December 28, 2012

Microwaves are What’s Wrong with Our Country.

I’m offended by the crappy food and ill-health that these small appliances breed.

I was making a killer macaroni and cheese recipe for my husband’s holiday party at work, and of course I hit the road block of how to warm it back up. He said the only way to reheat it is a microwave.

Ugh with a capital u.

Seriously, the entire reason that this macaroni and cheese rocks is that it has this golden crispy breading goodness on top. I was trying to explain this to my hubby, when I was sidetracked into my microwave spiel, and finally I just burst out with: “Microwaves are what’s destroying this country and I’m going to write a blog on it.”

My husband said I’d offend a lot of people.

I said I’m offended by the crappy food and ill-health that these small appliances breed.

Let me tell you, I haven’t owned a microwave since I’ve lived on my own, outside of my parents house. Although I’ve always subscribed to the “never say never” philosophy, at this point I’d say that I will never own a microwave.

The house we’re renting has a microwave in the downstairs bar area. (It also has a mini fridge, which I find quite useful, but I digress.) This microwave literally sits at the bottom of our stairs, which makes me feel like some bizarre evil presence is being trapped in our below-stairs cubby space. (You’ll remember Harry Potter’s poor adoptive situation or People Under the Stairs—although that movie’s honestly a little bit funny.)

The point is that microwaves are symbolic.

They’re symbolic of the impatience, general lack of originality and sad lack of good home cooking that seems to permeate our society. Yet, I don’t want to classify microwave “cooking” as something truly evil or immoral. This gets into similarly sticky situations such as, “I don’t own a television,” or “I take the bus.” (Both things, by the way, I’ve been able to say in the past.)

While these statements, as a whole, make great environmental and social fodder, they also have the real potential to be, at best, snobbish and elitist and, at worst, ethnocentric and egotistical. Once again I digress.

You might be asking yourself by now why I decided to write, much less publish, this piece.

Surely it’s not along my typical blog-line of easy-to-read ways or reasons to do something, but this idea spoke to me.

I think it’s important that we spend more time thinking about what we’re doing to our bodies, to our families and to our society as a whole. I think it’s safe to say that many families don’t cook together or even eat together every night. I think it’s safe to conclude that conversation happens when you’re both eating and cooking with someone; conversation that might have a profound, untold impact upon the quality of our relationships and our children’s critical nurturing and growth.

So should you throw away your microwave? No.

Should you rethink using it as a crutch of convenience? Yes.


Because we teach our children by example, and as corny as it is, our children are our future. Personally, I’d like my future to not come so quickly.

After all, what’s the rush?



Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett


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