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Microwave ovens: convenience vs nutrition and health

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Microwave ovens have revolutionized the way we cook, but we are paying a price for this convenience.

I am the first to admit that anything convenient I like. I am personally having a very hard time keeping up with my own life right now, so anything that can save time is much appreciated. I bet many of you feel the same way. I'm willing to pay more money for pre-washed organic mixed greens and I buy organic nugget potatoes instead of the big ones so I don't have to peel or chop. A few years back, I insisted on getting a microwave to defrost meat and to reheat snacks. We still have that microwave, but now it is relegated to rag duty - I zap my kitchen rags for 3 minutes to kill every living bit of bacteria on them before wiping down the counters.

Since the microwave is so good at killing bacteria, it becomes obvious that it also will kill anything alive in our food. All those vital enzymes that help us digest our food, all the B, C and E vitamins and most trace minerals are destroyed in the microwaving process. As opposed to conventional means of cooking which heat the food from the outside in, microwave ovens heat from the inside out by hurling out high-frequency alternating power fields which forces the molecules within the food to align themselves with the rapidly alternating electric field and sends the molecules flying back and forth at the dizzying pace of about 5 billion reversals per second. This causes a great deal of intermolecular friction which creates heat to heat the food, but it also destroys the cellular structure of the food, and it can change the chemical composition of the food into something that the body no longer recognizes.

And if the food was cooked in a plastic container or with plastic wrap on top, plastic molecules are now imbedded into the food, which creates a whole other disaster for the endocrine system. So eating microwaved food frequently, is a problem because not only have the micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phyto-nutrients) been destroyed, but also the macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) have been
molecularly damaged rendering it virtually useless to the body. You can even detect the compositional changes yourself. Don't microwaved eggs seem rubbery to you, too?

Physicians tell new mothers never to heat the baby's milk in the microwave, as it denatures the proteins in the milk. If something is not good for baby, surely it is not good for adults either.  When blood transfusions are given in a hospital, the blood is NOT  warmed in the microwave, as the nuked blood cells are destroyed, making the transfusion deadly to the patient. So, if the microwave destroys blood cells, it will also destroy the cell structure and the life-force of food as well.

More and more evidence is coming to the fore that electromagnetic fields are damaging to human cells, and the higher the frequency the bigger the problem. Food that is nuked at a rate of the typical 2.45 gigahertz frequency in the microwave has been "energized" and the food gives off that energy to the nervous system, which may cause a stress response of high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, and dizziness.

Eating zapped food can cause abnormal changes in the blood and in the immune system. The Russians, who did most of the research on microwaves, found that there were higher incidences of stomach and intestinal cancers, digestive disorders, and higher rates of all cell tumors in those that ate microwaved foods frequently. Microwave ovens were banned in Russia from 1976 until Perestroika.

So, how does one live microwave free? The biggest thing is to get organized and get into the habit of taking out the frozen meat, poultry or fish in the morning, or to buy fresh on the way home. As for cooking, I love my folding electric grill, as it cooks really fast because the grill folds like a waffle iron and grills both sides of the meat at once. I either steam some fresh organic veggies or make a salad, and along with the help of a healthy sauce or dressing that I made up on the weekend, voila, I've got a simple, nutritious meal in less than 15 minutes. Much tougher is eating out at restaurants, where we are not always aware of the cooking methods used. So ask the necessary questions and do what you can to protect your food and your health.

If you want to search for other posts by title or by topic, go to www.wellnesstips.ca.

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Neat little kitchen trick
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Chek, Paul; You Are What You Eat CD Series  Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002. 

Blanc, BH & Hertel, H.U. Comparative study about the influence on man by food prepared conventionally and in the microwave oven 1992.

Czerski, P. et al: Influence of microwave radiation on the haematopoetic systym Biologic Effects and Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation Polish Medical Publishers, Warschau, 1974.

Dealler, SF et al: Superficial microwave heating Nature 344: 496, 1990.

Quan, R et al. Effects of Microwave Radiation on Anti-infective Factors in Human Milk Pediatrics 89(4): 677-669, 1992.

Lubec, G. et al. Amino acid Isomerisation and Microwave Exposure The Lancet 2(8676:) 1392-93, 1989.

Thomas, Will; Nuked in your kitchen Convergency Weekly, Online.

Online at Are Microwave Ovens a Source of Danger?

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Comments (15)

Submitted by memory foam (not verified) on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 8:27pm.

Thanks, this is very important information. I was aware that microwave ovens caused problems but did not know the extent of and what type of damage they do. It is sad that we sacrifice health for convenience so often in modern life.

Submitted by EMF Guy on Sun, 04/19/2009 - 8:45am.

In addition to the food de-naturing is the hazard of the microwave frequencies themselves to humans which bounce around in a kitchen.

These so-called safety standards we assume protect us are not related to health or health effects whatsoever but merely to the heating of tissue.

