Health Society

The Case Against Microwaves

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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.

Why the no nukes policy?

When it comes to microwave ovens, the price for convenience is to compromise your health. In this article, I will review what we know about the effects of microwaves on your food and on your body.

Sad State of Our Soils

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.

Three recent studies of historical food composition have shown 5 to 40 percent declines in some of the minerals in fresh produce, and another study found a similar decline in our protein sources.

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.

Microwave Radiation Leakage

You may have heard that there is some danger of microwaves escaping from your microwave while it’s operating. This was more of a risk with earlier models than with recent ones, which undergo more rigorous testing.

Theoretically, there are very small amounts of radiation leakage through the viewing glass, but the FDA reports these levels are “insignificant” and “well below the level known to harm people.”

The FDA has been regulating microwave ovens since 1971 through its electronic product radiation control program, which is mandated by the Electronic Product Radiation Control provisions of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act3.

The FDA limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5 milliwatts (mW) per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface. Because microwave energy decreases dramatically as you move away from the source of the radiation, a measurement made 20 inches from your oven would be approximately one-hundredth of the value measured at 2 inches.

The federal standard also requires all ovens to have “two independent interlock systems that stop the production of microwaves the moment the latch is released or the door is opened.”

And a monitoring system is also required, which stops the operation if one or both interlock systems fail.

You would think, with all these tests and regulations, that you’d be safe. However, according to Powerwatch, a non-profit independent organization with a central role in the microwave radiation debate:

“Even when the microwave oven is working correctly, the microwave levels within the kitchen are likely to be significantly higher than those from any nearby cellular phone base-stations. Remember also that microwaves will travel through walls if the microwave oven is against an inside wall.”

Powerwatch also states that we don’t really know if the current regulations about leakage are truly safe and recommends ovens be checked at least annually, since microwave emissions can change with normal use.

You might also consider purchasing a $20 testing device that allows you to check the radiation in your home.

Make sure that, if you are going to use your microwave for cleaning sponges or for any use at all, regularly examine the door and hinges to make sure they are sealing properly. If the door doesn’t close correctly, or if it’s warped, bent, or otherwise damaged, don’t use it at all!

But even if there’s nothing wrong with your microwave, keep in mind that standing a foot away from it while it’s running can expose you to upwards of 400 milliGauss, and a mere 4 milliGauss has been firmly linked to leukemia. It would certainly be wise to avoid letting your children stand near the microwave when it’s running, and avoid it yourself as much as possible—especially if you’re pregnant. Also, since your eyes are known to be particularly susceptible to microwave radiation (high microwave exposures are known to cause cataracts), I recommend stepping away from your microwave while it’s in use.

New Study Confirms Microwaves Affect Your Heart

A recent study examining the effects 2.4 GHz radiation (which is the frequency of radiation emitted by Wifi routers and microwave ovens) on the heart was just completed. The study found “unequivocal evidence” that microwave frequency radiation affects the heart at non-thermal levels that are well below federal safety guidelines, according to Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University.

Read More: Here

Related: Why Did Russia Ban The Use Of Microwave Ovens?