Thursday, February 8, 2018

My Life Without A Microwave

90% of Americans live in a household with a microwave. I am in the 10 percent.

Since Dec. 30, 2017, I've been living without a microwave.

I reheat my leftovers in a pot on the stove.
Cons: requires attention and stirring.
Pros: I'm way less likely to overheat my food, and thus am less likely to have a burned tongue/roof of mouth.

I am no longer able to make nachos the way I like them (with small pieces of cheddar cheese melted onto individual tortilla chips).
Cons: that was such a yummy snack.
Pros: eliminated a not-so-healthy snack from my diet.

Other general pros:
I can no longer give myself cancer by heating food in Tupperware.
Apparently microwaving food reduces its nutritional value? The Internet is telling me this is likely but debatable.

The only other con is, obviously, that it's inconvenient to pop popcorn on the stove.

Brief history of the invention of the domestic microwave, according to Quartz:
Before microwave radiation melted cheese, it served as the magic behind radars, which sent microwave signals out to objects to gauge their distance. But in 1945, Percy Spencer, an engineer at Raytheon, the maker of the first microwave, noticed something peculiar while experimenting with the technology. The high-powered radar turned a chocolate bar in Spencer’s pocket into goo. He then deliberately experimented with—you guessed it—popcorn. And it worked. Next, he tried an egg, which promptly exploded (onto a nearby coworker, as the story goes.)
Today, largely thanks to the microwaveable popcorn boom, the average American eats about 52 quarts of popcorn per year, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

In 2006, a Pew Research survey (pdf) found that the only consumer products Americans considered more essential than the microwave were cars, washing machines, dryers, and air conditioning. 

LOL I don't have AC or a washer/dryer, either. Really roughing it up here in Brooklyn! 

Meanwhile, turns out microwave sales are actually slowing, probably because people are starting to care more about quality and freshness in their food — valuing that even over convenience.
Growth in sales of microwavable popcorn are also slowing, while sales of ready-to-eat popcorn are growing at an over 11% clip. Why microwave junk food when you can get it pre-popped? Americans are at once too patient and too lazy to use their microwaves these days.
RIP microwaves.

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