Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why I Got Rid Of My Microwave

Every once in awhile in conversation I'll mention that we don't have a microwave. I immediately catch myself, likely as a result of the sudden change in facial expression of whomever I'm talking to. It seems as though people pity us, or maybe think that we don't have the money for a microwave. In truth, we did have one. But we don't any more.

When I was 14 and entered the workforce, I often spent my paycheques at Ikea with my mom. As most angsty teenagers, I was convinced that I would be moving out just as soon as I finished high school and therefore needed to have an adequate supply of household items ready & waiting when the day came. As it turned out, most of these items were things that live in the kitchen. Although I did ask for a vacuum cleaner for my birthday AND Christmas for several years in a row before it was finally wrapped up with a bow waiting for me. Perseverance paid off in this case. And with my blender, actually.

I've been gifted muffin tins, sandwich makers, springform pans and mugs. Dish racks, toaster ovens, mixing bowls and pots over the years. And yes, a microwave. It was a beast. Likely the biggest microwave I've ever seen, and heavy. And I lugged it around through more moves than I can count. And while I do appreciate all that I have been given through the years, some of these things are no longer in my possession. Like the sandwich maker. And the microwave...

When we moved away from the city we both grew up in to go north to Edmonton, and together for the first time into an apartment, we had some spacial limitations to deal with. Luckily I had most of the "house stuff" to contribute to what would become our first home. It wasn't much of a merger of two people stuff, but more of a "I have everything, so don't worry about it". Just as it was with our first camping trip together, some years ago. Somehow all the boxes of "stuff" I had amassed began to turn into a functioning home. A functioning kitchen more importantly.

Our toaster oven's name is "The Buick". We didn't name it however, it was handed down from Mr.C's cousin who (in their family) have some toast preference issues. Lets just say the Buick wasn't a good fit for them. And so it came to live on our counter top. As the name suggests, this is the biggest toaster oven known to man. It likely has "commercial grade" stamped on the back somewhere. When it came right down to it, our behemoth microwave and the mighty Buick took to battle over what limited counter space we had. In the end mind you, the Buick ended up living on top of the fridge, and the microwave in its box in the storage room. This freed up much needed space on our kitchen counters.

We kept the microwave in its box, lonely and isolated from the other kitchen appliances for 6 months or so and then figured that if we hadn't needed to use it enough to haul it out of storage, we may as well get rid of it. So I hauled it off to Value Village one day so that some lucky NAIT student across the road could give it a better life.

I could tell you about all the "bad", unhealthful reasons that accompany my need for space to cook resulting in the microwave-less kitchen that we now know, but if you've bothered to read this far already you've probably already thought about it. Might I suggest a challenge: Put a piece of tape across your microwave door & write the date (either on the tape, or maybe on a calendar if you keep one). See how long you can manage without really needing to use it.

I can remember my mom shooing us away from the microwave as kids, not to stand in front of it peering through the little window waiting for whatever it was sizzling inside. Life without a microwave IS possible and your body will thank you for not only the higher quality food you're putting into it, but for the decrease in radiation in your environment. The places where you spend your time; your workplace, you car, your bed, your kitchen- these create the environment that your body has to make you healthy in. If you're constantly bombarding yourself with chemical cleaners, radiation and other environmental pollutants that your body has to process you're not going to be functioning optimally. Go natural. Use essential oils, baking soda & vinegar cleaners, put your cell phone in another room at night, take the tv & the computer out of your bedroom. Give your poor body a bit of a break. You might even discover that food isn't "naturally" soggy and lukewarm. It's better...


  1. Good for you! I think that I shall try the tape thing, I would guess we used our microwave a total of 10 times last year.

    We have not had one for years, and good friend of ours moved back to Canada and gave us a very nice one. For ages it stood on the floor in the corner, but one day we used it and now it has migrated to the counter. But really, for the amount of space it takes up - I am not sure 10 uses in 365 days is worth it

    Fonda LaShay

  2. I used to always cook pasta in the microwave until I learned how much better it tastes on the stove. For a while I would eat those fancy pizza pockets and tons of pre-packaged food, the microwave was quite handy. Now that I am gluten-free, diary-free (among others) there doesn't seem to be much pre-packaged food available. I use the microwave daily at work to heat up those home-made leftovers, in glass or ceramic dishes.

    My parents were concerned about the radiation from their old bohemoth of a microwave. They got it tested and found it emited LESS radiation than contemporary models. Go figure, things are better when they are built to last, it now lives at our trailer, on top of the fridge.