To Microwave or Not?

Real Estate Agent with Earth Origins Realty

As mentioned in an earlier entry, I am a green builder and am currently building a totally eco-friendly home in Albuquerque's North Valley.  One of the questions my wife/partner and I are deliberating over is whether or not to install a mircowave into the home.  We have made the mindful choice to not own one for over the last five years.  Our decision has been based on the reseach which shows that microwaves change the mollecular/ cellular structure of food and that they emit large amounts of electromagnetic waves/pollution.  Health is our number one priority.

Now becuase we are building this home to sell, we have to make smart marketing decisions.  Most homes have mircowaves built it.  However, we will be marketing this house as not only Green, but also as a low  electromagnetic field designed home.  Some argue that mircowaves are "green" because not only are the convenient, they don't use much energy to heat food up.  However, in my opinion, the health, safety, and indoor air quality of a home is just as if not more important that energy efficiency. 

Any thoughts?  What about any comments from fellow Ecobrokers? 

Comments (9)

Malendaz Coleman

All these devices make use of electromagnetic waves. Radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and x rays are all examples of electromagnetic waves that differ from each other in wavelength. And just to think all the time we spend on computer. Keep up the good work. Lifes short Go Green

Nov 09, 2008 04:58 PM
Bill Jones
Discovery Real Estate Ltd. - "Homes By Jones" - Airdrie, AB
Realtor (403-701-1739) Airdrie & Calgary Area Homes and Condos

I don't disagree with the research on Microwave ovens, but that being given, possibly Gas stoves would be bad thought due to the emissions, however clean burning they may be.  And then there is the thought that possibly the magnetics generated from electric circuits ad electric fans are harmful. I applaud your efforts to build green.  I do think that people will need to cook and if you don't put a MW oven in they will likely bring pone with them anyway.

Once upon a time we thought zonalite insulation was a good idea but it has since been proven that the asbestos in it was harming us.  What are the things we are building with now going to be proven to be hazards later?  I haven't heard of anyone getting sick from a microwave oven yet, but who knows I'm sure our taxes are paying for a research project on it right now.

It's a tough decision when building with Ecology in mind, good luck i finding a solution that works with man kind and not against practicality.



Nov 09, 2008 05:06 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Paul:  Actually, your opinion is nice... but that is not what sells homes.  If you happen across a "green" buyer... cool.  However, if the buyer wants a microwave, and you either have not put one in, or cannot retrofit one... you are less likely to sell the home.

Nov 09, 2008 07:27 PM
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

I find that green consumers will only go so far in green. When it cuts out luxuries or eats to much cash they arent quite as green as they want to be. Put in a convection microwave. 99% will want one!

Nov 09, 2008 09:24 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Hey Paul:  I agree with Karen and Laura.  Your objective is to sell the house.  You probably want the largest market segment possible to buy your house.  Over 90% of American households have at least one microwave.  Most people are looking for built-in appliances.  Kitchens are one of the two most prominent things that sell houses - particularly to women.  You want one that kicks butt.

EVERY cooking technique changes the molecular/cellular structure of food.  There is no EMF "pollution" from your microwave beyond 18" - the waves are extremely short (hence the name, "micro").   By comparison, you get HUGE amounts of EMF from your cell phone, television, computer screen, electric range, toaster, coffee maker, electric panel box, etc.  Their EMF waves extend further!  Have you ever ridden in a hybrid car?  Noticed your ears ringing after wards?  EMF "pollution" causes that.  You are "LIT UP" just riding in one.  When driving a hybrid car in your neighborhood are you "polluting" the area around the car?  For what distance?

You CANNOT avoid EMF in today's world.  Is it a danger?  They have studied the high-tension electrical cable workers who have spent decades walking on highly-charged cables and found no deleterious physical/mental effects.  So how dangerous are the high-tension cables near your house?  Or your microwave?

Listen to the news - everything is going to kill us today!  If you paid attention to all of it, you could not build a home.  But be careful, what is okay today will be a danger tomorrow, and what is a danger today will be proved safe tomorrow...

If you are interested in "saving the planet" and avoid putting in a built-in microwave, make a cabinet hole large enough for a good-sized microwave with an outlet on the back side.  Put a card in there that says, "Convenient microwave cabinet."

Nov 09, 2008 09:33 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Paul,  Green is an evolving concept for most home buyers.  I agree with those who said that buyers will be green...up to a point.  Will you not be prewiring for television and other necessary 21st century electronics? Now is the time to think as a green builder but builder is still part of that equation.

Nov 09, 2008 09:57 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

We had neighbors who were concerned about the effects of a microwave....and when they built their home, they built a place for one that could accomodate a built in model...BUT  could also be used as a cabinet with doors available if the next owner preferred that pleases both sides !

Nov 09, 2008 10:18 PM
Paul Chavez
Earth Origins Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque Realtor, NM EcoBroker, and General Contractor

Wow...thank you to all who have responded.  We have considered building an open  cabinet space for installing a mircrowave in the kitchen island.  i am actually the cabinet builder so that won't be a problem.  But after reading all of your comments i'm definately leaning toward installing a microwave.  didn't realize i was such a minority when it comes to not using one.  Food just tastes so much better when it's cooked on the stove (and yes, we are installing not only state of the art exhast over oven, but an additonal one on the ceiling to deal with gas fumes).  i really appreciate all the comments! 

Nov 09, 2008 10:21 PM
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

That is a great question. But, we are not sure if people are willing to give up on a convenience like a microwave even in a green home. Best idea is to have an area for one but that is not a huge eyesore in case they do not want one.

Nov 09, 2008 11:52 PM