Monday, February 23, 2015

Why I Ditched My Microwave

I had been mulling over getting rid of my microwave for some time when a friend gave me a convection oven. Having very little space in my kitchen, it was an either or position. Either I kept the microwave or ditched it for the convection oven. Here is why I chose the convection oven over the microwave:

More Control Over What We Eat.

I must confess. Our schedule has been very busy. Now that the spring soccer season has started, it has become even busier. It is really easy to slip into filling up the cart with convenience items out of the freezer section at the supermarket, but it is also unhealthy and more costly. Slipping back out of that habit isn't easy and I still tossed in a frozen pizza on my last grocery trip. But getting rid of the microwave provides a chance to take a step back and reassess our eating habits. 

Precooked convenience foods tend to have more sodium than home cooked meals. They also have mystery additives and preservatives that can make one feel like a biochemistry experiment. I avoid eating fast food for those reasons, so why did  I become dependent on prepackaged foods? Taking away the convenience of the microwave, I now can refocus on quality ingredients and pay attention to what I am feeding my family. Yes, it takes a little more time, but to me it is worth it, even when I am feeling zombie tired, which is often these days.

If you'd like to learn more about the biochemistry experiment going on with your food, read this: a-feast-of-engineering-whats-really-in-your-food

Disputed Long Term Health Effects

While the radiation given off from a microwave is touted as too low to pose any possible risk, it is a big unknown of what can happen over time with low level exposure. According to some sources, it is accumulative, meaning the longer and more often you use a microwave, the more detrimental the effects. It also appears to change the molecular make up of the food we eat and deplete vital nutrients. 

While trying to get to the bottom of this mystery of microwave safety, I discovered there is a lot of controversy, but I found an excellent article that outlines the way a microwave works and how it can be toxic to your health over time. Written by Dr. Mercola, the article gives scientific sources backing up his claims. 

Embracing Simplicity 

Every choice I have made since becoming a single parent has been about creating a peaceful home environment and simplifying our lives. While exchanging the microwave for a convection oven isn't really clearing any clutter, it does allow me to test out principles of tiny house living before I actually live it. With a small number of people in our household, it is becoming apparent that I can easily prepare our meals without a full size oven. A stove top, a refrigerator, and a convection oven are the only appliances I plan on having when I finally am able to own my small home. 

I have had to make some small changes in the way I cook since ditching the microwave. I think the main use for it was to heat water for tea or coffee or cook instant oatmeal. I purchased a tea kettle. Problem solved. There is something pleasant about putting the kettle on to boil and hearing it's gentle whistle when the water is ready. Even if it is a small change, it evokes larger change toward an unhurried lifestyle that allows time to savor my cup of coffee in the morning. 

Ultimately, getting rid of the microwave was one step toward creating a healthy, unhurried lifestyle for me and my family. I encourage you to consider it.

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