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Microwave, Grill, Oven Statistics

One of the challenges of providing healthy recipes is cooking them in a way that most readers can duplicate. Just how many people own microwaves, grills, and ovens? The numbers might surprise you.

This question really first was hammered home to me when I visited Ukraine for 10 days. We visited several relatives there and literally every home had an oven but nothing else. Many had only recently converted from a wood-burning oven. For an American society, where 74% of people "living in poverty" have the convenience of a microwave oven in *addition* to a regular non-wood-burning oven, we have a much, much higher standard of what we think "poor" means. For instance, none of the homes in Ukraine - of working, relatively well off people - had indoor plumbing. All had outhouses or garage toilets. Most of the US "poor" are actually rather rich compared to the world at large, but have higher standards of living.

So, back to the question at hand. Let's start with microwaves. A scientist in 1946 was working with magnetrons, and a chocolate bar in his pocket melted. Yikes! Talk about a scary way to discover something. They became available in 1954 and by 2002, 95% of US homes contained at least one.

While microwave ovens are great at fast-cooking food, they're also still a bit iffy in the safety department. When we turn on our microwave, our wireless laptops in the living room lose their internet connection :) Time to get a new one ...

About 75% of US homes own a grill. Interestingly, only half of single folks have a grill - but almost 85% of "families" (2 or more people) have one. I guess grills are not worth it, for many singles, to make one-person meals.

I wouldn't have guessed this - apparently the northeast grills more than any other part of the US. I happen to live in the northeast. Most people I know (including myself) grill summer *and* winter, even standing in the snow to grill :)

So while I love to put up grilling recipes, maybe a quarter of the people out there don't have a grill - and another portion would only grill in summertime. Get out in the snow, you wusses! :)

As you might expect, just about every home in the US has a "regular" oven. A government survey in 2001 found that 99.7% of homes had one. Interestingly, 98.9% of homes had a color TV in the same survey. Talk about a non-necessity being in every home! I don't think I saw a TV in any home in Ukraine even though there are many stations in the area. They found other ways to entertain themselves. They're also more fit than we are :)

So where does this leave us? People in the US are very wealthy even when they feel they're poor :) We all have conventional ovens, but even so, most of us use our microwaves instead because they're fast and easy, even while they send out rays capable of interrupting wireless internet connections. Most people not living in the northeast are afraid of being outside grilling when the weather is not perfect. We all watch color TV instead of going out walking and dancing, and get heavy, and then make low carb dishes (quickly) in our microwave to lose weight :)

What do you think? Chime in with your view in our forums!

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