Do microwave ovens trigger most cancers? Explaining Frequent Tech Myths – Devices Africa
I have visited many houses in my time and most of them have microwaves. But for those who might not be able to buy or afford one, there really is only one more reason they don’t own one. “These microwave ovens cause cancer. I don’t want this radiation in my house. “While it sounds like a logical explanation, I’m here to tell you that the science doesn’t agree with you.
Debunking the Myth: Microwave Ovens and Cancer
Many Kenyan households own a microwave, mainly because of the convenience it offers. Despite the widespread use of microwave ovens, some people have persistent doubts about the safety of microwave ovens.
They believe that microwave cooking foods makes the food less healthy by taking the nutrients out of the food. In addition to that speculation, based on the radiation and waves, they believe that it can also cause cancer.
As a result, many houses threw them away or simply didn’t buy them. So is microwave cooking harmful? Is Microwave Healthy? To answer this, let’s first understand microwave radiation.
What is microwave radiation?
Microwaves are a form of “electromagnetic” radiation. They are waves of electrical and magnetic energy that move together through space.
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Electromagnetic radiation spans a broad spectrum from very long radio waves to very short gamma rays. Microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to radio waves but are shorter.
Remember that light is electromagnetic radiation too, so clearly not all radiation is bad.
These waves are very selective and mainly affect water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical in food. So microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal energy (thermal energy). This is similar to how your hands heat up when you rub them together.
That said, let’s get started right away. Microwaves do not Cause cancer. Contrary to popular belief, there is no established research showing a link between the use of microwave ovens and the development of cancer.
Microwave cooking also does not reduce the nutritional value of foods. In fact, foods cooked in a microwave oven can have more vitamins and minerals in them because microwave ovens can cook faster without adding water.
Microwave foods could actually be better for you
According to Havard Health, vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. Because microwave cooking times are shorter, microwave cooking helps retain vitamin C and other nutrients that are broken down when heated.
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When vegetables are boiled in water, some of their nutritional value is taken away. The nutrients get into the cooking water during cooking. For example, cooked broccoli loses glucosinolate, the sulfur-containing compound that can give vegetables their cancer-fighting properties.
However, one study found that just 1 minute of microwave treatment destroyed some of the cancer-fighting compounds in garlic, compared to 45 minutes in a conventional oven.
In summary, all cooking methods decrease nutritional value, but the microwave generally preserves nutrients better than other methods.
In so far as they don’t cause cancer, there are still things to watch out for.
To be on the safe side, don’t press your face against the window. Keep your head at least 12 inches away from the stove. The radiation decreases rapidly with distance. Don’t See Metal in Microwaves: Glass, paper, ceramic, or plastic containers are used in microwave cooking because microwaves pass through these materials. Metal and aluminum in microwaves are big no-nos. Also, some plastic containers shouldn’t be used in a microwave. This is because the heat of the food inside can melt them. The clear thin plastic materials should not be used. Polyethene is also a risk. Microwave radiation can heat up body tissue just like food. Contact with very high microwave levels can lead to painful burns. Handle food well with kitchen gloves or kitchen towels when taking them out of the microwave.
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Science is constantly evolving, and new discoveries are made every day. Any new evidence will be added to the article in case something changes.
The bottom line, however, is that microwaves are a safe, effective, and extremely convenient method of cooking. Are you going to start using this microwave now?