Is Heating Food in Microwaves Bad for You? Science Explains the Facts

We’ve heard all the rumors that heating food in a microwave is a bad idea. Apparently, the micro waves can cause a variety of conditions including cancer, although this has never been officially proven. Microwaves work by resonating water molecules at high frequencies, converting them into steam that heats up the food. That, of course, results in a bit of radiation, that can alter the food’s chemical structure.

That’s exactly why people think microwaves are bad. However, they continue to be approved by the FDA, confusing us whether we can use them. Does science have the answer? Continue reading below to learn.

Should We Stop Heating Up Food in Microwaves?

That’s the million-dollar question. According to the FDA, it’s not a problem at all. It has approved this kitchen appliance as safe, although that doesn’t guarantee 100% safety. We’ve seen other things approved by the FDA (asbestos for example) and they haven’t exactly turned up safe. The fact remains that microwaves deform food molecules, depleting it of nutrients.

According to studies, breast milk loses its immunity-boosting properties when heated in a microwave, and so does broccoli. Food and drinks depleted of nutrients have no value, so it creates a conundrum whether we should use microwaves at all.

Of course, most of us use them to heat up food instead of preparing it – the latter should be even worse. Still, the fact remains that the food heated in microwaves is not worth it, so you’re better off heating it up in the oven.

The Type of Container You Use Plays a Role Too

Science says that it’s not just about the appliance itself – the container you use plays a role too. Heating up food in plastic containers is out of the question. And don’t believe those claims that the container is safe for use in microwaves – they usually aren’t. Plastic products are filled with cancerous materials that can be transferred to the food in the microwave. This is known as chemical leaching and is pretty bad for you and the environment.

The safest microwave containers out there are paper plates or napkins. Glass and ceramic dishes are ok too if they’re of good quality. You can also use wax and parchment paper – a bit tricky to find and use, we know, but still a great option.

When it comes to other materials you should avoid using to heat your food up, those include:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Dishes with a metallic trim
  • Foam-insulated containers
  • Brown paper bags

Choose the right container or material, and you can use the microwave safely. We recommend using it sparingly, though, and preparing homecooked meals instead.

Scroll to Top