Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Do Not Microwave Spinach?

Cooked some frozen spinach last night. Usually I just toss it in a bowl, slide it into the microwave and nuke it. For some reason, this time I checked the bag to see how long the directions said to cook the healthy green stuff. I was surprised to see that the only cooking directions on the bag said to do it the old fashioned way --- put it in a pot and boil it on the stove.

I thought maybe they stuck the microwave directions somewhere else, so I looked over the entire bag. Guess what? On the side, amidst a bunch of other bulleted info, it said "Do not microwave". They didn't say it wasn't recommended, it flat out says "do not microwave". Hmmm...

I've read in recent days that they (can't remember who "they" happened to be) are saying not to microwave meat. Meat cooked in the microwave, per the "they", doesn't reach the needed high temperatures in the middle needed to kill the bad stuff that lurks in meats unless you're willing to cook it long enough to ruin the outside.

I know there have been some spinach scares over the past few years, so I thought possibly the reason for the directive had to do with food safety. Possibly, just like meat, the spinach doesn't reach the temperatures needed to kill the nasties that may linger on the leaves.

I went on an Internet search to see if I could find the answer. Putting in "spinach" and "microwave" brought up tons of recipes and suggestions on how to cook and how long to cook. No warnings. So, I added the word "warning".

Nothing caught my attention other than the article I've posted below. Then I tried "do not microwave" and "spinach". Still nothing.

I'm going to go pull the bag out of the freezer and find a contact address so I can ask the company why they say not to microwave. I dutifully pulled out a pot and cooked it on the stove top rather than take a chance. I'll let you know if the company responds! More than likely it'll just be that it cooks up better on the stove.

HEALTH WARNING: Is your Microwave Safe?
December 7, 2006 at 8:14 pm
Recent Cancer News from Johns Hopkins University, of Maryland, focuses on dioxins, chemicals found in plastics frequently used in freezing and microwave cooking. Read on to determine if you are putting yourself and your family at risk with your cooking and freezing methods...

2 comments:

Celery said...

I suspect it is because many fresh vegetable manufacturers are making the bags so you CAN microwave bag and all - Birdseye's Steamers for instance.

Luke said...

I want to know also. I just had the same experience. Cooking vegetables in the microwave saves a lot more nutrients then boiling them. That is the worst.