How To Survive Without A Microwave


Today Susan of The Natural Singer is sharing some tips on how to survive without a microwave! Please head over to The Natural singer and check out Susan’s blog and don’t forget to follow The Natural Singer on facebook!

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share a guest post on The Coconut Mama.  I’ve been a follower of Tiffany’s blog for some time and have enjoyed many of her amazing recipes and posts.

Like Tiffany, I did not grow up exclusively on ‘real food’ and began my journey shortly after the birth of my first daughter 8 years ago.  I have had my share of processed, nutrient-poor and denatured foods.  I started to slowly make changes and my body cried out ‘Hallelujah!’ when I began to eat foods that were nourishing it instead of depleting it.

It’s Not Just About The Food You Eat

Eating nourishing foods is extremely important to one’s overall wellness.  While the nutrient content of the food is important, just as vital is how the food is prepared.  Cooking food properly has a great deal to do with how nutritious the food is.  We are all at different stages of our health journey, and I am well aware that it can take some time to get to the point where we are dealing with food preparation and not just the ingredients themselves!

For our family, it was just within the past half-year or so that I determined to ensure that I was preparing and cooking food for my family optimally.  This led me to the seemingly dramatic decision to throw out our microwave.  I had heard whispers about the health concerns surrounding microwave use for some time, but had not taken the time to thoroughly research the matter on my own and come up with a conclusion.  When I finally did read about it, it became clear to me that we could not continue using our microwave oven.

Out With The Old – In With The … ?

It’s pretty handy here in Switzerland because you can often just write a little sign reading “GRATIS” (free) and leave working housewares out in front of your place… depending on where you live, someone will often take it away. (If not, though, you will need to pay a fee!)

There were actually some other functions included in our microwave, like a convection oven and grill that were pretty handy, but I just didn’t want to have the temptation of a microwave anymore.  Here is a picture of it out in front of our apartment: Sure enough, the oven was gone in almost no time.

photo 3.13.58 PM

Why Microwaves Are Dangerous

Exposure to the radiation in microwaves changes the chemical structure of food.  The molecules move rapidly within the food causing steam which in turn heats the food.  While consumers have long been warned about heating food in plastic containers in the microwave because of the leaching of carcinogenic chemicals, what many people still do not know is that the molecules left in the food bear little resemblance to their original state.  They are badly deformed and the structure is changed to such a degree that it may potentially be harmful to the body.

Woman Dies From Microwaved Blood

One story that was most compelling to me while I was learning about microwave use was about a woman from Oklahoma back in 1991 who went into the hospital to have hip surgery.  During the course of her surgery, she required a blood transfusion.  It is routine procedure to warm blood prior to a transfusion, (albeit not in a microwave).

The nurse attending her treatment decided she would save time and microwave the blood intended for the woman’s transfusion.  The blood had been altered to such a degree during the microwaving process that her body rejected it and she subsequently died.

Well-Known Study By Swiss Scientist

Hans Hertel is an agronomist and food scientist who was conducting a study on the effects of microwaved food on the blood in the 1980s. The sample study was small but his findings were quite compelling.  He discovered that the participants who had ingested microwaved food had

  • Higher levels of cholesterol
  • Fewer white blood cells
  • Fewer red blood cells
  • Lower levels of hemoglobin (indicating possible anemia)

When compared with the other subjects.  Despite problems with the methodology of his study, he was still issued a gag order by the Swiss Trade Organization which was later lifted.  It makes one wonder what they were so concerned about and wanted to keep from the public.  Hertel’s findings were eventually published.

What’s Good For Baby…

We are frequently warned against heating baby formula and breast milk in the microwave.  If the medical establishment and institutions of higher learning are concerned about the loss of nutrients and the destruction of protective properties in the case of breast milk, then how is this different from the everyday food that we eat?

I firmly believe that it is not.

Alternative Ways To Heat Your Food

Take heart!  There are other ways to quickly and easily heat up your food.  I am primarily talking about re-heating because I rarely if ever used a microwave to cook food.  Re-heating food on the stove or oven may take a few minutes longer but it will taste infinitely better and will also retain the heat more efficiently, unlike microwaved food.

Here are some of the options that I use:

PicMonkey Collage1

I especially love my cast iron skillet because it heats very quickly and evenly. If I want something heated quickly, I throw it on my cast iron skillet and stick it in the oven.  In a few minutes, my meal is ready.

I also like using pyrex dishes and regular sauce pans to re-heat.

