You can find microwave ovens just about anywhere – mini-marts and stores, hospitals, employee break rooms, more than 90% of American homes…
One place you won’t find one is our office – or in Dr. Glaros’ home, for that matter. Sure, they’re “convenient,” but as he says, convenience is never without consequence.
Microwave ovens work by generating radio waves that agitate the water molecules in food. Agitation leads to heat, and that heat cooks the food from within. This is what makes it cook so much faster. In a conventional oven, the heat is applied from outside.
Now, all forms of cooking have an effect on the nutritional composition of food. When it comes to retaining nutrients, some methods are better than others, as demonstrated in studies such as this from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry and this from the Journal of Zhejiang SCEINCE B.
Suffice it to say, when it comes to nutrient retention, microwaving doesn’t fare so well:
But lost nutrients are just a part of it. The intensity of microwaving sends the food molecules into a frenzy, destroying cell walls and shattering protein chains, in addition to obliterating antioxidants and generally resulting in food that is deader than dead.
According to Dr. Mercola, Russian government studies suggested some terrible consequences to this – findings which actually led the government to ban microwave ovens for roughly a decade.
- 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).
Clearly, such food can’t give our bodies what they need to stay healthy. (And let’s not even get into the matter that so many “microwave-friendly” foods aren’t real foods at all but hyper-processed products loaded with chemical additives, unhealthy fats, excess sugars and the like!)
A separate set of concerns involve the direct effect of microwave exposure on our bodies. For no microwave oven contains all the radiation it generates.
Does it release a lot? The FDA, of course, says no.
A Federal standard limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface. This limit is far below the level known to harm people.
But that may be a little optimistic.
Now, it’s important to remember that we are more than just flesh and blood. Like all living things, we are slightly electric ourselves. Bioelectricity flows from cell to cell, coursing through our nerves and activating our muscles. Thought goes from electrical to chemical and back again. We each radiate an electromagnetic field.
So what happens when microwaves interact with our own energetic aspect?
There is some concern that microwave ovens affect the human electromagnetic field in a process called entrainment.
Entrainment, or sympathetic resonance, is the tendency of an object to vibrate at the same frequency as an external stimulus. When we become entrained to any external frequency, we lose the integrity of our natural intrinsic frequencies, which causes distortion in the natural rhythms of the body’s various systems and can lead to disease.
Of course, microwaves are just one source of the extra radiation we are all now regularly bombarded with – WiFi, cellular technology, security scans, monitors and all manner of electronic gadgets. Electrical pollution is a serious problem. Any steps we can take to reduce our exposure or counteract its effects – from limiting our use to employing protective devices – are a help.
Poor health is a lot more inconvenient than an extra few minutes of cooking time.