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Dangers of Microwave Ovens

 
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
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Several years ago, I began getting distorted light streaks in my eyes.
I set about trying to pinpoint why... was it flurescent lights?? ...
and then I discovered what I am convinced was the problem...
I was eating microwave popcorn. When I stopped eating it... streaks gone.
However, I rationalized it as most likely rancid oils... old oils part of the
package that had sat on a store shelf and deteriorated... or something similar.
I now think it is more likely... microwaving.

It is worth one's while -- to do some personal research on this subject.
I haven't used my microwave since the day I came across this information.

Here are some links and some quotes:

http://www.relfe.com/microwave.html

"Two researchers, Blanc and Hertel, confirmed that microwave cooking significantly changes food nutrients.
Hertel previously worked as a food scientist for several years with one of the major Swiss food companies.
He was fired from his job for questioning procedures in processing food because they denatured it. He got
together with Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Biochemistry and the University Institute for Biochemistry.

They studied the effect that microwaved food had on eight individuals, by taking blood samples immediately
after eating. They found that after eating microwaved food, haemoglobin levels decreased. "These results
show anaemic tendencies. The situation became even more pronounced during the second month of the study".

"The violent change that microwaving causes to the food molecules forms new life forms called radiolytic
compounds. These are mutations that are unknown in the natural world. Ordinary cooking also causes the
formation of some radiolytic compounds (which is no doubt one reason why it is better to eat plenty of raw food),
but microwaving cooking causes a much greater number. This then causes deterioration in your blood and
immune system."

After the World War II, the Russians also experimented with microwave ovens. From 1957 up to recently,
their research has been carried out mainly at the Institute of Radio Technology at Klinsk, Byelorussia.
According to US researcher William Kopp, who gathered much of the results of Russian and German
research - and was apparently prosecuted for doing so (J. Nat. Sci, 1998; 1:42-3) - the following effects
were observed by Russian forensic teams:

1. Heating prepared meats in a microwave sufficiently for human consumption created:
* d-Nitrosodiethanolamine (a well-known cancer-causing agent)
* Destabilization of active protein biomolecular compounds
* Creation of a binding effect to radioactivity in the atmosphere
------------------------
This article continues listing the harmful consequences of microwaving food for several pages.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.herbalhealer.com/microwave.html

"Is it possible that millions of people are ignorantly sacrificing their health in exchange for the
convenience of microwave ovens? Why did the Soviet Union ban the use of microwave ovens
in 1976? Who invented microwave ovens, and why? The answers to these questions may shock
you into throwing your microwave oven in the trash."

--
"Leukocytosis, which cannot be accounted for by normal daily deviations, is taken very seriously
by hemotologists. Leukocytes are often signs of pathogenic effects on the living system, such as
poisoning and cell damage. The increase of leukocytes with the microwaved foods were more
pronounced than with all the other variants. It appears that these marked increases were caused
entirely by ingesting the microwaved substances."


 
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Location: NW South Dakota - Zone 4b
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I don't understand why people accept using a microwave as normal practice. It seems ridiculous to me that people assume it's okay to eat something that has been heated up using microwave radiation. It takes like 5-7 minutes to heat something up in the oven. If we have time to heat something up for one minute in the microwave but not to heat something up in the oven for 5 minutes, we have our priorities wrong!
 
Posts: 18
Location: Southern California
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Thanks for posting. I've been meaning to look into the dangers of microwave ovens. Thank you for giving me a good starting point.

Frankly I don't know if I'll ever be able to convince my mother to stop using hers. I think people just look at the time and gas it takes to heat an entire oven as being much more than what it takes to run the microwave for a minute or two. I certainly intend to do the research though so I have some solid stuff to present to my loved ones to urge them to either stop or at least drastically cut down on microwave use.
 
gardener
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To have some balance on this issue, I suggest people read some good skeptical points on the "dangers of microwave ovens":

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4080

Points out:
Probably the most flagrant error ...is that microwaved food or water contains what they call "radiolytic compounds" — new chemicals created by the tearing apart of molecules in a microwave.
These new chemicals are said to be dangerous, cancerous, radioactive, unnatural, or otherwise harmful.

This is a demonstrably false claim. ...
Water can be dissociated under ionizing alpha particle bombardment, which is a natural process. Microwave radiation, as mentioned earlier, is not ionizing radiation. It is thus scientifically incapable of causing radiolysis. The differences between microwave radiation and alpha radiation are huge.


"Two researchers, Blanc and Hertel, confirmed that microwave cooking significantly changes food nutrients. ...."

Again, per http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4080


"Dr. Hertel seems to have managed to gain this claimed following even without producing the most basic of information that prospective groupies should request: a specific, testable claim about what this change in blood chemistry might be; or a single victim. He is best known for his most publicized test."

