Food irradiation and microwave ovens: What, exactly, is the difference?

What is the difference between food irradiation (as hyped by the media) and microwave ovens (as already used by millions)? Is it the spectrum used, the intensity, or just the novelty? We all know that the combined media love to make mountains out of molehills, and I want to get the Straight Dope.

Different frequency. Microwave ovens use microwaves (duh). Food irradiation usually uses gamma rays or x-rays.

Do a search on ionizing and nonionizing radiation.

I didn’t know microwave radiation was nonionizing. You live, you learn (if you’re lucky).

Any one with a screen name based on a colleague of Lovecraft seems worthwhile to me.

Thanks, Zenster. I should’ve stuck a smilie in there somewhere. Facial expression does not carry over text-based media.