Tag Archives: microwaves

Microwave Blindness

Sara is a very gossipy, religious, fun girl. Sophomore at USC, she’s in the Helene’s and a sorority. She’s from Anaheim, California. And she has an incredibly interesting memory and past.

Probably the funniest of my interviews was this one. Sara described to me how her friends in elementary school told her not to eat too many green vegetables because she would turn green; not to eat too many carrots because she would turn orange. She said that when her friends told her that she replied with something along the lines:

“Oh, ok. I don’t want to be green. But listen, want to know a secret. Don’t stare at the microwave when there’s food in there. It’ll make you go blind.”

I’ve never ever heard of this growing up but I have heard other friends talking about their mothers telling their young children to stay away form the microwave when it’s cooking food.

Analysis: It’s a myth! People who don’t understand microwaves sometimes believe there is some sort of deadly radiation coming out of the oven, but that’s not true. Microwaves are the same waves used by many wireless gadgets. The only difference in the case of microwave ovens is that they are a lot stronger, so they tend to heat things up when they hit them. Microwaves cannot escape from the oven, because the inside is made of metal, which blocks microwaves. And the window in front of the oven blocks microwaves, too, because it contains a metal screen with holes that microwaves are too large to pass through. This allows you to look inside the oven without being exposed to any of the microwaves. You can look for as long as you want. It won’t hurt you.