Microwaving your food to death???
We have been cooking our food for somewhere between half to 2 million years of our human history (the only animal on the planet to do so) and we are becoming aware of the health impacts of doing so in comparison to eating many foods raw in their natural state. We recognise that cooking food has impacts on the vitamin and mineral content (usually decreasing them) and as we heat carbohydrates, fats and proteins they tend to form toxic or carcinogenous compounds (nitrosamines, acrylimides, Millard particles and oxidaised fats) to some degree depending on the intensity and duration of the heat and type of cooking method applied.
There are also benefits to cooking food, and so when we do choose to cook our food the method we use should be considered for the maximum benefits and minimum health issues. The most natural methods of cooking involve the use of natural materials such as wood, coal and manure to produce flame over which food is cooked, or an earthenware/clay pot is heated, and we progress towards less natural using gas, electricity and finally microwaves.
I have not had a microwave in my family home since the late eighties and consciously avoid using them wherever possible. Mostly this has been an intuitive response, however I wanted to bring to light the known facts of microwave cooking, so that you may make your own decisions. Researching this topic has certainly reinforced my anti microwave stance.
Ultimately the impact of microwaves break down into these categories
· Effects on the molecular structure, DNA and photons of food, and the structure of water
· Effects on the macronutrients ie carbs fats and proteins – increasing carcinogenous compounds
· Effects on the micronutrients – vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients
· Formation of unknown unnatural substances – such as radiolytic compounds
· Impacts on the physiology and energetic field of people consuming microwaved food
· Impact of the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the microwave itself
The type of radiation microwaves produce
• Effects of non ionising radiation – which does not break apart atoms (like ionizing/nuclear radiation) but does break molecular bonds and change positions of atoms. This radiation is found in visible light, ultraviolet and infrared waves, waves from radio or television, cellular phones, microwaves, and electric blankets. 1
• Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation (waves of electrical and magnetic energy moving together through space), at the low end of the energy spectrum, just above radio waves and have a wavelength of about the width of your head.
• Microwaves cause dialectric heating, bouncing around the inside of the oven and absorbed by the food. This excites the water molecules of the food and they vibrate violently at extremely high frequencies – millions of times per second, causing friction, which heats the food. Structures of the water molecules are torn apart and forcefully deformed. This is different than conventional heating of food, whereby heat is transferred convectionally from the outside, inward.
Microwaving creates new compounds that are not found in humans or in nature, called radiolytic compounds. We don't yet know what these compounds are doing to your body.
• In addition to the violent frictional heat effects, called thermic effects, there are also athermic effects, which are poorly understood because they are not as easily measured. It is these athermic effects that are suspected to be responsible for much of the deformation and degradation of cells and molecules2. Microwaves are used in gene altering technology to weaken cell membranes, break cells apart and these impaired cells are then more easy prey to viruses, fungi and other micro organisms. This may be art of the controversial microwave effect. Research into this at Penn State university in 2001 listed the following points3
The Microwave effect
• 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 4 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.
Some scientists are taking advantage of the microwave effect and using microwaves in the laboratory to greatly accelerate chemical reactions, sometimes by a factor of a thousand, resulting in the completion of reactions in minutes that formerly took days or months and a lot of toxic chemicals 5.
Nutritional effects of microwaving on food
• A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 6 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 7
• 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 8.
• 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 9. 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 10 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 11.
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."
A CSIRO article 12 on microwave cooking follows the mainstream argument suggesting that microwaving loses less vitamins than boiling where nutrients leach into the water (agreed) protecting folate, B1 and B2 levels 13 but fails to mention that steaming is about equal. Most benefits are gained due to reduced heating time, but there is often a higher temperature achieved via the microwaving affects. They do agree that all forms of heating including microwaving inactivate B12 14. And they concede that microwaving destroys more vitamin C than boiling and that there is a much larger loss of phenolic compounds (phytochemical antioxidants) from microwave cooking ie microwaving broccoli loses 74% or more phenolic compounds (97% of flavonoids) 15
The following were the most significant German and Russian research operations facilities concerning the biological effects of microwaves 16
The Powerwatch article 17 summarizes this Russian research:
• 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).
• The Russians also discussed the biological effects of microwaves, including: A breakdown of the human "life-energy field" in those who were exposed to microwave ovens while in operation; A degeneration of the cellular voltage parallels during the process of using the apparatus, especially in the blood and lymphatic areas; A degeneration and destabilization of internal cellular membrane potentials while transferring catabolic [metabolic breakdown] processes into the blood serum from the digestive process; A degeneration and breakdown of nerve electrical circuits and loss of energy field symmetry in the neuroplexuses [nerve centers] both in the front and the rear of the central and autonomic nervous systems;
A long term cumulative loss of vital energies within humans, animals and plants that were located within a 500-meter radius of the operational equipment;
A destabilization and interruption in the production of hormones and maintenance of hormonal balance in males and females;
Markedly higher levels of brainwave disturbance in the alpha, theta, and delta wave signal patterns of persons exposed to microwave emission fields.
The effects on people of consuming microwaved food
Swiss food scientist named Hans Hertel was the first scientist to study the effects of microwaved foods on the blood and physiology of human beings.
His small study, coauthored by Dr. Bernard Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry, revealed the degenerative forces produced by microwave ovens on the foods they cooked.
