Monday, April 13, 2009

Yes, I Know I'm Crazy....

There is no microwave in my kitchen. When we learned what it does to our food, we unplugged it and stowed it away on the top shelf of a closet.

I’m not exactly sure what to do with it just yet....I would feel morally responsible for selling the “death box,” as my friend Thomas likes to call it (though he still uses it.....), and allowing a poor unsuspecting soul to further deteriorate his or her health. “Here, you can have this disease-causing machine at a reduced price! Today only!”
So why do we do our very best to avoid food cooked in microwaves?
So glad you asked.....

To avoid a long, scientific explanation, I will just give the basics. You can read this article for a more detailed description of the science behind these certain types of energy waves.
I think we can all agree on the principle that radiation is generally bad for humans. We were never meant to be exposed to it on any level. People die from radiation poisoning, yet we treat tumors by radiating one’s entire body--killing the tumor, yes, but affecting every other cell in the body at the same time. The same goes with chemotherapy (pure acid). The tumor may shrink or even disappear, but the entire rest of the body is now far more susceptible to developing cancer. Did you know that the majority of those who die from cancer die from second round cancer?
But we like to shoot radiation into our food because it’s fast and easy.
But what is it really doing to our food? Just warming it up? Not a chance......check out this excerpt from NEXUS magazine, Volume 2, #25 (April-May ’95):
“In early 1991, word leaked out about a lawsuit in Oklahoma. A woman named Norma Levitt had hip surgery, only to be killed by a simple blood transfusion when a nurse "warmed the blood for the transfusion in a microwave oven"! Logic suggests that if heating or cooking is all there is to it, then it doesn't matter what mode of heating technology one uses. However, it is quite apparent that there is more to 'heating' with microwaves than we've been led to believe.
“Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed-but not in microwave ovens! In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood and it killed her. Does it not therefore follow that this form of heating does, indeed, do 'something different' to the substances being heated? Is it not prudent to determine what that 'something different' might do? A funny thing happened on the way to the bank with all that microwave oven revenue: nobody thought about the obvious. Only 'health nuts' who are constantly aware of the value of quality nutrition discerned a problem with the widespread 'denaturing' of our food.”
So not only does microwaved food not taste as good as foods prepared more naturally (Yeah, I know it takes longer, but warming up leftover pizza in the oven does not produce a limp, chewy triangular mass. Everyone does know this, right?), but microwaved foods are, indeed, dangerous!
Because of the unnatural manner in which the microwaves heat your food, you end up altering the molecules and producing toxic carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).
Por ejemplo,
  • Microwaving milk and cereal grains changes some of the amino acids into carcinogens.
  • Thawing frozen fruit in the microwave converts properties in the fruit to cancer-causing agents.
  • Even a very short exposure of any kind of vegetable (raw, cooked, frozen, etc.) to microwaves changes the plant alkaloids to carcinogens.
  • Free radicals are formed in microwaved root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.)
  • There is a decrease in nutritional value in microwaved foods.
(Those findings were the results of a Russian study published by the Atlantis Raising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon. The Russians banned the use of microwaves in 1976.)
The article I mentioned above lays it all out plain and simple:
“From the conclusions of the Swiss, Russian and German scientific clinical studies, we can no longer ignore the microwave oven sitting in our kitchens. Based on this research, we will conclude this article with the following:
  • Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term - permanent - brain damage by "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain [de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue].
  • The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products created in microwaved food.
  • Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods.
  • The effects of microwaved food by-products are residual [long term, permanent] within the human body.
  • Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.
  • The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.
  • Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in America.
  • The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.
  • Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.
  • Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.”
So why do we not hear about these dangers? Certainly our government would tell us if we were unknowingly harming ourselves and our children, right? Those big businesses making millions of dollars from the sale of quick, easy and cheaply produced products wouldn’t sell anything to the public without thoroughly testing it first, would they? (Sarcasm intended)
You can decide for yourself on that front......
And I will continue to shun the use of the “death-box” and be healthier for it.
But I can hear you already: What in the world will I do without my microwave? I can’t live without it! I don’t have time to cook for real! I can’t possibly survive without it!
Relax! Here are some alternatives to consider:
  • Use the stove/oven/toaster oven. I promise it really doesn’t take that much longer to warm up some soup or heat water for tea on the stove top as opposed to the microwave. Added bonus-the whistle of the teapot will make you smile :)
  • Invest in a Vitamix. I’m saving my nickels and dimes for one of these puppies. The ultimate kitchen appliance in my opinion. It will crush, chop, mix, dice and even heat your food (I’ve seen it done! Into the blender go whole fresh veggies, some water and spices. Blend on high for about 4 min. Then enjoy your piping hot soup! But not quite so hot that the nutritional properties are lost--the food is still considered raw. Amazing!) If anyone would care to know more, they can feel free to have one sent to my apartment and I will review it here (recipes included, of course!)
  • The Turbo Oven. Sure, it looks cheesy, but the doctor who backs it is extremely respected in the natural living and traditional medicinal communities. I’ve not tried this one, but it looks like a pretty great option for about the same price as a new microwave oven would cost you anyway.
  • A crock-pot. What could be easier than dumping some meat and veggies in a pot and leaving it there all day?
  • Just go raw. All the nutritional properties in your fruits and veggies will be preserved to be sure. And there is such a satisfying crunch associated with a big ole raw carrot or fresh salad. Or broccoli and cauliflower dipped in hummus. Or bell pepper slices dipped in guacamole. Oh the possibilities are endless!


