I think from my own experiences when microwaved food is eaten over a long period of time it does bad things to the body. I am wondering if my stomach pain is from eating microwaved foods since it acts up in a big way after use.
I too am very interested to learn more about the effects of microwaving on food quality, but especially to defrost food. Does anyone know of research about the lower microwave settings and whether they also cause the same damage to food?
Hi chrissy11, the magnetron tube (which produces the microwave energy) in a microwave will only work at full power. The lower "power" levels in microwave cooking are achieved by reducing the duty cycle of the magnetron. If the duty cycle in your microwave is one minute, and you defrost something the magnetron is only on for say 30% of that one minute or about 18 seconds. The off time is to let the heat to spread out through the food so it dosen't cook but will thaw. So the magnetron will be turned on and off, but while on the power is at 100%. To answer your question directly I would say that any time in a microwave is not a good thing. I hope this is not too confusing.
Thanks for the info rmars. My intuition told me the same, but I love my defrost setting so much that I was hoping for a different answer. I am getting better at pulling food out the night before and putting it in the fridge though.