Better Safe Than Sorry

The jury is definitely still out on the ultimate safety of microwave ovens, with experts on both sides stating opposing views.  I have decided that for me and my family I would rather be safe than sorry.  As it turns out, it is not that difficult to throw something on the stove or in the oven to re-heat.  While it does create a few more dishes, I don’t mind being more cautious just in case.  Believe it or not, it is possible to survive without a microwave!

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About the author: Hi! I’m Tiffany – aka Coconut Mama. I’m a real food mama of three coconut babies. I’m passionate about traditional and healing foods. As a true believer in the health benefits of coconut, I use coconut products in all my recipes. You can download my free Coconut Flour Recipes E-book here. Thanks for stopping by!
42 comments… add one
  • Audrey Appleton May 16, 2016, 4:46 am

    We got rid of our microwave a few years ago, we only used it for popcorn anyway. It’s just as easy to make that on the stove top.
    Its funny when telling people I don’t have a microwave, they seem to think the reason is I can’t afford to buy one. “Oh we have a spare you can have!” Umm no thanks 🙂

  • Toby January 8, 2016, 7:05 pm

    I haven’t used a microwave since I left my parent’s house 24 years ago. If I live in an apartment that has one, it gets disconnected and removed, or I turn off the breaker and use it for cookbook storage. A few years ago I had a landlord who tried to force us to cook meat inly in the microwave, because he hated grease spatters on the stove. My 2 anti-microwave roomies and I moved out.

  • Lynda December 21, 2015, 1:40 pm

    Wow I have always wondered about them and have Never owned one as I trust my instincts. For small reheating like a pie for instance, I use my small cast iron fry pan on the element on low with the lid on. It doesn’t take long. A lot of people think I’m nuts because I don’t use one. I have seen one used as a letterbox!

  • Cobe December 21, 2015, 11:15 am

    Jeanette, I can taste the difference in microwaved food as well. It also sits in my stomach like a rock.

    I do not use the microwave because I notice a difference.

    But I also know that my husband works in a confined environment. When they needed to close the kitchen for renovation, they stopped cooking the food with conventional means and started to use the microwave. He said everyone was farting and had trouble digesting the food.

    Not a scientific study, I know, but it personal experience is enough for me.

    After a month or two of eating healthy food, anyone can tell the difference between cooked food and microwaved food.

  • vickie smith July 18, 2015, 4:06 pm

    haven’t had a microwave in ten+ years and only put one in the new house we built 1o years ago for resale purposes. If you can use a microwave to sterilize your kitchen sponge…. I don’t want my food sterilized… I need all the healthy flora I can get .

  • Linda October 20, 2014, 5:50 pm

    I read too many articles and studies of wise people when I said, ” Do I wait until I KNOW for absolute sure microwaves are harmful or do I go with the first 7,000 years or so of civilization of families and not use a microwave oven? ” If we know microwaves are used as weapons and can be very harmful then why would I microwave my baby’s milk or anything else. I like things natural. We are just too spoiled and have no regard except how fast can it be cooked! Yes, restaurants use them too but my home will not have one.

  • Jeanette October 20, 2014, 4:36 pm

    I don’t have any scientific proof. I do have experience. I dumped my microwave nearly 10 years ago when we moved to the midwest from SoCal, and I haven’t missed it a single day. My food warmed on the stovetop is rarely “nuclear” hot in places, and though I have been called crazy, I can TASTE microwaved food…it has a completely different flavor to me (chicken products especially), and not a particularly GOOD flavor. My grandmother never used a microwave in her entire life…she lived to 84. My grandfather (her husband) lived to 91. My aunt (who never married and lived with her parents her entire life) lived to 88. Three other siblings who all moved away from home and owned microwaves died from cancer (one at 61 from lymphoma, one at 60 from esophageal cancer, one…my mom…at 60 from pancreatic cancer). Here is the kicker…the whole family were smokers, Grandpa on down. Do I think microwaves killed my mom, aunt and uncle? No, probably not. But I do think that microwaves might be a contributing factor (along with a plethora of other conditions).

  • Kristine September 15, 2014, 7:42 am

    My husband and I bought waterless cookware. Then we threw out the microwave we barely ever used!! Can’t say I miss it!! The waterless cookware works almost as fast & more energy efficient & safe!! The cookware needs a small amount of water, that allows your food to keep its nutrients while cooking!!

  • Ceste Stanly September 14, 2014, 8:35 pm

    my mini-crockpot I take w/ me to work & just fill it up in the morn & its warm by lunch….pre-cook the food in a larger crock the day b4

  • Handmade by Lorna June 3, 2014, 8:45 am

    We gave up our microwave around six our months ago – I have not missed it one bit. It is true your food tastes much better and stays hotter for long if you reheat/cook on a regular cooker.

