2, and the first one was sold in 1947.
So, why is it ok (and in fact, really good) for us to use a microwave when our ancestors managed to live perfect fine without it?
Well, below are my 7 top reasons (I’ve tried to keep too much physics out of it, although the physics of how a microwave oven works is what will really open your eyes to just how OK using a microwave is).
- MICROWAVE OVENS ARE NOT DANGEROUS!
- MICROWAVING MAY INCREASE NUTRIENTS
- MICROWAVING MAY SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE
- MICROWAVES CAN SAVE YOUR DIET
- ANYONE CAN MICROWAVE
- MICROWAVES MAY SAVE YOU FROM BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
- MICROWAVES ARE AS PALEO AS YOUR COMPUTER/PHONE/TABLET DEVICE
OMG, I can’t emphasize this one enough. If you think you’re getting radiation poisoning from your microwave, then you don’t believe in anything based on science!
Microwaves (the invisible waves that cook your food inside the microwave oven) are radio waves with a certain range of wavelengths.
Microwaves are naturally occurring – it’s emitted from the Sun as well as every other warm thing. You emit microwaves because you’re warm!
Additionally, very very little microwaves escape from a microwave oven. In fact, even if you drill a hole in your microwave, very very little microwave radiation will escape!
Shocking??? Well, not if you look at the science behind microwaves…
Microwaves have fairly long wavelengths (approx 12cm or 4-5 inches) and so holes smaller than 12cm in diameter won’t let much of those waves through. It’s like trying to fit a grown man through a cat flap…just not going to happen.
This is pure physics from a physicist! Trust me on this one – I studied physics for a long time.
I know many of you will point out that a little bit of microwave radiation does escape, so here is my answer.
It is a MINUSCULE AMOUNT, and nothing has shown that such a small amount is harmful to us (Mark Sisson raises this issue but doesn’t point to any studies suggesting it’s harmful). If you’re really worried about that tiny amount of microwaves escaping, then just stand further from the microwave. The amount of microwaves that can reach you decreases exponentially when you are further away from the oven.
And to keep beating this dead horse, microwaves are a type of non-ionizing radiation, which means they are different to radiation like X-Rays and Gamma Rays that are ionizing radiation and has been directly linked to causing cancer in high doses.
“But I want my house to be a radiation-free zone.”
I hear you – radiation is some scary stuff, but you should know the facts before you go espousing some pointless cause.
There is radiation all around you from natural sources (that has completely nothing to do with mankind). In fact, much of the radiation comes from rocks, the Sun, the sky, and your own body. Berkeley has this cool pie chart on their website here, which illustrates that only one quarter of your annual radiation exposure comes from manmade radiation sources.
So, to be radiation-free, you’d have to escape out of this universe literally. Good luck with that.
Contrary to belief, studies are suggesting that in many cases you get to keep more nutrients in your food when you nuke than many other cooking methods (apart from steaming perhaps). Mark cites a lot of studies and provides a very good analysis of them here.
Chris Kresser also reaches the same conclusion: “the balance of studies seem to suggest that microwaving is safe, doesn’t reduce nutrient levels, and may even reduce nutrient levels less than some other forms of cooking, although the studies did seem to suggest that using lower settings on the microwave is probably better for preserving nutrients.”
I’m not big on washing up. I end up cooking all the time, and so it annoys me to have to wash up after cooking.
Jeremy is a darling and tries to remember to wash up, but he will inevitably forget, and then we will argue…
But when you microwave, you place your frozen or refrigerated dinner (prepared over the weekend or in the slow cooker overnight) on a plate, stick that plate for a few minutes in the microwave, and then eat off that same plate. That’s ONE PLATE to wash up per person.
Ever get home exhausted and just want to get pizza or a burger instead of having to cook? Yeah, that happens to me a lot.
That’s when just sticking some leftover refrigerated or frozen Paleo food into a microwave is almost more convenient than ordering pizza!
Anyone can use a microwave. If you think you can’t do Paleo because you don’t know how to cook, then you’re making crazy excuses.
Armed with just a slow cooker and a microwave, ANYONE can do Paleo!
I really mean that.
You can even make eggs and bacon in a microwave. And let’s not forget microwave Paleo bread (one of my favs). Bread in 90 seconds. I challenge you to mess that up.
I have come close to burning down my apartment MANY MANY TIMES.
Believe it or not, hard boiling eggs is my biggest risk, but that’s a story for another day.
With a microwave, there’s that beautiful timer, and then it stops automatically so you don’t have to stress about forgetting to turn of the stove when you leave the house.
I want to round out this list by going back to what I started with – that cavemen did not have microwaves.
If you feel that we shouldn’t microwave our food because cavemen didn’t have microwaves, then let me tell you that you’re a hypocrite (sorry!).
Cavemen also did not have whatever device you’re reading this article on, but yet you’re using that!
So, as far as I’m concerned, microwaves ARE Paleo! In fact, they’re SUPER PALEO, because they help me to STAY PALEO!
So, what are your thoughts? I know many people have strong views on microwaving their food, but PLEASE keep your comments polite