Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nuke It!

Eco-conscious families seem to have a multitude of conflicting arguments about microwave usage, each one as valid as the others. I myself have mixed feelings about the ol' nuke boils down to this for me:


Microwaves are appliances. They are just one more thing--and not at all necessary one--that will end up in a landfill.

They cook food using radiation. Determined to be safe? Yes. A little creepy still? Yep.

They make it easier, and therefor more tempting, to eat processed convenience food.

But I have one. Here's why:

It came with my house.

I don't stand directly in front of it when it's in use (which is often majorly inconvenient).

Sure, it's easier to cook processed junk, but it's also easier to reheat my leftovers and pre-(home)cooked meals.

It uses less energy to thaw/reheat/cook than my stove top.

It uses less energy indirectly during summer months, because my stove and oven make my house hot, which makes my air conditioning work harder.

So, what are your thoughts on microwaves? Do you have one? Do you use it often? Do tell!


Lisa said...

I use my microwave only for two things... reheating leftovers, and thawing meat. Some types of leftovers, like already cooked pastas, are very difficult to reheat on the stove, and take forever in the oven or toaster oven. The microwave is WAY more energy efficient. As for thawing meat... I buy meat in bulk and freeze it in portions. I NEVER remember to take it out of the freezer the night before, so the microwave becomes the quick option with the most food safety.

I do get worried about it sometimes, though, so I try not to heat things up in plastic containers, and discourage my son (who is two) from touching it. Just one microwaved toy car could start a house fire.

Jana Burrow said...

Since I haven't really bought or used any processed foods in a while, I find that I never use my microwave for anything other than reheating, which I rarely do anyway! SO, I have one that I hardly ever use :-)

Jen said...

I actually use mine a lot. Since I make all of Joseph's food and freeze it, I end up reheating cubes and defrosting stuff a lot in there. There isn't a fast easy way to thaw or heat a 1oz cube of sweet potatoes besides a microwave, unfortunately.

Soyager said...

We use our microwave for reheating, and I would rather not use it for that. Alas, it has become part of our lifestyle.

There is some research to support the idea that food reheated or cooked with HEAT (stovetop or oven) is healthier, as it maintains the nutritional integrity of the food or even "wakens" the energy of the food. Microwaving tends to kill those naturally-occurring reactions.