The Contemplation of Food

I’m sitting here eating my leftovers from last night and I realized that I did not reach for the microwave as I normally would do.  Instead, I opted to dump the contents into a pot and reheat it on the stove.  It forced me to think about how microwaving food can change certain aspects of the item.

I contemplated a number of things.  The first was, “Does microwaving truly change the molecular structure of the food?”  Well, there was this little water experiment with a plant that was all over Facebook.  We could repeat this same scientific experiment ourselves but, first, let’s put a cup of water in the microwave and set the cook time for 3 minutes.  I’ve done this before so I will wait while you do it…

[Waiting…  Waiting…  Waiting…]

Ok, are you back?  Good!

Look in your cup.  It’s still water!!!  WOW!  Yeah, I’m not impressed either.  Add a tea bag to your cup and enjoy a nice warm cup of tea.

Then I thought, “How does the radiation particles from a microwave affect my food?”  Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation; this causes the molecules of any object to vibrate at a rapid speed, thus causing the item to increase in heat.  Microwaves just happen to be stronger in the electrical field aspect than the magnetic field.  If an electrical current can move certain molecules such as metal particles, what exactly is it doing to our food?  You got it!  It’s moving the molecules!

My final thought was, “What nutrients are destroyed when I microwave my food?”  The simple answer is “some”.  Every method of cooking destroys some nutrients of food.  The best way to maximize the nutrient value of a food is to properly handle and cook it.  You can google how to handle and prepare your foods – I’m not going to discuss that here.

Yesterday, I was in Costco.  (Rule of thumb:  Never.  Never go to Costco or Sam’s Club hungry – You will come out with more than you wanted to buy.)  There were plenty of people offering samples.  Some of the stuff was “healthy”, some not so much.  I ended up purchasing a tub of creamy kale and flavored focaccia breads.  The tub of kale was designed to be microwaved.  Knowing me, I’ll dump it into a pot though.

I understand the essence of time.  Everything is hurry, hurry, hurry and busy, busy, busy.  Processed, pre-made, already cooked, and reheat-able foods are the common-stay of today’s modern society.  Or just pick something up on your way home from work.  Or have pizza delivered.  All of these things have become staples in our homes and lives.  Why?  These food items are quick, easy, and convenient.  They allow more time for the busy parent or rushed executive.  Unfortunately, it has contributed to the obesity of society.

When was the last time you sat at a kitchen table and had dinner with your family?  Oh, you only do that on holidays?  How unfortunate!  Luckily for you, Thanksgiving will be here next week.  You can spend 2-3 hours with your family and then resume your busy oh-so-important schedule.  Nevermind, it’s not my place to tell you what to do with your family for quality time.

Just think about your microwave the next time you want a good meal.  I won’t be using mine.

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2 Responses to The Contemplation of Food

  1. Man all I use my microwave for is reheating coffee. I don’t even bother reheating leftovers on the rare occasion I have them, which causes me to wonder why we even own a microwave – does everyone just assume they need one? What’s wrong with stovetop cooking? Or just cooking what needs to be cooked and eating the rest au naturel?

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