A Microwave Dilema

ImageI have been NOT using my microwave for a long time. I haven’t had microwave popcorn in years; I haven’t outright cooked anything in it since the days when I was living at home and my parent’s got their first one! 

The micro-nuker has become something of a staging area next to my stove: a line-up of spices at my ready, a station for cutting boards with chopped veggies enlisted to got into the pots-n-pans on the cook top. I’ve stored things in it; small pots, storage containers and the likes. I use it on the rare baking day when I soften-up butter quick (cos I forgot to take it out earlier!)  And its most frequent use is, the ever popular, simple reheating function (that second cup of “Johan”, dinner, soups …etc.)

It does get in the way. I could use the space for something more useful, (my juicer? blender?) truthfully.

And now, its broken. It wasn’t even acting up, or showing signs of physical damage. It just stopped spinning the plate, and making awful grinding noises as the entire mechanics of it sounds like its going to blow-up.

A few days have gone by, and I am honestly on the fence about replacing it.

I love the convenience; and let’s face it, it really is a staple piece of equipment when it comes to convenience! I sound like the “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials, rationalizing my microwave usage: I don’t use it much, but when I do, it’s for something really important.

But the rest of the sentence could be replaced with “its for something I could do just as easily on the stove, with other pots, pans and utensils I also happen to own”.

If I think about it, method of cooking seems questionable…somewhat….possibly? The “bombarding” of food with electromagnetic radiation just doesn’t sound good. But this just causes the water molecules to rapidly vibrate, causing friction and heat, and thusly, cooking!

How is it, that the denaturing of proteins by direct or indirect heat just doesn’t seem to sound as bad? They both are outside forces that change the internal structure the food, rendering them “cooked”.  (not to mention the debate of the possible cancer causing browning of meats by other methods of cooking)

Is it just that cooking is bad in general ? ( Is back to researching and playing with the raw food diets!?)

I think the issue I am having really lies in the fact that we live in a disposable society. When something has just outlived its warranty, have you noticed that it just seems to stop working, or break and fall apart? Its cheaper to buy new to replace something, rather than fix things.

So then I think that everything is just cheaply made to begin with. One could wonder about the general safety of parts and construction of all sorts of things. And, in the microwave’s case,  how much earlier than its actual “break-down” does it become unsafe to use? We don’t even know when, because we cant see, hear or smell “it”.

I did find a site on-line that walks you through diagnosing and repairing your own microwave…really? If the thing I am using has a capacitor, I sure I’m calling “Doc Brown” to put it back into that DeLorean!  Seriously though, I don’t think most people are ready to “break into” microwave and change out parts. What if the casing, that protective shell, becomes compromised? And now you have it working, but emitting the electromagnetic radiation.

Reasons to NOT get a new one: I don’t rely on it, it takes up space that could be use otherwise, everything I do use it for can be done “traditionally” in a less potentially harmful way, and it will save energy and my carbon footprint will be smaller. All logical, and feel-good reasons. Agreed.

BUT, I am not above admitting I really do like the convenience. That is the only logical reason I have to replace my microwave.  (Here comes “Dos XX”-talk again: It would just be to reheat things, and soften butter and coconut oils.)

Its a fine-line here; and in today’s busy world with so many advantages and conveniences that carry hidden dangers, we have to pick and choose our battles. We each have to decide for ourselves if the benefits outweigh the costs. It isn’t right or wrong to have a microwave, that’s for sure! It depends on you, and what is right for you.

At the present moment, I have not decided. I am going to mull this over some more. I don’t think I am missing it too much, and may not replace it. It will give me a chance to go through the rest of my kitchen cookware and gadgetry and upgrade those items to more permanent pieces as well.

Coming soon….other Healthy Cookware Choices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven

http://www.health-science.com/microwave_hazards.html

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/repairmicrowave#.UwoJsISUOM8

 

 

 

 

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