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Are Americans Getting Sick Of The Microwave?

photo by Liz Ryan

Is America’s love affair with the microwave over?  Sales are down after peaking in 2004 and almost every home has one.  The microwave pictured is the one that is in my parent’s house right now.  It has been in this position since we moved into the house when I was six years old. 

I am now at least 30 years older than that and this monster keeps humming away.  To use it, you have to push the C button and then the Time button and then enter the seconds before hitting start.  It’s a monsterwave but it still works.

Many experts believe it’s not about how many are in circulation — but there is a real move in America to actually cook real food again.  People are becoming more conscious of what it is their food and cooking ‘fresh’ doesn’t help the poor microwave.  Sales of frozen meals are also down after 60 years of growth.  Microwave popcorn sales are also slowing.

So, what are you doing now to get food to the table?  Many people have opted to use more specialized small appliances.  Toaster ovens, for example are booming.  We use ours all the time and it makes a killer pork loin.  Crock pots, griddles, rice makers and other things that can go onto the counter when in use and be hidden away when not are all selling strong, too.

We use ours (the one I’ve had since college) to heat water with it when we need it to make broth or stock from bullion.  We use it to re-heat meals like soups.  We have some favorite microwave things — like frozen burritos.  Yum.  But we could live without it.  We could easily live without it.

If you need counter space, try this:  Stop using the microwave for two weeks.  If it doesn’t hurt your world and if you start to not notice you are not using it — it may be time to send it to the appliance graveyard in the sky.

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