Dinner Diva: Can you live without the microwave?

I don’t use a microwave and this has nothing to do with following a Paleo lifestyle. I started avoiding microwaves when I was a new mother. My distaste for microwaves actually came from a lactation nurse. A week after my son was born, he was in the hospital for a week with RSV. He was too sick to nurse, so I was pumping a lot. The nurses froze the breast milk for me to take home with me, but I was given instructions to NOT microwave it, not even for 20 seconds.

When I asked why the nurse said that nuking it would kill all of the nutrients and enzymes in the milk and I’d be left with nothing.

If breast milk is stripped of its nutrients when microwaved, then what about vegetables, eggs, and meat?

A microwave is a nutrient zapper. Plain and simple. And when you’re dishing out a fortune on healthy foods, which we already know are depleted of many of their minerals and vitamins by the time we buy them, why would you want to remove all that nutrition in the name of convenience? In fact, those nutrients that are removed from vegetables through microwaving are transformed into carcinogenic free radicals.

The Russians banned microwaves back in 1976. The following reasons were cited in some very dated literature, so I can’t know for sure how scientific these findings were, but they are enough for me to unplug the microwave for good:

• Thawing frozen fruits in the microwave turned some of their compounds into carcinogens
• Microwaved plants (especially root veggies) were found to have carcinogenic free radicals
• Even short amounts of time in the microwave turned plant alkaloids in cooked, raw, and frozen veggies into carcinogens
• When microwaving grains and milk, amino acids were converted into carcinogenic substances

Russian investigators found carcinogens in almost all of the microwaved food that they tested.
I know what you’re thinking . . . “But Leanne! How will I live without a microwave?”

You learn to get by! We didn’t have microwaves in our kitchens prior to the mid to late 80s. We got by just fine back then!

We should be eating raw foods more often anyway, so here’s a good excuse to bulk up on the raw leafy greens with every meal (yes, even breakfast).

Instead of sticking frozen food in the microwave to thaw it, use your refrigerator. You can also use a bowl of cold water to thaw your food.

Reheat foods in a toaster oven, a saucepan, or in a frying pan, depending on what you’re dealing with.

Casseroles do fine in the oven (reheat foods at a temperature of 200-250), leftover pizza is delicious reheated in the frying pan, and soups or coffee can be heated in a saucepan on the stove! Trust me when

I tell you food tastes better this way, too.

Will it be hard to get used to life without the microwave? For a day or two. But it’s like anything else. You will learn to adapt!
PS– Going back to the Paleo lifestyle, have you heard about the latest 30 Day Paleo Challenge?

0 Responses

  1. I am an organic non GMO vegetarian. 25 years ago I was near death with collapsed lungs. this diet, and no microwave,please, has given me full health at 75+ age. I take almost no medications. In those days I read that plants grown with water boiled in microwave died while those grown with water boiled over the stove thrived. The study was done by a reputed scientist in Thialnad. I have no microwave since then . Go green and stay with nature given products and enjoy life.
    IM Boston.

  2. We’ve lived without a microwave for years now. Don’t miss it! And I have more room on my kitchen counters!! It really isn’t that hard to reheat something on the stove. And to make REAL popcorn. It taste so much better without the microwave. My kids don’t even know what a microwave is!

  3. the electronic controls quit working on our built-in microwave/exhaust fan over the stove. Because I had read info about nutrient loss, we decided not to repair the microwave. As long as the exhaust fan part works, we’ll keep using the microwave as a breadbox!!! It was very easy to adjust to cooking again, and in hindsight, I’m happy that it broke!!!

  4. My husband and I have never owned a microwave in the 18 years we’ve been married. Our house is just too teeny tiny. Even with 3 kids and the same tiny house, we just don’t ever think about it anymore. However, I agree with one of the other posters, that other methods of cooking are also damaging to nutrients.

  5. Some year ago, I lived next door to a “microwave expert” (he had been involved in secret Navy stuff and worked with microwaves. I noticed he did not have a microwave oven in his home. I asked, “Do we know everything we need to know about these microwave ovens?” His response was, “Not even close.” I got rid of mine soon after that. No microwave for my very busy family of 6. And most of these comments about not being able to function without it make me laugh and make me sad at the same time. People make choices without even realizing they are making choices.

  6. I lived in Istanbul, Turkey for ten years, the last time, and never even thought about a microwave. Never missed it! Returned to the states and I put something in the cancer machine daily. Thanks for the reminder that I don’t need.

  7. I do not use the microwave anymore and it really is not as hard as you might think. I have 2 girls, 11 and 13. We still have it because it is attached to the cabinet. I try to educate them on not using it to warm things up; just stick in a pot on the stovetop for warming.

  8. Leanne,
    Thanks for always keeping us on our toes. Conventional thinking will always be a few steps behind. (Until the corporation that could possibly be harmed, changes its tune) Our microwave broke over 3 years ago. Never replaced it. Don’t really miss it. Keep up the good work 🙂

  9. To everyone that thinks the microwave is safe to use, I ask you to try this at home. Boil some water in a microwave oven and boil some water on the stove. Keep them separate from one another. Let them both col to room temp. Get two identical plants and mark on one of the pots “Microwave” and on the other pot mark “Stove”. Also mark the water storage containers so you know which one is the microwave water and which one is the stove water. Water the plants with their respective water. Within 9 days the microwave watered plant will be dead. Time to think about why?

  10. This seems to be a rather controversial subject, which I have long been following with interest. I no longer believe the scary stuff, but do your own research, and don’t believe everything you read.

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