It could be said that microwaves are possibly the most convenient method of cooking. Due to that, it’s actually a rare occurrence to enter a household that doesn’t have one.
Sure, we hear a lot about how damaging microwaves are and can be but we don’t really often understand why. Microwaves for those who do not know use technology that basically passes electromagnetic waves through food. This causes the molecules to heat up as they respond to the radiation. Yes, I said radiation.
What we eat has a very big impact on our health and how we prepare the things we eat also has a good-sized impact. The nutrition levels in our food have gone down big time in the past 50 or so years and this is something we need to be aware of. While your microwaves can of course, rapidly heat a meal, they are also changing the chemical structure of that meal. The molecules within it are being torn apart and deformed.
Microwave cooking begins within the molecules where water is present. That is why sometimes not all food gets done evenly. For instance, one side of your burrito may be cold still while the remainder may be scorching hot. The inner layers are also mostly cooked by the conduction of heat from the hot outer layers. To begin with, we were not as aware of the dangers these machines posed but as time goes on we are learning more and more.
It is also important to note that we, for the most part, use plastic containers within the microwave, but this is also adding to the danger. When plastic is heated, toxic chemicals like BPA and so forth can and do leach out of the containers to contaminate our food with endocrine and hormone disruptors.
Mercola went over a study on his website that was carried out by a Swiss food scientist and wrote as follows:
In a 1991 paper, Swiss food scientist Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel reported that microwaved food produced carcinogenic effects in the bloodstream.11 It was a small study, consisting of only eight volunteers who drank either raw milk, cooked milk, pasteurized milk or microwave-cooked milk, and organic raw vegetables, cooked conventionally-grown vegetables, organic or conventional frozen vegetables that were then warmed in the microwave, or organic or conventional veggies fully cooked in the microwave.
Before and after each meal, blood tests were taken. Those who ate either microwaved milk or vegetables had decreased hemoglobin levels, increased cholesterol levels, decreased white and red blood cells, and decreased lymphocyte levels, the latter of which suggests increased infection or tissue damage. While there are shortcomings and limitations to this study, the results offer food for thought.
Hertel also found that when food molecules are deformed by microwaving, radiolytic compounds are formed. Subsequent research suggests these too appear to have carcinogenic potential.
Not surprisingly, Hertel’s study was met with great resistance from those with much to lose. The Swiss electrical appliance establishment lobbied to shut Hertel down, and he was eventually tried and found guilty of “interfering with commerce.” American journalist Tom Valentine visited Hertel in Germany in 1992, penning a now classic article on his research13
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. But in spite of Hertel’s methodological shortcomings, his findings do raise concerns about what this form of radiation is doing to your food and should be taken as a launching point to larger, more robust studies in the future.
Microwave use has been linked to things like insomnia, night sweats, headaches, depression, irritability, impaired cognition, nausea, and so much more. These things basically make up what is known as ‘microwave sickness.’
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