* Update* The empty space left by the microwave is now a handy hanging rack for our cast iron pans. My husband used old barn wood that we salvaged to give the box a rustic feel that blends well with our house. Update #2: As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. 🙂 You can read more about our switch from an electric to wood burning HERE.
Now, on to the original article from 2014:
A couple of weeks ago our 14 year old, over the stovetop microwave kicked the bucket. As if on cue. At first we chuckled about the timing because we had just spent some time listening to Dr. Derrick DeSilva give a presentation about his take on microwaves. We were at a conference for something else and at first didn’t know who he was, nor expect what he said to ring so true. In a nutshell, he said that if you cared at all about your health, you’d never, ever, put anything in a microwave. I think we all already knew that deep down, but he went on to elaborate on what microwaves do to proteins in food and how it changes cellular structures making them less absorbable in the body. I’m severely paraphrasing, so if your interested in reading what he says you can find his website here. As a former competitive bodybuilder that based every morsel I put into my mouth on whole, unprocessed food, I found I agreed with him on so many things, he just explains them better. 🙂
Anyway, we started pondering options and what we might possibly run into trying to replace the microwave in our unconventionally built home. (we never know what’s going to be behind something we pull out). In the meantime, we went back to doing things the old fashioned way; heating water in a kettle, cooking popcorn on the stovetop and baking potatoes in the OVEN of all things, haha! We soon realized that we didn’t mind and actually found it pleasantly liberating. Given our interest in working our way back toward a simpler way of living, we quickly came to the conclusion that we no longer wanted a microwave. Craziness, right?… but all of a sudden I have magnificent additional shelf area in the kitchen that’s capable of housing a real, working, actually bright light underneath. Nothing like the pseudo lights under the old microwave. The other thing we started to realize was how not having the microwave lead to eliminating all of the tempting quick foods, forcing us toward an even more whole food diet than what we were doing before. Even more important than that, heating leftovers in a way that made them seem like a meal again, not something thrown together to be eaten in front of the TV. We routinely remake small leftovers into other dishes, but the large leftovers never had the same enjoyment when all you do is put them on a plate, heat them in the micro and hand them off in 3 minute increments to whomever is waiting for the next plate.
So, we’re microwave-less and happy about it. It’s one less thing to suck energy from a solar panel and most definitely better for us. Like the saying goes, “If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it.” Maybe the same should apply to how we prepare it.