A few decades ago, American kitchens received the benefit of microwaves. Microwave and soon began to depend on it for its lightning-fast heating. Generations younger than us can’t think of making hot chocolate, oatmeal or popcorn without the microwave. But, many people are misusing microwaves to heat food items. We are aware that we should not zap aluminium foil or metal. However, there are equal dangers associated with the nuking of certain foods.
In the first place, the microwave doesn’t cook food evenly, which usually results in the possibility that bacteria in the food items that are reheated remain alive. There’s also the issue of microwaves contributing directly to the development of carcinogenic toxic substances. To reduce the risk of microwave exposure, avoid using the device to prepare or warm these ten food items.
1. Hard-boiled eggs
Shelled or not When an unshelled or cooked hard-boiled egg can be cooked using microwaves, the moisture inside causes an extremely steam-filled environment, as if it were a miniature pressure cook and to the point where eggs can explode! And, even more frighteningly, the egg won’t explode inside the microwave when it’s heating, but later on–which means that the boiling hot egg could explode in the palm of your hand or on your plate, or even inside your mouth. To keep your egg from turning into a steam bomb, break it into smaller pieces before heating it. Avoid putting eggs in microwaves at all.
2. Breast milk
Many mothers can freeze and store breastfeeding milk to be used later on. This is great so long as it’s never heated in the microwave. Just as microwaves heat food plates differently, they can heat a bottle of breast milk differently and create “hot spots” that can cause severe burns to a baby’s mouth and throat. There’s also the risk of carcinogens when you heat the plastic. The FDA suggests that breast milk and formula be frozen before being reheated in a pan on the stove or boiling tap water. For a temporary solution alternative, you can warm a cup of liquid in the microwave and then drop the bottle or bag of breast milk into it to allow it to defrost.
3. Processed meat
Processed meats are often contaminated with preservatives and chemicals that prolong their shelf-life. However. Microwaving them, however, can cause harm to your health. When we microwav processed meats, you could unintentionally be exposed to chemical reactions like the oxidation of cholesterol during the process, as per research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
A study published in Food Control Journal of Food Control suggests that heating processed meats using an intense burst of microwave radiation can contribute to the development of cholesterol oxidation compounds (COPs) that are linked to the formation of heart-related disease. When compared to other meal prep methods to reheat food, microwaving cooked meats (including hot dogs) is more likely to bring COPs into your diet.
Rice? According to the Food Standards Agency, microwaving rice may result in food poisoning. The issue with rice is the presence of a resistant bacteria known as Bacillus cereus. It is killed by heat; however, it may have produced spores that are toxic and surprisingly resistant to heat, according to research published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology. Many studies show that when rice is taken out from the microwave and kept at room temperature, the spores that it has can multiply, causing food poisoning when you consume it. (The humid and humid conditions of the remaining rice are perfect for breeding grounds.)
The U.S. government website Food Safety explains that “B. cereus is a species of bacteria that creates toxins. These toxins can lead to two kinds of illnesses that are which is associated with diarrhea, and the otherone, known as an emetic, which is characterised by vomiting and nausea. Sources: a wide range of food items, including rice.” To ensure that you do not ingest contaminated rice, boil it until near boiling and keep it at a warm temperature (above 140°F) to ensure it is safe.
The most crucial point to know regarding microwaves is their energy doesn’t always kill bacteria because they can heat the outside rather than the inside out. This means that certain foods that are susceptible to bacteria when reheated have a higher chance of causing illness if these bacteria cells can persist. In this regard this, it’s easy to see why chicken is susceptible to salmonella contamination. It can be the most dangerous food item to microwave.
Before eating your chicken, cook it thoroughly to remove any present bacteria. Because microwaves can’t thoroughly nor evenly roast all the parts of the meat, it is more likely that you’ll end up with bacteria that survived, like salmonella. A study found that of 30 people who had reheated the meat in its raw state, all ten who used a microwave got sick, whereas those who cooked on the stove were healthy. This shows how many bacteria can thrive in the meat when microwaved compared to different cooking techniques. There are several ways to reduce the lifespan of the microwave.
6. Leafy greens
If you want to keep your celery, kale or spinach for later eating leftovers, heat them in a traditional oven instead of the microwave. If they are sprayed in the microwave, the naturally occurring nitrogen compounds (which are great for the body in their own right) could be converted into Nitrosamines, carcinogenic, as studies have shown.
The exact chemical change in spinach is the same when you heat the nitrate-rich turnips and beets! They’re delicious cold. On the flip side, Here are some things you didn’t know you could cook in the microwave.
8. Hot peppers
If hot chillies get heated using a microwave oven, capsaicin, the chemical that provides their spicy flavour, is dispersed into the atmosphere. The chemical could harm your throat and eyes when it is released into the air. In reality, a Rochester, New York, apartment was evacuated because microwaved peppers caused residents to begin coughing and breathing problems. If your microwave appears dirty, don’t fret; here is an instruction on cleaning your microwave.
In the clip, Stephen Bosi, a PhD physics professor at the University of New England, shows how using two pieces of simple fruit in the microwave will generate enough plasma to melt the hole in the container made of plastic. Plasma may not come from other fruits. However, you’ll still end up with an obscene mess. Whole fruit stores steam underneath the flesh, meaning it can explode when it’s heating. Below are tips on storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator correctly.
The aluminium foil used to cook potatoes shields from the growth of bacteria C. botulinum from heat, so it will continue to thrive if the potato remains at room temperature for too long and could cause botulism. Putting the contaminated potato in the microwave isn’t going to eliminate the bacteria; therefore, be cautious by baking them on a baking tray instead of wrapping them in foil and freezing the leftover potatoes as quickly as you can.
- FDA: “Once Baby Arrives – Food Safety for Moms to Be”
- BMC Medicine: “Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition”
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Cholesterol Oxidation in Meat Products and Its Regulation by Supplementation of Sodium Nitrite and Apple Polyphenol before Processing”
- Food Control: “Formation of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) in animal products”
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Cholesterol oxidation in meat products during cooking and frozen storage”
- Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry: “Oxidised LDL, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol levels in patients of coronary artery disease”
- Food Standards Agency: “Cooking”
- Live Strong: “How to Reheat Rice (and Store It) to Avoid Food Poisoning”
- International Journal of Food Microbiology: “Production of Bacillus cereus emetic toxin (cereulide) in various foods”
- Cambridge University Press: “The survival and growth of Bacillus cereus in boiled and fried rice in relation to outbreaks of food poisoning”
- International Journal of Food Microbiology: “Detection of toxigenic Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis spores in U.S. rice”