How you prepare your food is as important as what you eat. If you use a microwave oven, please consider the following information and research.
How microwave ovens work
Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats food. It also causes a change in food’s chemical structure.
Another problem with microwave ovens is that carcinogenic toxins can leach out of plastic and paper containers/covers, and into food.
The Jan/Feb 1990 issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter reported the leakage of several toxic chemicals from the packaging of common microwavable foods, including pizzas, chips and popcorn. Chemicals included polyethylene terephthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene. In particular, microwaving fatty foods in plastic containers leads to the release of dioxins (known carcinogens) and other toxins into food.
One of the worst contaminants is BPA, or Bisphenol A, an estrogen-like compound used widely in plastic products. Dishes made specifically for the microwave often contain BPA, but many other plastic products contain it as well.
Microwaving food destroys nutrients
A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture found that when broccoli is cooked in a microwave with a little water, it lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants 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 alliinase, garlic’s principle active ingredient against cancer.
A Japanese study by Watanabe showed that just six 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.”
Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for babies. 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 contra-indicated at high-temperatures, and questions regarding its safety exist even at low temperatures.”
Microwaves are used in the field of gene altering technology to weaken cell membranes. Scientists use microwaves to actually break cells apart. Impaired cells then become easy prey for viruses, fungi and other microorganisms.
When tissues are directly exposed to microwaves, the same violent deformations occur and can cause “microwave sickness.” People who have been exposed to high levels of microwave radiation experience a variety of symptoms, including:
Insomnia, night sweats, and various sleep disturbances
Headaches and dizziness
Swollen lymph nodes and a weakened immune system
Depression and irritability
Nausea and appetite loss
Vision and eye problems
Frequent urination and extreme thirst
Data is emerging that people are suffering, in various degrees, these kinds of symptoms from living next to cell phone towers and other high-frequency radiation emitting antennas, which emit microwaves around the clock. According to Professor Franz Adelkofer, a leading scientist in the area of biological effects of EMF fields:
“There is real evidence that hyper frequency electromagnetic fields can have geno-toxic effects. And this damaged DNA is always the cause of cancer. We’ve found these damaging effects on the genes at levels well below the safety limits. That’s why we think it’s urgent to base our safety limits on the biological effects, not the thermic ones. They should be based on biology, not on physics.”
Living without a microwave
- Plan ahead. Take your dinner out of the freezer that morning or the night before.
- Prepare your meals in advance and when you do cook, make an extra portion, so that you always have a good meal or leftovers available on those days when you’re too busy or too tired to cook.
- Use a slow cooker so you have a hot meal ready to eat when you get home from work.
- Try eating more organic raw foods. This is the best way to improve your health over the long run.
- Steam your vegetables which only takes minutes.