Published on March 24th, 2011 | by Guest Contributor8
Nuking the Microwave: Food Preparation Fundamentals
As the old saying goes, “Health is Wealth”, and this year our family really took that to heart. Emergency room visits, nagging coughs, and unending allergies were really putting our family’s budget into the wallets of hospitals and doctors for the past few years. So we decided it was time to heal the natural way. More than just an apple a day, we overhauled our whole lifestyle. Through our research, we realized that it’s not just about changing our health, but about changing aspects of the way we live.
We’ve known about the natural lifestyle for awhile, and many of our friends and relatives have advocated “going back to nature” by removing all the unnatural things we couldn’t recognize from our diets. To be honest, it was quite an undertaking for the whole family, as we’re used to the convenience and the unhealthiness of eating out, getting takeout, and having food delivered. Sitting down with our kids was important to explain why we were changing our habits and getting them to pitch in with the change. As it turns out, they too were struggling with the food they were eating; getting hungry after an hour and a half, experiencing sugar highs and lows, and not being able to keep up in the school yard during recess.
This is when things started getting exciting in our household. Meals became a group effort with recipes discussed back and forth. Snack ideas tossed around, we started our own vegetable and herb garden. The kids loved the idea of being allowed to play in the dirt. Research was our best friend during those times of transition. We found traveling farmers and nearby counties with delicious natural, organic goodies. Recipes by the bundle were harvested from blogs and websites. We gave away our junk food after finding out what the labels meant. But most of all, we threw out our microwave. After all of our research, we saw how the “wonder appliance” totally altered our food’s whole structure. Even with the best ingredients, a stint in the microwave will basically just nuke your food to oblivion, even after a few seconds. Here are a few things the microwave can do to food.
Problems With Microwaving Food
- Defrosting food in the microwave can create nitrogen in your food. A study found that after defrosting vegetables in the microwave, toxins can form that will be absorbed by the body, and will then wreak havoc in your system.
- Root vegetables can form free radicals after a round in the microwave. Yams, sweet potatoes and the like were found to sprout free radicals, which are cancer-causing and can be quite harmful to the body if absorbed.
- Hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide have been known to form in food after a few seconds in the microwave. These same chemicals are used to clean wounds and be exhausted by cars after combustion. How this happens: the microwave disables electrons when food is cooked inside, making them produce these chemicals instead of the normal water and carbon dioxide when food is heated.
- Infant milk is known to lose its nutrients and immunity-building compounds after being warmed in the microwave. Amino acids found in milk formed carcinogens, and even some cereals were found to form protein hydroselate compounds when heated with milk in the microwave.
- Remember those packages that make microwave food crispier? Stay away from the packaging that does this to food, because when they reach high temperatures, the material PVC (polyvinyl chloride) seeps into food, especially those with high fat contents.
- Plastic wrap on food while heating it up in the microwave is double trouble, as it forms 10,000 more carcinogenic compounds on the food after a nuking for a few seconds.
Microwave-Free Cooking Fundamentals
- Baking. A low-fat alternative to frying, baking uses heat to cook food from the outside in. This retains food nutrients better than frying, but can yield similar results. French fries can be made in the oven using healthier alternatives like canola oil or olive oil, yucca, taro or other root vegetables cut in strips, and voila, more nutritious than your average fast food tub. Just make sure to not put the oven temperature up too high or keep the food in too long to help them retain nutrients.
- Blanching. An alternative to boiling, this process drops food in boiling water for several seconds then drops them in ice cold water to achieve the effects of boiling without losing too much nutrients. For better, tastier options, use water with herbs and spices, and drop in food at the fastest it can be in the water without losing too many nutrients.
- Raw. While technically not a cooking method, eating food at its basest form is a very nutritious method of consumption. While not recommended for meats, this can be done on most vegetables, as long as you properly clean them.
Going natural is easy with the mindset of doing it right, not only for yourself but for your family. So ditch that microwave. Cook food at the time you know you’re going to eat it. Use all natural ingredients. Live as well as you can!
Isabella York is a mother dedicated to a healthy and organic lifestyle, without giving up her life in the process. Along with raising her son, she works for Balsam Hill, a purveyor of Artificial Christmas Trees and Christmas Trees.
Source: Global Healing Center
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Orin Zebest