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions November 3, 2013, 6:04 am

    I love to eat healthy food, and I love cooking, but cant imagine getting rid of my microwave any time soon.

    Unfortunately the myths about microwave cooking seem to be on a par with anti vacc risk, but despite the so called “studies” being well and truly debunked , and just plain scientific nonsense, people avoid them – and (ironically) , use alternative techniques which have a far greater impact on the quality of the food.

  • jen October 11, 2013, 5:38 am

    My husband AND i decided to get rid of our microwave several months ago as it took up so much space and it was so much healthier to just heat stuff up on the stove. We are trying to simplify our lives and it doesn’t make sense to keep the microwave when we can do everything on the stove (without health risks).

  • Eva September 25, 2013, 10:27 am

    There are many reasons to not use a microwave, I agree. However this type of article, is for me, the dark side of the internet . My interest was peaked so I looked into some of the claims above.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3605560 A quick google search revealed the true reason that microwaved blood caused a death; it was overheated in some parts of the blood sample. Uneven heating and dangerous hot spots is also the primary reason that it is recommended to not use a microwave for infant formula. This article clearly explains why microwaves are not recommended for warming blood. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/495035
    This next article states that there are safe techniques to heat infant formula that do not result in nutrient loss http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1518698

    I’d love to hear some solid counter arguments to the above articles. I love challenging the status quo however I think articles like this make us “alternative thinkers” look even crazier.

  • B September 23, 2013, 9:34 pm

    Can you please cite sources for this information? I’d like to understand this better.

  • babs September 23, 2013, 10:25 am

    As for the water experiment being inconsistent, its not. So many people have published so many of their experiences doing their own experiments with microwaved food and or water. Do your own and see for yourself. The real truth is in the books published by Masaru Emoto. He’s a famous scientist and there is no disputing his findings. His books will blow your mind when it comes to water.

  • Rosa52 September 21, 2013, 11:18 pm

    That was a nice microwave you had, wish I could’ve gotten it 🙂
    I’ve read and saw the video on YouTube about the ‘little experiment’
    with the plants and the water, it was extremely inconsistent, not
    scientific, and when it was repeated by an adult comparing apples to
    apples instead of oranges to apples, the results were the same. IMHO, I
    only use my microwave to heat my my milk and coffee or other food item
    where I only use it for a few minutes. Never cooked in it, I have a
    nu-wave oven, convection toaster oven, and my stove range.

    • Debbie Brown October 11, 2013, 9:32 am

      I have a nu-wave. How long does it take to heat up food?

      • Rosa52 November 5, 2013, 5:55 pm

        It depends, I do a whole frying chicken in about 30-45 minutes. I put it on 300 for 20 minutes, (breast side up) then turn it over for 15 minutes, then turn it over again on 350-400 to get it crispy for 10 minutes. It all depends on how you like your chicken. I buy organic fed chickens so I like to eat the nice semi-crispy skin 🙂 Experiment with it. 🙂 Let me know if you want more help and let me know if you have the digital Nu-Wave. I don’t have it anymore because I bought a Sharp Oven where I can cook like in the nu-wave but it self cleans and it’s made of glass and I don’t have to remove the whole plastic cover.

  • Kerligirl September 21, 2013, 2:34 pm

    Hahaha, I had to laugh when I saw this. We got rid of our microwave 17 yrs ago. People thought I was crazy, especially with four kids and homeschooling. 😉

  • Susan_JD September 21, 2013, 2:19 pm

    What is a good crock pot brand to cook a 3# or more whole free range chicken in?

    • Jennifer Marquess September 21, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Any good sized crock pot will work for that. You don’t even need anything terribly fancy. I have the oval Hamilton Beach Set ‘N Forget that I use. I either set it to high-medium-low or I set the temperature and use a probe in the meat. Doing it the latter way, when the meat is at the optimum temperature, the crock pot beeps and switches to hold warm instead.

      • Susan_JD September 22, 2013, 5:57 pm

        Thank you! I was actually thinking of getting that one. :o)

  • Shelah Phillipsen September 21, 2013, 10:19 am

    I don’t use a microwave at home but heating up lunches at work is hard if what I bring can’t be heated up in the little toaster oven we have there. I try to bring cold stuff for lunch but here in the Midwest, Minnesota, warm soup and sourdough bread is a fantastic lunch. I will have to try to figure out a way to keep it warm until lunch.

    • Karen September 21, 2013, 10:51 am

      I just learned that CrockPot makes a little lunch sized mini portable to keep soups and such warm. I’ve not seen them yet here but it might be something to consider. OTOH, I think if I was sitting smelling my soup all morning I might be tempted to eat earlier!