  1. ah! i want to throw my microwave away NOW! oh now i'm so paranoid! how long have you and drew gone without it?

  2. We've been cooking sans microwave for almost 9 months now. Haven't missed it one bit!

  3. Yeah, hum. Here's the thing

    First, lets work on the term "Radiation", specifically electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is caused by differing electric potentials across an area. This happens whenever:
    1) Electricity running through a wire.
    2) A magnet moves
    3) A radio station broadcasts

    Examples of electromagnetic radiation include:
    1) Infrared light
    2) X-Rays (yes, those)
    3) UV light
    4) Visible Light
    5) 'microwaves"

    These names, however, are just categories. The physical difference is wavelength. You can consider this as a wave, or as photons.

    Based on these definitions (which were obtained by a overview of wikipedia), I challenge your statement that, "I think we can all agree on the principle that radiation is generally bad for humans. We were never meant to be exposed to it on any level." As the sun produces radiation (in the form of light, UV rays, and other things), we are clearly meant to be exposed to some level of radiation.

    Secondly, Microwaves are very low-energy waves.

    Plank's equation tells us that the amount of energy transmitted by an electromagnetic wave is: E=hv, where h is plank's constant (on the order of 10^-20) and v is the wavelength. Energy varies directly with wavelength. Combine this with the knowledge that microwave energy has a lower wavelength than visible light, and we have a very low wave indeed.

    For a frame of reference, lets compare the energy in a microwave oven to the amount of energy it takes to cause chemical changes in our bodes.

    Since we're mostly carbon, it seems fair to use a carbon bonding energy. Carbon can form single, double, or triple bonds. The lowest bonding energy is for single bonds at 347 kJ/mole, a mole in this case referring 12 grams of carbon.

    So, if we can get 347 kJ/mole of energy into the carbon bonds inside your body, we can break the that bond and change the chemical structure of whatever molecule.

    Household microwaves use about 1000 Watts. 1 Watt = 1 J/sec. Lets microwave something for 60 seconds. that's 6000 J = 6 kJ. Far less, than the 347 kJ we needed to break all those bonds.

    (Note: I'm open to criticism about that math. For a complete analysis, you'd need to divide by agravados number, get something really small, then send the wave at the carbon bond, however, at that point we'd need to discuss the probability of the wave hitting the molecule just right and also point out that we'd need all the energy present at the same time, not over a period of 60 seconds)

    Now, I won't use that math to say that it's OK to run massive amounts of microwaves into your brain or anything, but the math suggests the danger isn't to the level that's indicated in your post, or the article that supports it.

    Thirdly, It's my opinion that that article has a lot of bias and relies on suspect scientific data. I question the validity of the soviet research (These are the same guys that gave us chernobyl.) I also question some of the conclusions regarding decreased bio-availability of certain vitamins, etc. These should be compared to "traditional" heating technologies, namely convection and convention. On some level, if you cook veggies, they get softer and lose nutritional value, it doesn't matter how you cook them. (The same argument applies to the coffee heated in the microwave. I don't know anybody who will drink re-heated coffee, regardless of mechanism.)

    The claim that microwave ovens are controlling our minds is unscientific, ridiculous, and reduces the credibility of the entire paper.

    So yeah, that's my take on it. Feel free to disagree with me, as I'm sure you do.

    -- Matt Stimmel

  4. Thanks for your comment, er, novel, matt ;)

    And yes, "radiation on any level..." poor choice of words on my part. When taken in the context of radiation "therapy" for cancers and such, my point still remains.

    You do know what you're talking about as far as the math is concerned, but did you read the article I linked to? It's not about the amount of energy used at all, it's the manner in which the microwaves in a microwave oven differ from those from the sun and other sources (Frictional vs. Direct Current). But I never meant for my post to take that direction. People can argue over the validity of details and scientific research from Russia vs. America (just as a side note, I don't trust much of the "scientific research" that comes from the FDA or pharmaceutical companies-even from the good ole U S of A), but I have to step back and see the big picture--the principle behind it.

    And that is that heating food (or blood, or anything else) by way of a microwave oven alters it. Period.

    And that, in my opinion, is not a good thing :)

  5. Yes I, Thomas, do in fact still use the "Death Box" But thanks to you and Drew it is not used nearly as much. ....Folks out there who are stubborn like me... there are many things you can do to avoid the microwave. Less is better then nothing!

  6. eye opening, especially since we nuke our baby's food! thanks for the fresh perspective.


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