What Microwaves do to YOU & your food

18 05 2010

By now, you probably know that what you eat has a profound impact on your health. The mantra, “You are what you eat” is really true.

But you need to consider not only WHAT you buy, but how you cook it.

Eating most of your food raw is ideal. But most of us are not going to be able to accomplish a completely raw diet, and we’ll end up cooking some percentage of our food.

Smart food preparation starts with high quality foods and food preparation and that means saying sayonara to your microwave oven. Need to sterilize a dishcloth? Use your microwave. But zapping your casserole is a BAD idea if you are interested in preparing healthy food.

Over the past century, the quality of fresh food has declined due to soil depletion, unsustainable farming practices, overproduction of crops, and the use of pesticides and herbicides. You can no longer assume you’re getting all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients you need by eating a multitude of fresh produce—even if you’re eating organically.

Not surprisingly, a calorie today will provide you less nutrition than a calorie from 100, or even 50 years ago.

So now, more than ever, you must be careful to maximize the “bang for your buck” when it comes to the foods you eat.

Research shows that your microwave oven will NOT help you in these efforts—and in fact will threaten your health by violently ripping the molecules in your food apart, rendering some nutrients inert, at best, and carcinogenic at its worst.



Convenience Comes at Significant Toxic Threat to You and Your Family!

Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in it to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat your food, what most people fail to realize is that it also causes a change in your food’s chemical structure.

There are numerous issues that have emerged since microwave ovens were first introduced to consumers more than 40 years ago, besides depleting your food’s nutritional value, which will be addressed a bit later.

The first thing you probably noticed when you began microwaving food was how uneven the heating is.

“Hot spots” in microwaved food can be hot enough to cause burns—or build up to a “steam explosion.” This has resulted in admonitions to new mothers about NOT using the microwave to heat up baby bottles, since babies have been burned by super-heated formula that went undetected.

Another problem with microwave ovens is that carcinogenic toxins can leach out of your plastic and paper containers/covers, and into your food.

The January/February 1990 issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter reported the leakage of numerous toxic chemicals from the packaging of common microwavable foods, including pizzas, chips and popcorn. Chemicals included polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene. Microwaving fatty foods in plastic containers leads to the release of dioxins (known carcinogens) and other toxins into your food.

One of the worst contaminants is BPA, or bisphenol A, an estrogen-like compound used widely in plastic products. In fact, dishes made specifically for the microwave often contain BPA, but many other plastic products contain it as well.

Microwaving distorts and deforms the molecules of whatever food or other substance you subject to it. An example of this is blood products.

Blood is normally warmed before being transfused into a person. Now we know that microwaving blood products damages the blood components. In fact, one woman died after receiving a transfusion of microwaved blood in 1991 , which resulted in a well-publicized lawsuit.


Microwaving Also Zaps the Nutrients Right Out of Your Food

Some excellent scientific data has been gathered regarding the detrimental effects of microwaves on the nutrients in your food:

-A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact.

-A 1999 Scandinavian study of the cooking of asparagus spears found that microwaving caused a reduction in vitamin C.

-In a study of garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allinase, garlic’s principle active ingredient against cancer.

-A Japanese study by Watanabe showed that just 6 minutes of microwave heating turned 30-40 percent of the B12 in milk into an inert (dead) form. This study has been cited by Dr. Andrew Weil as evidence supporting his concerns about the effects of microwaving. Dr. Weil wrote: “There may be dangers associated with microwaving food… there is a question as to whether microwaving alters protein chemistry in ways that might be harmful.”

-A recent Australian study showed that microwaves cause a higher degree of “protein unfolding” than conventional heating.

-Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In 1992, Quan found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria.

Quan stated that more damage was done to the milk by microwaving than by other methods of heating, concluding: “Microwaving appears to be contraindicated at high-temperatures, and questions regarding its safety exist even at low temperatures.”

-Another study about breast milk/infant formula by Lee in 1989 found vitamin content becomes depleted by microwaving, and certain amino acids are converted into other substances that are biologically inactive. Some altered amino acids are poisons to the nervous system and kidneys. (Numerous authors mention this study, yet I was unable to find the original article/study, so I cannot personally validate.)

Although many of the above studies are not new, there is certainly ample evidence that microwaving is NOT good for your food.


Twenty Years of Russian Research Supports Microwave Concerns…

The Powerwatch article summarizes the Russian research quite well, which I will duplicate below:

-Russian investigators found that carcinogens were formed from the microwaving of nearly all foods tested.

-The microwaving of milk and grains converted some of the amino acids into carcinogenic substances.

-Microwaving prepared meats caused the formation of the cancer-causing agents d-Nitrosodienthanolamines.

-Thawing frozen fruits by microwave converted their glucoside and galactoside fractions into carcinogenic substances.

-Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.

-Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants—especially root vegetables.

-Structural degradation leading to decreased food value was found to be 60 to 90 percent overall for all foods tested, with significant decreases in bioavailability of B complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, essential minerals, and lipotropics (substances that prevent abnormal accumulation of fat).


Is Microwaving Food Any More Dangerous than Heating it with a Conventional Oven?

-Microwave heating and conventional heating may appear identical on a “macro” level, but the two appear very different on a molecular level.

-Microwaves are effective for sterilization, which has been studied for several decades. There is controversy, however, is about whether it’s the heat they generate or if it’s something else altogether.

-One scientist (Kakita 1995) was successful in demonstrating that microwaves are capable of extensively fragmenting and destroying viral DNA, something that cannot be accomplished by heating alone.

-Multiple studies offer evidence that there are multiple mechanisms for breaking apart DNA without ionizing radiation, but no theory currently exists to explain this phenomenon.



Full ‘Microwave Danger’ article on Mercola.com


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