The assumption being, exposures below this level are not ripping apart DNA therefore can't possibly have negative health implications.

This premise of  'no DNA damage' has been refuted now by many studies, though certainly no health agency in the world has the courage to revisit this issue ( if indeed they ever visited it in the first place).

Also, the microwave shoots out huge power line frequency fields (60Hz) some   four to six feet to zap those who would insist on watching their popcorn pop.

This form of culinary entertainment is a real bad idea for anyone with epilepsy or a pace-maker ... or anyone with a brain or a heart - for that matter.

As an alternative to the microwave, there is the steam oven. It is wildly popular in Europe.  And unlike a microwave which extracts 93% of the nutritional value of broccoli ( for example ), it leaves in 93% of the value.

It is as fast as  a microwave and yet leaves in the taste, colour and texture of food - in fact, even brings leftovers back to life days later.

The problem is the price tag.  In Europe, the steam oven sells for the equivalent of about $ 750 whereas here in North America, it sells for         $ 3,000.

We are working on that, along with new EMF-safe appliances.

In the meantime, steam your food stuffs.

James Butler - HomeSafe

Submitted by Derek (not verified) on Sat, 11/21/2009 - 5:08pm.

You really need to break your paragraphs up into small sections. It's about impossible to even read.

I'm confused on this issue of microwaves killing nutrients. Your claims totally contradict the NY Times who issued a report saying that it is the combination of water and heat that kills most of the vitamins/nutrients in food: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/health/17real.html

Submitted by Vreni Gurd on Sun, 11/22/2009 - 12:21pm.

Hi Derek,

There is no doubt that heating food no matter how you heat it, kills nutrients - particular water soluble vitamins.  That is why eating raw food is so nourishing, and why pasteurizing everything drastically reduces the nutrition in the food, and why, by cooking everything to death we may wind up malnourished.

But it is not the heat that destroys the nutrition while microwaving - it is the velocity of the molecules as they bash into each other which damages the cellular structure.

You crash 2 cars into each other at very high speeds, not only is the car itself going to be destroyed, but probably the crash will kill the people inside too.    And if not kill, damage very badly.

This is what happens to cells in the food.  They are so damaged that the body can't use them anymore.  And if you have your food in plastic, the molecules of plastic may very well be imbedded in your food.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the tip about the paragraphs.  

 

Vreni Gurd

 Health and Vitality Coach

Corrective Exercise Specialist

BPHE, CHEK 3, HLC 2
www.wellnesstips.ca

Submitted by Vreni Gurd on Sun, 11/22/2009 - 12:33pm.

Hi Derek,

One more thing.  I think it is important to understand that it doesn't take long for nutrients to be destroyed with heat.  When milk is pasteurized, it is only held at the pasteurization heat for 15-20 seconds.  Usually food is in a microwave for much longer than that, and comes out extremely hot.  So even though the times may be shorter than conventional heating methods, I don't really buy the idea that the food is in there too short for the heat to damage the food.  

So microwaved food gets a double whammy.  The heat and the molecular damage.  Nutrients don't have a chance.

 

Vreni Gurd

 

Health and Vitality Coach

Corrective Exercise Specialist

BPHE, CHEK 3, HLC 2
www.wellnesstips.ca

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 8:18pm.

I was wondering if there are any recent research that has been done on this? All of the references in the article are from over 18 years ago.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/22/2010 - 11:02pm.
Submitted by cheap designer shoes (not verified) on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 6:46am.

I love the sentences "We're all going to die, most of us just have different perspectives on when that is going to happen. It's how we deal with the living part of our lives, that makes a difference."
My faith is "just be positive".

Submitted by NotAnIdiot (not verified) on Sun, 10/23/2011 - 6:43pm.

This has to be one of the most idiotic things I've read. No science whatsoever. A lot of presumptions..."if it does this to X then obviously it does it to Y" when X and Y are very different. It reminded me of Monty Python's, "if wood burns and witches burn, then throw her in the pond, and if she floats, she's a witch, so burn her." I laughed out loud at the part about energy being transferred to the nervous system. Microwave ovens operate at the frequency the do because it is the resonant frequency of water molecules,which means it can speed up their motion easily and efficiently. Heat is
caused by faster moving molecules...AND THAT GOES FOR CONVENTIONAL HEAT AS WELL . SAME THING. That is what heat is in any material --its molecules moving faster than when cold. There is no residual energy other than heat. The author clearly hasn't done his research regarding his comment that the higher the frequency, the bigger the problem. Human tissue is actually absorbs more and is more easily damaged by much lower frequencies -- around 150 MHz. I could go on and on, but I havebetter things to do. If you believe this article, then you are as ignorant about science as the author.

#10: carrots
Submitted by nubwaxer on Sun, 10/28/2012 - 6:34pm.

which has more nutrients, cooked or raw carrots?

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