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 Post subject: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:30 am 
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Microwave ovens are the most convenient, energy efficient cooking appliances found in American homes. But did you know the harm caused to your health by microwaves?

Most people don't think twice about heating up leftovers, defrosting meat, or popping popcorn in the microwave. Many new mothers even heat up breast milk or formula in the microwave.

But are we paying for this convenience with our health? Studies on the effects of microwaves have been quite controversial as microwave technology has evolved over the years. In 1976 Russia even banned the use of microwaves! Here in the US, microwaves are ubiquitous, but recent research shows that microwaves significantly decrease the nutritional value of food.

Microwaves have been shown to affect foods in these ways:

• Reduce levels of vitamin B 12
Vitamin B 12 is essential for red blood cell formation, preventing anemia, and a healthy nervous system.

• Decrease flavonoids by 97%!
Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial properties.

• Break down bacteria-digesting enzymes in breast milk
Babies rely on enzymes from breast milk to establish a healthy inner ecosystem that digests food, absorbs nutrients and protects against pathogens.

•Lower levels of sinapic acid derivatives
Sinapic acids scavenge for and neutralize free radicals, cancer-causing agents in your body.

• Decrease antibody levels in breast milk
Antibodies in mother's milk protect babies from infections.

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/micr ... ngers.html
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/dangers- ... waves.html
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/micr ... ation.html
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/artic ... zards.aspx
http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... pcorn.html


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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:21 pm 
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My snarky side wants to post that I'll be sure not to heat my breast in the microwave before nursing! :lol:

I've been reducing the amount of reheating I do in the microwave, and am almost to the point to move it into the sun room, out of the way of people when it is running, and to use a small toaster oven, along with my glass convection oven, for more food reheating. And when those aren't practical, a double boiler with water in the lower pan will allow foods to be warmed without sticking to the bottom of the food pan.

The consistency of food reheated in the microwave is different than other heat sources because it tends to have a "rubberizing" effect. We use them set too high (microwaves have lesser levels, and they do this by pulsing on and off, not aiming a steady stream of microwaves at the food), for one thing. The shock of an exploding cup of water (if you add something like a spoon or tea bag to the nuked cup) is another reason why they can be dangerous. I use an electric tea kettle that turns itself off once it hits the boiling point. It's much safer, with the water behaving in the normal way.

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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:18 am 
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Okay Mr. Garrett,
I had to say something now that you have misinfomed over 300 viewers to this post. Microwaves are not outlawed in Russia now. Even if they were in 1976, the technology in manufacture today is much better as is the testing requirements.
You also list effects on ingrediants in foods that are not normally heated in a microwave. I agree baby milk should not be heated based on your descriptions but the majority of users do not "cook" with microwaves, only reheat.


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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:32 am 
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BobGilbert,

You need to read a little closer before jumping. The history of microwaves in Russia has some science behind it, and they were banned in 1976. They came back into use in the next decade (during Perestroika in the 1980s). The point of Garrett's earlier remarks had to do with how microwaves mangle food molecules, not the general efficiency of microwaves.

Review this site for a list of the problems with heating food in microwaves. I'll quote a portion of the page:

Quote:
RUSSIANS BAN MICROWAVE OVENS

After the World War II, the Russians also experimented with microwave ovens. From 1957 up to recently, their research has been carried out mainly at the Institute of Radio Technology at Klinsk, Byelorussia. According to US researcher William Kopp, who gathered much of the results of Russian and German research - and was apparently prosecuted for doing so (J. Nat. Sci, 1998; 1:42-3) - the following effects were observed by Russian forensic teams:

