Yes, you read today’s post title correctly – G and I don’t own a microwave. When this randomly comes up in conversation, people usually think I’m some weird hippy or living under a rock. I am neither of those things, so I thought I’d address a few reasons why Greg and I decided to forgo a microwave years ago and how it has been the best thing ever for our eating habits!
Let’s get one thing clear: No, I am not trying to get you to throw yours away, just sharing with you why we made the switch and haven’t turned back. So, does this mean I never use a microwave? At home, where I eat the majority of my meals, absolutely. But at work when my only option is to heat lunch up in a microwave, I’ll use it as needed. I’m not against microwaves, just choose to omit them from my everyday cooking and use.
1. I’m not used to using one!
- Of course, microwaves are intuitive and easy to use, but I grew up in a family where a home-cooked meal was pretty standard. Although we owned one we didn’t rely on it often. It was used mostly for reheating leftovers or late-night nacho needs during sleepovers (necessity in every teenage girls’ life). In college my roommates and I always had one, but again it was rarely used – guess our dining hall had good food or something, ha! Since I never really relied on a microwave it’s never been a necessity in my adult life.
2. Back to the basics.
Michael Pollan, in his Netflix documentary Cooked, highlights the possible correlation between the introduction of microwaves, a decline in cooking, and an increase in population obesity. We all know it’s technically easier to throw a full frozen meal into the microwave than cook from scratch. However, microwave cooking allows us as eaters to lose touch with flavor, texture, and control over ingredients. We, the eater, should be in control of how our food is prepared, cooked, and seasoned – not some manufacturing plant. As a dietitian, I wholeheartedly believe this is true for everyone. It’s cheaper to cook from scratch and oftentimes a healthier route.
Okay, okay. I’ll admit a microwave is super handy for defrosting frozen vegetables, satisfying cravings with a portion controlled mug cake, or boiling water for tea. But it’s not the ‘end all be all’ for accomplishing those tasks – a range or electric tea kettle works just as well! And I’ve never once regretted not owning a microwave for any of those reasons.
3. More time in the kitchen means more time to connect and disconnect.
Sometimes I’ll admit I wish I could throw a frozen burrito into the microwave, toss it in a napkin, and scarf it down immediately; a whole 10 minute affair of cooking and eating. I’d probably finish that burrito and begin scrolling my Instagram feed, let’s be real. Nothing in that scenario is doing me any good from both a nutrition and mental health standpoint. Cooking from scratch, without a microwave, allows me to not only fuel my body with real, whole foods most often but is also an activity that exercises my mind. I feel most creative when I’m in the kitchen and the dinner meal prep has become an integral part of Greg’s and my relationship. It’s the time where we disconnect from technology and connect with each other while ingredients are sizzling, simmering, and sautéing between us.
A meal made with love, surrounded by love, is nourishing in so many ways.
4. Less ‘stuff’.
I am a complete kitchen gadget hoarder. Coupled with my houseplant and cookbook hoarding situation, my kitchen is full. A microwave would take up quite a bit of bulky real estate on the counter and I’m much happier with less ‘things’ (unless they’re green or full of recipes) clogging up my precious cooking space! A simple reason to now own a microwave, but totally worth the happiness and mental clarity a tidy house brings. If it’s not a useful or necessary item why keep it around?
So how about you – do you use a microwave? If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of it, I can wholeheartedly say you won’t miss it one bit (unless you rely on it daily already). And by all means, if a microwave is working for you and your wellness goals – then there is no need to get rid of it. Just some personal food for thought.
Comment and share your thoughts below! I’d love to hear them!