Microwave: how does its use affect us? The microwave was an invention that arose by chance in the 40s, thanks to the work of Percy Spencer, an engineer immersed at that time in research related to radars. In principle, its use was limited to the food industry and it was not until the mid-70s when it entered the domestic kitchens.
It is an oven whose waves pass through food and vibrate the water molecules they contain, thus generating energy in the form of heat. Regardless of their history and knowing how it works, does using them alter the food and can harm our health?
If we stick to the technical aspect of the apparatus, the microwaves generate electromagnetic waves in their interior that correspond to a type of ‘non-ionizing’ radiation, which does not have enough energy to alter the atoms that form the food and that could cause irreversible tissue damage. Moreover, in this type of radiation, we could also include sunlight, radio waves or radio frequency energy from mobile phones.
In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that microwaves are safe for food preparation if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This has already designed the device so that possible leaks that may be below the international standards. However, those that are damaged, dirty or have been modified could have significant leaks. Therefore, it is important that we have to follow some prevention measures or advice regarding its use:
-Keep the oven in good condition and clean.
-The door must be properly closed.
-Try not to use microwaves that have any damage in the outer coating.
-Never use a microwave that has any type of fault until it is repaired.
-Move away about 50 cm from the oven while it is in operation.
-Handle the items introduced in the microwave while maintaining the protections that we would use with a conventional oven.
-Do not introduce foreign bodies in a container with very hot liquid, as this could boil and overflow, producing burns.
Use only containers or utensils that are suitable for microwaves and always following the manufacturer’s instructions. Choose materials such as glass, silicone or porcelain before others like plastic, because their toxic particles could migrate to food.
Therefore, the use of the microwave does not harm the health, provided it is used correctly. And with the proper utensils, the food cooked in them is not radioactive. And does not pose a danger for consumption. Moreover, they are as safe and have the same nutritional value as those cooked in a traditional oven .