      • Shelah Phillipsen September 21, 2013, 4:17 pm

        I may have to look for those. Thanks Karen.

        • kerry October 20, 2014, 11:48 pm

          I have a mini crock pot! Love it! Plug it in when I get to work and lunch is ready by noon!it was a gift but amazon has them for $20 or so.

    • lauren October 4, 2013, 9:01 pm

    • torri October 26, 2013, 5:32 am

      I had the same problem, but was gifted an electric steamer/ saucepan. It worked like a dream (esp for soup…very fast) and became a popular item!

    • Kathleen February 19, 2015, 8:05 am

      My mom use to put out soup in a thermos for school lunches. You could also invest in a plug in electric burner and bring a pot to work to heat things in.

  • Barbara Hindley September 21, 2013, 8:55 am

    According to a letter published in The Lancet, the common practice of microwaving converts l-proline to d-proline. They write, “The conversion of trans to cis forms could be hazardous because when cis-amino acids are incorporated into peptides and proteins instead of their trans isomers, this can lead to structural, functional and
    immunological changes.” They further note that “d-proline is neurotoxic and we have reported nephrotoxic and heptatotoxic effects of this compound.” So, if you heat food in the microwave, it becomes toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system.
    I also read in one of Emoto’s books about water (amazing books by the way!), that you can do your own experiment. Water one plant with regular water and one plant with microwaved water. Do it for a month or more. The plant watered with microwave water will die. Emoto studied crystals found in water, and he says when you put microwaved water under a microscope, the water crystals are all deformed and ugly. He showed how these kinds of crystals create disease. Check out his book The Hidden Power of Water.
    I gave up my microwave a number of years ago and just heat everything in the oven. The only thing I use it for is to liquify my unsweetened carob. I figure if this is the only thing I use it for, I’m doing okay. Hopefully 🙂

    • EvidenceBasedDecisions November 3, 2013, 6:29 am

      Yes – it was a LETTER (to the Lancet) – NOT a peer reviewed article. It wasnt supported by scientific research.

      As with most urban myths the microwave oven has certainly had its share – thanks to people continually referring to debunked letters / articles / studies, or just failing to understand simple concepts like “what is boiling water”.

  • Destiny Wells-Arsenault September 21, 2013, 8:33 am

    I have been trying so hard not to use one for the past month. The only time I get frusterated is trying to heat up a small amount of baby food. Its frozen so then I put it in a glass of hot water. over and over again. I feel like what took me 30 minutes to do I could of done it in 30 seconds in the microwave. But im still trying not to do it.

    • Jennifer September 21, 2013, 7:58 pm

      My mom died at 62 from a rare brain tumor. She was an avid cook and cooked large family dinners every Sunday. She had a microwave over her range and was often running it while she stood at the stove. I believe breathing the radiation and depositing it into our food is tumor causing! Also, to add to kitchen appliances I use a lot, an electric tea kettle. It’s the quick hot water for tea, coffee and I melt butter in a glass set in a mug of hot water or baby bottle.

    • H September 25, 2013, 4:20 pm

      I just wanted to say, the easiest way of dealing with frozen food (if there’s no meat in it) would be to take it out overnight and let it defrost in a bowl on the counter, and when it’s not frozen anymore but still cold, put it in the fridge until you are ready to warm it up in a small sauce pan on the stove top. If it has meat in it then let it defrost in the fridgerator first. That’s how I deal with frozen food anyways and it works for me. I grew up without microwave (I’m not from the USA) and only used it for a short while, but when I got sick I decided to ditch it along with other unhealthy things, like plastic containers and so on. Anyways, I hope this helps some..

    • Blanca Alvarez December 9, 2013, 10:28 am

      Try placing it in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes.

    • michaela bitner September 15, 2014, 7:49 am

      Warm up frozen baby food the night before!!! Before bed, grad tomorrows baby food and put it in fridge. Simmer a small amount of water in a pan and drop babies frozen food in, stir until warm and smooth again. You got this! If at least one person in your house doesn’t use the microwave let it be baby.

  • Jennifer in PA September 21, 2013, 7:46 am

    I haven’t used a microwave for about 3 years now. Don’t miss it at all. It is not hard to get used to.

    • Kelly September 14, 2014, 8:47 pm

      I moved to the country 2 years ago from a beachside suburb – part of the choice was not having another appliance clogging bench space – but must say – we eat more fresh – cook more often and preperation is now done in the same way my grandma did…
      I am more than happy with the decision .


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