Americans want convenience with many things and food is no exception. One survey asked which factor was most important in deciding “what to do for dinner” – price, taste, nutrition, or convenience. A whopping 70% of responders said ‘convenience’.

I am guessing that convenience comes in the form of fast food and the use of microwave ovens, which are present in 90% of American homes. But does anyone stop and consider the toll that ‘convenient food’ is taking on your health?

You may know that fast food is not the healthiest, but do you know about all the damage that can be caused by eating microwaved food? I have prepared a list of six reasons to stop using your microwave NOW. I know this message is going to be hard to hear for most of you, but please hear me out; it’s so important to your family’s health.

1. Microwaving Food Creates Carcinogenic Substances

Microwaving food alters chemical composition. These alterations in chemical composition can cause mutations into cancer-causing agents, especially with certain foods like meats.

The following is a summary of the Russian investigations that resulted in the banning of microwave ovens in 1976, published by the Atlantis Rising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon. (The ban was later lifted during Perestroika.)

Carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested. No test food was subjected to more microwaving than necessary to accomplish the purpose, i.e., cooking, thawing, or heating to insure sanitary ingestion.

  • 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.

2. Microwave Ovens Destroy Nutritional Value of Food

Heating food, in and of itself, can result in some nutrient loss. But microwaves heat food differently than a stove. The way it makes your food hot causes internal damage to delicate molecular structures of vitamins and phytonutrients (plant medicines). Minerals are largely unaffected, so you’ll still get the same magnesium, calcium, and zinc in microwaved foods as you would in non-microwaved foods. But the all-important B vitamins, anthocyanins, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, glucosinolates, and other nutritional elements are easily destroyed by microwave ovens.

  • One study compared the nutrients in microwaved broccoli to those in steamed broccoli found that the microwaved broccoli lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.
  • In a Russian study, 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).
  • We all know (hopefully) not to microwave breastmilk. That’s because it’s been found to destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby, 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.)

3. Eating Microwaved Food Can Cause Changes in Blood Chemistry

Microwaving distorts and deforms the molecules of whatever you subject to it; in other words, it changes the chemical composition, and that can have terrible effects in our bodies. To illustrate how microwaving does indeed alter substances, back in 1991 an Oklahoma woman died after receiving a blood transfusion of microwaved blood. It didn’t just heat the blood, it changed it enough that it caused terrible harm.

Once you eat chemically altered/microwaved food, there are changes to the body as well. A Swiss study led by biologist and food scientist Dr. Hans Hertel identified the effects of microwaved food and found the blood of people who ate microwaved food showed the following changes:

  • 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

4. Microwaving Food Causes Carcinogenic Toxins to Leach Into Food

Toxic chemicals such as polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene have been found to leak from the packaging of common microwavable foods, including pizzas, chips, and popcorn.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the worst contaminants. This estrogen-like compound is widely used in plastic products and has been linked to causing various types of cancer. When you cook with plastic in the microwave harmful BPAs may be leaching into your food, since they are more easily leached when heated. If you do continue to microwave your food, it is recommended that you heat your food in glass.

5. Microwaving Food Can Cause ‘Hot Spots’

Uneven heating can lead to ‘hot spots’ in food, which can be hot enough to cause burns or build up to a steam explosion. New moms have been cautioned not to heat a baby’s bottle in the microwave since babies have been burned by super-heated formula.

6. Microwaves Can Leak Radiation

The FDA, who has been regulating microwave ovens since 1971, reports that the very small amounts of radiation that leak through the viewing glass of a microwave oven are “insignificant” and “well below the level known to harm people.” Even though there are numerous standards, tests, and regulations that are supposed to ensure safety, a non-profit independent organization called Powerwatch says:

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.

When your tissues are directly exposed to microwaves, 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
  • Impaired cognition
  • Depression and irritability
  • Nausea and appetite loss
  • Vision and eye problems
  • Frequent urination and extreme thirst

Solution

Yes, you really CAN survive without a microwave; we haven’t used one since 2003.

  1. Plan ahead. Take your dinner out of the freezer that morning or the night before to avoid the mad rush to thaw something quickly.
  2. Cook all meals on the stove top or in the oven.
  3. Reheat leftovers on the stove top, in the oven, toaster oven, or convection oven.
  4. When eating in restaurants, ask if the food is heated or reheated using a microwave.
  5. Eat more organic raw foods. It really is the best way to improve our health.

And I will help you in this journey! You will want to follow me (on Facebook, Twitter, email, or RSS feed) because in the coming weeks and months, I will share many alternatives to those things you THINK you need a microwave for.

More Information


Wendy – ParentingTips365.com

Healthy Living SeriesRead all the posts in the Healthy Living series by clicking on the icon on the left.

(Microwave photo credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski)

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