1. Heating prepared meats in a microwave sufficiently for human consumption created:
* d-Nitrosodiethanolamine (a well-known cancer-causing agent)
* Destabilization of active protein biomolecular compounds
* Creation of a binding effect to radioactivity in the atmosphere
* Creation of cancer-causing agents within protein-hydrosylate compounds in milk and cereal grains;
2. Microwave emissions also caused alteration in the catabolic (breakdown) behavior of glucoside - and galactoside - elements within frozen fruits when thawed in this way;
3. Microwaves altered catabolic behavior of plant-alkaloids when raw, cooked or frozen vegetables were exposed for even very short periods;
4. Cancer-causing free radicals were formed within certain trace-mineral molecular formations in plant substances, especially in raw root vegetables;
5. Ingestion of micro-waved foods caused a higher percentage of cancerous cells in blood;
6. Due to chemical alterations within food substances, malfunctions occurred in the lymphatic system, causing degeneration of the immune system=s capacity to protect itself against cancerous growth;
7. The unstable catabolism of micro-waved foods altered their elemental food substances, leading to disorders in the digestive system;
8. Those ingesting micro-waved foods showed a statistically higher incidence of stomach and intestinal cancers, plus a general degeneration of peripheral cellular tissues with a gradual breakdown of digestive and excretory system function;
9. Microwave exposure caused significant decreases in the nutritional value of all foods studied, particularly:
* A decrease in the bioavailability of B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotrophics
* Destruction of the nutritional value of nucleoproteins in meats
* Lowering of the metabolic activity of alkaloids, glucosides, galactosides and nitrilosides (all basic plant substances in fruits and vegetables)
* Marked acceleration of structural disintegration in all foods.

As a result microwave ovens were banned in Russia in 1976; the ban was lifted after Perestroika.


This is from an article by Stephanie Relfe. Her citations are found throughout the article (not in endnotes, which would be easier, but this works.)

Finally, if you "reheat" you are cooking. You're using fewer microwaves in the process, but you are still subjecting food to the same destructive microwave energy.

I'm in the process of moving the microwave out of the kitchen. It is a convenient tool, but I know that it transforms foods into rubber if used too long. I can extrapolate from experience that the early stages contain some of the same harmful molecules, and it gets worse the longer the food is nuked. I'd like to eliminate the early stages as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Okay, I see your point and this will be hard to ever prove with all the chemicals in our environment. I would not want to be one of the subjects that only ate microwaved food in a health study. I also do not use the microwave any more than I have to.
When you get rid of your microwave remember not to trade it in for a teflon coated pan or the PFOA's will get you!


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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:22 pm 
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I use cast iron and steel and glass.

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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:42 pm 
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For aesthetic reasons, I like fire to cook my foods, but microwaves just heat... that's it... they heat the water in the food. Its just vibrating molecules.

That they break down cell structure in the foods being heated is nothing to be frightened of.... direct heat like fire or gas flame does the same thing... but direct heat works from the outside in, which changes the way the cell walls react. Direct heat also is very predictable...we've been altering the chemistry of our food since the advent of fire, so that it changes chemically is no news.

So... bread will be rubbery, things won't carbonize nicely, and you can't do 'rare'... but its not dangerous.. the microwaves aren't there after the machine is off.

Leaky machines were always dangerous over the long term. If your gasket seals are faulty, you could harm any skin held directly to the crack... but that's it guys.

Don't EVER cook in plastics as a rule... heat will let plasticizing agents out of your container to contaminate your food with hormone disrupting chemicals. There are probably some plastics that don't do this, but frankly, its not worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Microwave Ovens
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Years ago I read an article about "testing" the seal on your microwave by passing a fluorescent bulb around the door of a running microwave. According to the article the microwaves will cause the bulb gases to fluoresce it they hit the unlit bulb. Those same microwaves aren't good for humans, so yes, the seal needs to be in good shape, and plastics don't belong in the microwave.

I didn't evaluate the claims of the Australian writer, since she's dealing with subjects I haven't studied. But the claims are there and her link is available if anyone wants to follow up on her reasons for stating that microwaved food is not a good method of cooking.

I made it for about a day and a half without using mine before realizing that so many things I do are speeded up by the oven. I do heat more things on the stovetop now, but I don't know if it will make an impact on our health.

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