Hertel's conclusions were that microwaving food resulted in:
• Increased cholesterol levels
• Decreased numbers of leukocytes (white blood cells), which can suggest poisoning
• Decreased numbers of red blood cells
• Production of radiolytic compounds
Decreased hemoglobin levels, which could indicate anemia
The study was not without its shortcomings. It involved only eight participants, of which Hertel was one. As compelling as his findings were, his methodology did not stand up to the scientific rigors of the field. 18
Microwaves increase the release for toxins from food storage containers and cling film.
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. 20,21
One of the worst contaminants is BPA, or Bisphenol A, an oestrogen-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.
"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."
But even if there's nothing wrong with your microwave, keep in mind that standing within a metre 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 is not recommended to stand near the microwave while it is operating especially if you are a child or pregnant, and microwave exposure is known to cause cataracts. 18
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 22
There is also evidence that this same frequency of radiation causes blood sugar to spike in susceptible individuals and may actually be the cause of one type of diabetes. 18
Possible Microwave Effects on Your Biophotons
Biophotonics is the study, research, and applications of photons in their interactions within and on biological systems. Much of the work in the area of biophotons was done in Germany.
Biophotons are the smallest physical units of light that are stored in and used by all biological organisms—including you. Vital sun energy finds its way into your cells via the food you eat, in the form of these biophotons.
Biophotons contain important bio-information and are very important to many vital processes in your body. They are partly responsible for your feeling of vitality and well-being. You gain biophotons by eating foods rich in them, such as naturally grown fresh vegetables and sun-ripened fruits, which are rich in light energy.
The more light energy a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is. The Microwave effects potentially destroys biphons, in the same way it alters other structures, rendering your food dead and lifeless 18. This may be a possible explanation for the Russian results on human and plant life force and energy fields.
The effects on microwaves on water.
Dr. Emoto also experimented with technology and prayer. The picture on the left below shows us what happens to water after being microwaved. No crystals formed at all. 19
Now, see on this picture what happened to the same microwaved water after being infused with the words “Love & Gratitude.” 19
Picture of effects of microwaved water on plants
1 Villablanca E (December 19, 2007) "Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation: Their difference and possible health consequences"
2 "Microwave oven and microwave cooking overview," Powerwatch
3 Penn State University. "DNA and the microwave effect" posted from MailBag (April 8, 2002)
4 Kakita Y, Kashige N, Murata K, Kuroiwa A, Funatsu M and Watanabe K. "Inactivation of Lactobacillus bacteriophage PL-1 by microwave irradiation" Microbiol. Immunol. 1995;39:571-576.
5 Adams C. (May 6, 2005) "Does microwaving kill nutrients in food? Is microwaving safe?" The Straight Dope
6"Microwave cooking and nutrition". Family Health Guide. Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 2011-July-23.
7 Kidmose U and Kaack K. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica B 1999:49(2):110-117
8 Song K and Milner J A. "The influence of heating on the anticancer properties of garlic," Journal of Nutrition 2001;131(3S):1054S-57S
9 Watanabe F, Takenaka S, Abe K, Tamura Y, and Nakano Y. J. Agric. Food Chem. Feb 26 1998;46(4):1433-1436
10 George D F, Bilek M M, and McKenzie D R. "Non-thermal effects in the microwave induced unfolding of proteins observed by chaperone binding," Bioelectromagnetics 2008 May;29(4):324-30
11 Quan R (et al) "Effects of microwave radiation on anti-infective factors in human milk," Pediatrics 89(4 part I):667-669.
13 M. A. OSINBOYEJO, L. T. Walker, S. Ogutu, and M. Verghese. "Effects of microwave blanching vs. boiling water blanching on retention of selected water-soluble vitamins in turnips, foods,and greens using HPLC". National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia. Retrieved 2011-Jul-23.
14 Fumio Watanabe, Katsuo Abe, Tomoyuki Fujita, Mashahiro Goto, Miki Hiemori, Yoshihisa Nakano (January 1998). "Effects of Microwave Heating on the Loss of Vitamin B(12) in Foods". J. Agric. Food Chem. 46 (1): 206–210. doi:10.1021/jf970670x. PMID 10554220.
15 M. A. OSINBOYEJO, L. T. Walker, S. Ogutu, and M. Verghese. "Effects of microwave blanching vs. boiling water blanching on retention of selected water-soluble vitamins in turnips, foods,and greens using HPLC". National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia. Retrieved 2011-Jul-23.
16 FORENSIC RESEARCH DOCUMENT
Prepared By: William P. Kopp
R. E. C. Research Operations
RELEASE PRIORITY: CLASS I ROO1a
17 "Microwave oven and microwave cooking overview," Powerwatch
18 Mercola, J. Why did the Russians Ban an Appliance Found in 90% of American Homes? http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx retrieved 13 sept 2012
20 Watanabe F, Takenaka S, Abe K, Tamura Y, and Nakano Y. J. Agric. Food Chem. Feb 26 1998;46(4):1433-1436
21 Rust S and Kissinger M. (November 15, 2008) "BPA leaches from 'safe' products" Journal Sentinel Online
22 Havas M. "DECT phone affects the heart!"
23 http://rense.com/general70/microwaved.htm retrieved 13 sept 2012