Microwaves

Should we use microwave ovens?

Microwaves are a safe and effective way to heat food
Microwaves are not as safe or effective as other methods
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Started by
Karan Shah
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The Issue

Microwave ovens are used every day in millions of households, offices, and some restaurants to quickly heat foods, however, this appliance is often called into question because of the radiation involved. While some people want to continue enjoying the convenience of microwaves, others are questioning whether they may be more hazardous than helpful.

Most Divisive Question

3 stories vs 2 stories

Remaining Questions

6 questions total

Final Thoughts

What people think
Pro: Microwaves
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    Aya Abitbul

    After reading over the nia, there doesn't seem to be much strong evidence to suggest that microwaves are radically detrimental to our health. Though there are certainly potential dangers of using plastic containers in microwaves, its not necessarily the microwave that's causing the plastic to leak chemicals, rather the heat itself; the same thing would happen if one heated up food in a plastic container on the stove. They simply heat up food, the same way a stovetop or oven does. Given the lack of available research suggesting true dangers of microwaves (excluding when heating plastic), to me, microwaves remain a quick, easy, and safe way to cook food.

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    K.T. Fei

    The lack of evidence for anti-microwaves makes me stand by the pro side on this particular issue. Although I have questioned the safety of microwave radiation in the past, the convenience of microwaves in everyday life always pushed my thoughts aside. This Nia reveals that microwaves have no known harmful effect on humans nor is there evidence of microwave usage being linked to cancer.

    As for the question of food containers, there should be no harm as long as microwave-safe containers are used. If not, the individual is to blame and that becomes a different story.

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    Lauren Lankford

    Microwaves are such a useful shortcut in cooking, and I wouldn't say there is enough concerning research to outweigh that pro. The only thing to be mindful of is superheating and using oven safe containers. Keeping this in mind and knowing how to properly heat items in a microwave eliminates the need for concern. As long as you know how to safely use the appliance, you're good to go.

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    Lea Thali

    Microwaves make cooking so much easier, and the evidence suggests they do not cause a lot of harm. The radiation they use is non-ionising, which has not been shown to have any cancer-causing or other negative health effects. While people must be careful to only heat foods in microwave-safe containers, the only other concern is superheating water, a phenomenon which can be prevented by being mindful when heating water alone.

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    Abby Lyall

    The lack of decisive evidence supporting the emanation of radiation from microwaves and their contributions toward causing cancer makes me vote "pro". It does not seem to me that these devices are dangerous as long as they are used responsibly-- and almost any device can be dangerous if used irresponsibly. Therefore, I think that we can't conclude that microwaves are more dangerous than any other kitchen appliance without the presence of more research.

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    Satchie Snellings

    After reading this Nia, I find myself definitively "pro" microwaves. My previous concerns regarding their safety have been largely resolved. The data, or lack of data, above reveals that there is no link between microwave usage and cancer, as well as no proof that microwaves destroy nutrients or create dangerous chemical compounds in the foods they heat.

    As long as microwave owners make sure to purchase microwave safe cookware and are careful to avoid "superheating" their water past the point of boiling, I see no reason why microwaves should not be used.

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    Molly Banta

    I have definitely heard the rumors before that radiation from microwaves could be potentially dangerous or decrease the nutrients in food. However, the Nia makes it obvious that they are merely that - rumors.
    The only concern I might form backed up by evidence woul be from the potential of superheated water, which is avoidable if we are aware.
    As long as I use microwave safe containers I can microwave anything without worry. This doesn't mean I will exclusively use my microwave, as other methods produce a different effect (I love my runny egg yolk) but I certainly won't think twice if I choose to microwave my food.

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    David Riccione

    Having used Microwaves for the entirety of my life, I was first very concerned to see the product's credibility called into question at all. However, I think it's pretty clear that Microwaves are as innocuous as they are useful, and by no means do I see any substantial reason to cease their use.

    First and foremost, concerns that Microwaves are dangerous at higher power levels, or that they leave residual radiation, is completely uncorroborated. The only evidence to dissuade me from heating my meals at higher energy levels is related to the cooking process.

    Furthermore, Microwaves heat our food with no reduction in nutritional value; and although they may be dangerous if operated while not completely closed, safety components and common sense almost completely rule that out.

    Lastly, although super-heating water is interesting, I see no evidence to correlate its existence with harm. Microwaves are useful, and their utility far outweighs the unsubstantiated rumors of their danger.

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Depends
  • 12ddb88ae748838c946ec4a1118f0864
    Jordan Grossman
    Founder of Niaterra News

    There's a lot of concern about microwaves because, to most people, they basically work by sorcery, and as anyone knows, participating in the dark arts always comes with a price.

    In truth, though, microwaves don't work by magic, and there's no evidence that suggests there is any consequence to using microwaves that you wouldn't see with other heating methods.

    There's no credible risk of cancer and nutrients break down at the same temperatures whether they're in an oven or microwave.

    The concerns we've found have to do with whether microwave-safe containers are being used, and also a risk of superheating water.

    The superheating water risk is only an issue with extremely pure water, where it gets heated well beyond boiling point, and explodes when you take it out. The easiest thing to do is just make sure you don't leaving it in for an excessive amount of time, and watch to see that it's starting to boil. So long as it looks like it's boiling, and/or it's not in for an excessive amount of time, there's no risk of superheating and having the water explode. Impure water (and any food) can't superheat.

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Anti: Microwaves

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