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Eugin & Gayle
As our Panasonic Steam oven was over 5 years old and even though it was still serving us well faithfully, we thought it prudent to replace with a new one as a precautionary measure as due to wear and tear, and also for hygiene reasons since the oven interior is abit worn off.
(Above) Our old Panasonic Steam Oven
On the topic of microwave ovens, there are alot of paranoia and cospiracy theories on how bad microwave ovens are. The most common being that claim that microwave cooking sucks the nutrients out of food. Based on what we researched, this is not entirely true. Technicians and scientists agree that microwave-cooked food may in fact retain vitamins and minerals better than stove-top-cooked food because the microwave zaps food quickly and without much water.
This is based on the theory that the longer you cook food in liquid, the more nutrients may seep out, which is fine for soups and stews, but it's a problem if one discards the liquid before eating. One study by the US Consumers Union found that spinach retained all of its folate when cooked in a microwave, compared with 77 percent when cooked on a stove,
There is also the fear that microwave ovens can leak radiation. However,the Food and Drug Administration allows for some leakage. But this leakage if there is, is at levels that are far below any known to cause harm. Further, it states that microwave ovens stop producing radiation once the door is opened and they suggest that there should be no attempts to operate a microwave if the door is broken.
There is also the accusation that radiation can cause burns, temporary sterility, and even cataracts, since the a microwave oven can heat body tissue in the same way it heats food. However, for this to occur, one would have to be exposed to levels that are much higher than the allowable limits for leakage. Therefore, unless you put your body parts in the oven during operation, there is no possibility at all of getting cancer from your microwave. Just make sure that the microwave is not operating when you open the door.
Many negative articles also claim that microwaves change the molecular structure and composition of food by ejecting some electrons from atoms and forming cancer-causing free radicals. According to scientists, microwaves don't affect the molecular structure of the food, except through the thermal effects we associate with normal cooking (e.g., denaturing of proteins with heat and caramelizing of sugars).
That's because, like all electromagnetic waves, microwaves are emitted and absorbed as particles called "photons." The energy in a microwave photon is so tiny that it can't cause any chemical rearrangement in a molecule. Instead, it can only add a tiny amount of heat to a water molecule. During the microwave cooking process, microwave photons stream into the food and heat it up and do not change the molecular structure of your food.
Okay enough with the information on debunking microwave ovens myths, we scouted for another microwave oven with steam function and managed to get a new one at a good price - Sharp AX-1100V(R) microwave oven with steam, microwave and grill functions. Importantly, this model has both high and low steam functions to help vitamin retention and preserve natural moisture and flavors. Gain city was selling this oven for $599 with $50 voucher. We managed to get the same one from our favourite electronics store- Mega Discount Store for $499 which has many good buys for electronic products. We also liked that this oven shuts off electrical supply when not in use - ie no standby mode. Activation of oven only begins when one opens the door thus saving energy. The oven looks aesthically pleasing and comes in shades of red or silver. Stocks are limited t Mega Discount though as it is a very popular sales item.