Nigerians are at it again! Why does unverified news go viral in this country even when its source is not authenticated. People have been discarding their microwave ovens amid claims that it causes cancer. How come? How is it possible? Microwave ovens (popularly called microwaves) are kitchen appliances popular for reheating previously cooked foods and cooking a variety of foods. They heat and cook food using microwaves, in the microwave spectrum. It came into full use after the World War II in 1946.
Microwave ovens provide a ‘convenient’ way of cooking that has led to them finding their way into more than 90% of homes in the western world. In fact in our fast-paced modern culture that demands convenience and quick results, it is not surprising that microwaves have become such a universal feature in our kitchens. We use them to warm up our ready-made meals, drinks, desserts, vegetables, soups etc…in fact most foods these days can now boast of being microwave friendly.
BuzzNigeria decided to do a little digging and here’s what we found out: According to a recent research carried out by the Cancer Research Centre in UK, the claims that microwave oven could cause cancer is unfounded and false.
“Microwave ovens don’t make foods radioactive. They just heat them. Microwave ovens heat food by producing radiation which is absorbed by water molecules in the food. This makes the water molecules vibrate and produce heat, which cooks/heats the food.
“Any modern-day microwave oven in good condition is perfectly safe as long as you follow the instructions for use. If you use a microwave oven in the correct way there is no known harmful effect on humans. But people still tend to worry. Understanding the different types of radiation may help to reassure you that cooking with a microwave is not dangerous and won’t cause cancer.
“Although microwaves are safe to use, it is important to point out that cooking in them can affect the nutritional value of some foods – for example, fruit and vegetables. But nutrients are lost when heating foods in any way – boiling, grilling, frying or even steaming. As long as you don’t overcook foods, microwaving can actually be quite a healthy way to cook, as it uses only a little water. The best way to keep as many nutrients as possible in fruit and vegetables is to use as little water as you can and not overcook them.”
The report, which goes ahead to specify in detail, the different types of radio frequency (RF) radiation, however, admits that there is a divided inference on this subject.
“Studies have looked at the possible link between microwave ovens and cancer. Some results suggest there may be a link but other studies haven’t been able to prove this at all. Microwaves do produce a magnetic field while they are in use. This drops sharply the further you are from the oven and doesn’t last long, as you tend to cook in microwaves for very short periods. Most experts say that microwave ovens don’t give off enough energy to damage the genetic material (DNA) in cells so they can’t cause cancer. Microwaves heat food, but do not make any changes to it that aren’t made in any other cooking method. So they do not make food any more likely to cause cancer,” the report concluded.