Warming up food: Not all food can be put in the microwave
Be it because too much was cooked for celebrations like Easter or simply too much ended up in the shopping basket: Millions of tons of food end up in the trash every year. Much of it is actually too good to throw away. Warming up food helps avoid waste. However, when using the microwave, you have to be careful: not all foods should be heated in it.
Massive food waste
“11 million tons of food are thrown away in Germany every year. Around 60 percent of this is in private households, an average of 82 kilograms per person per year. 65 percent of this discarded food is so-called avoidable waste, i.e. food that can still be eaten at the time of being thrown away, ”the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection wrote on its website. But food waste can be avoided. In addition to more targeted shopping or freezing of food, warming up food is also an option. However, caution should be used when using the microwave. Because some foods heated in the microwave pose a health hazard.
Practical household appliance
The microwave is one of the most common household appliances in Germany. Warm meals are ready in minutes in the practical devices. However, some consumers fear that microwave food is not healthy.
"However, this concern is unfounded," reports the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE).
“The electromagnetic radiation from the microwave only vibrates the components of the food, so that heat is generated. However, the composition of the food does not change. The waves are not strong enough for this, ”said the experts.
And: “The food cannot absorb any radiation either. Microwave dishes are just as safe as dishes from the saucepan. ”
However, some foods should not end up in the microwave to warm them up - otherwise there is a risk of health risks.
Do not heat chicken in the microwave
Experts do not recommend heating up cold chicken in the microwave. Because this changes the protein structures in the meat, which is why our body can no longer process the proteins properly.
This can lead to digestive problems, nausea and diarrhea.
The poultry should therefore be warmed up better in the oven, taking care that it is completely and evenly heated for several minutes. Ultimately, the meat should also be hot in the middle.
It is better to enjoy mushrooms fresh
Mushrooms should also not be put in the microwave. Not only because they taste best when freshly prepared, but also because they can form dangerous toxins when stored for a long time, which can result in health problems such as nausea or vomiting.
The basic rule is to cool the remains of mushroom dishes quickly and to store them in the refrigerator for no longer than a day. This also applies to dishes with spinach.
When warming up once, the food should be heated to at least 70 degrees. The dish should not be warmed up again.
Possible gastrointestinal complaints
It is also not advisable to reheat eggs, regardless of whether they are cooked, made into an omelette or used for an Asian noodle dish.
Similar to poultry, protein structures can change, which can cause stomach upset.
In addition, there is a risk of salmonella if the eggs have not been heated long enough when they are first prepared or when they are warmed up.
Salmonella are bacteria that can trigger severe gastrointestinal disorders (salmonellosis).
The disease occurs a few hours to days after the infection and manifests itself primarily through sudden onset diarrhea, abdominal pain, malaise, feeling cold and headache.
In some cases, vomiting and mild fever are added.
Warming up in the saucepan is safer
There is also a certain risk with cooked rice and potatoes that were not quickly stored in the refrigerator after preparation, as spores and fungi can form in them.
If the food is only heated for a short time or at too low a temperature, the germs will not be killed. The result can be food poisoning.
In principle, a health hazard cannot be ruled out when the foods mentioned are heated in the microwave. The saucepan or stove are considered the safer alternatives. Bacteria can be killed by thorough cooking or heating.
When heated in the microwave, the food is usually not heated hot enough or long enough everywhere. (ad)