I'm a huge fan of Lean Cuisine frozen meals -- they're low in calories and tastier than a homemade sandwich. Plus, they're ready to eat in less than five minutes. But there's conflicting research out there about whether microwaving food is healthy or not.
In his latest book, Eat This and Live! How to Make Simple Food Choices, bestselling author, Dr. Don Colbert suggests cooking frozen meals in an oven instead of a microwave to retain nutrients and avoid cancer. There's even a study that shows microwaved broccoli lost between 87 and 97 percent of several major cancer-protecting antioxidants. However, on the Health Physics Society website, a scientific organization of professionals who specialize in radiation safety, expert Gary H. Zeman, ScD, CHP, writes: "Cooking foods in a microwave oven does not alter them other than to heat them. There are no known effects on humans from microwaved food as opposed to foods heated by other means." Also, on the USDA website it states: "Microwave energy does not make food radioactive." In 2006, The New York Times ran a story debunking the danger and cited a Cornell University study that found that spinach retained nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave, but lost about 77 percent when cooked on a stove. They also found that bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of cancer-causing nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon.
The verdict: Microwaving food is generally safe and without health risks.
Are you afraid of the microwave? Why or why not?