While we are not fanatical, we try to ensure that the kids (and us) take advantage of any minor changes in lifestyle and diet that we can to help promote health. We got rid of BPA plastic when the studies started showing that it posed danger and switched over to stainless steel water bottles. We’ve been slowly eradicating food products from our diet that are made with high fructose corn syrup. And we no longer use a microwave.

It started as something we simply wanted to try to rely on less. We’d heard about the cellular level damage that microwaves may cause, particularly when used to heat things like vegetables. And then, when just when we had reduced our reliance on the microwave to re-heating coffee and leftovers, it broke.

We have one of those over the stove microwaves that also serves as a hood, fan, and stove light. All of those parts of the microwave are still operational. It just no longer cooks food. Maybe it took offense at our efforts to use it less. Or maybe it is just that, like all the appliances in this old house of ours, it was already living on borrowed time.

We could have replaced it but have been trying to live more frugally, to truly only spend money on things that we need so that all of our leftover money can be used for experiencing life – traveling, taking the kids to museums, spending time together.

We’ve discovered that reheating food on the grill or in the oven doesn’t take too long, that reheating coffee on the stove actually makes the whole kitchen smell good, and that even microwave bags of popcorn can be cut open and cooked on the stove in a pan. Best of all, things cooked outside of a microwave taste better!

Distant memories have started to surface about life before microwaves. My parents never had one until I was in middle school. Dave grew up without one in his house at all. Something about the smell of coffee heating on the stove takes us back to grandmothers with percolators and simpler times. It’s been a nice change.

Cancer has taken its toll on our family – Dave’s dad and my mom both died after prolonged battles, making us ultra sensitive to the risks that our children may face thanks to their inherited genetics. We also believe that as with many illnesses faced by the world’s populations today, a lot of what we consume and how we live impacts both our ability to withstand disease and fight it if we get it.

Ditching the microwave may be a small inconvenience, but it has been a worthwhile change from the have-to-have-it now mentality.