" In 1989, he and seven fellow vegetarians confined themselves to a hotel and consumed only milk and vegetables, prepared in different ways, for two months. When he emerged, he announced his results: That microwave ovens cause cancer and degenerative diseases, despite no cases of cancer or illness among he or his group. His research, if you want to call it that, was never peer reviewed or published in any reputable journal, and yet it has become the foundational magnum opus of the anti-microwave agenda."




In short, the only verifiable danger of microwave ovens I can find is using them without the door interlock safety mechanism (which would let the microwaves out of the oven. )


 
Cris Bessette
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Test done on plants grown in microwaved water, (and "regular" water)

http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp
 
pollinator
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I dismissed the whole thing when radiolytic compounds were described as lifeforms.

I would be more concerned with standing too near older microwave ovens when in operation, or burning myself with microwaved food that was still cooking after I took it out.

Also, five minutes in the oven? My cast iron doesn't even heat up in five minutes in the oven. I can't boil anything but an insignificant amount of water in five minutes on the stove.

I don't use the microwave anywhere near as much as I used to as a child, but I would be more concerned about the negative health effects of consuming processed food designed to be microwaved from frozen.

-CK
 
steward
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I quit using a microwave years ago after listening to a segment on Science Friday on NPR, back when I listened to news (I gave that up too). I was able to convince my wife to sell ours in a yard sale and much to my joy we no longer own one. Interestingly, the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation produced by a microwave oven does a few other things besides making water molecules spin (that friction of spinning water molecules is what heats food). It can also destroy delicate compounds such as b-vitamins and amino acids. It can also change proteins into carcinogenic compounds. Proteins are very complex molecules that are intricately folded, very similar to origami. The radiation can unfold proteins into molecules that don't occur in nature.
 
pollinator
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The radiation can unfold proteins into molecules that don't occur in nature.



The term is denaturing. I think most people have a word association with removal of nature, but it just means the conformation of the molecule changes. If you have turned an egg white from clear to white, you have done exactly what they claim microwaves do, in a cast iron or intense sun when you forgot them in your car. Yes, it destroys vitamins. Any heat source does. That is why people who tend to not like microwaves migrate toward uncooked food often. Cooking has benefits and downsides. I don't use a microwave often, because I suspect the plastic tends to leach, if you don't have glass containers. Personally the plastic absorption worries me far more than ephemeral nonionizing radiation with a reasonable shielding.

I stir fry veggies to keep part of them from experiencing heat, but the heat is the issue. If you were to look at a water molecule with NMR, after microwaving, and it was different than a non-microwaved water source, it would interest me.

 
Posts: 186
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Between electro magnetic waves from stoves and refrigerators, microwaves, and carbon monoxide’s from gas eating food is obviously unhealthy. We need to stop.
 
steward
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We got rid of ours 4 years ago.  Main substitutions have been an electric tea pot to boil water in a minute or two, a Breville toaster oven to do most of our baking and reheating (bowl of soup takes about 8 minutes), and the gas range for normal cooking.  Boiling water on it (in a stainless steel pot) is pretty quick.  Slow reheating (pint mason jar of tomato soup) can be done by setting the jar on the wood stove for 20-30 min (depending on the strength of the fire).

While I don't know for sure if they're bad for you, I figure it's like a small drop of weak poison.  You can't prove it will kill you but it's probably not totally neutral.
 
Chris Kott
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Yes, but all indications suggest that the bad things are caused by the heating itself, regardless of how they are heated. Again, denaturation by microwave is molecularly indistinguishable from denaturation by heating through any other method.

These concerns are more of an argument for eating a raw diet, though we've been softening our food so long through cooking that our bodies have evolved significantly because of it. The fact that our jaws and jaw muscles are less robust than our primate precursors and cousins are a chief indication of this. Is it sensible to suggest that, while our musculature and bone structure have evolved, our digestive systems have not?

If it's like a small drop of weak poison, you get that poison from heating in cast iron, ceramics, porcelain, glass, from heating with gas, by electricity (resistors in elements), by induction, by solar cooker, and yes, in microwaves.

Oh, and I don't microwave plastic. Never. My lunch containers are those nice ones by pyrex with the silicone-gasketed glass lids. I don't microwave silicone either.

There's a laundry list of concerns that rank above microwaves for me, and most of my microwave concerns have to do with overcooking and making my food taste less good than with slower preparation methods.

-CK
 
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Microwaves are fine. So is wifi.

I understand the trepidation as microwaves are not something we can see and its hard to conceptually separate heat radiation from the nuclear type.

But they're extremely efficient, worth using if you care about your carbon footprint.
Doubly so if you use it to sterilise and can gluts of fresh produce.

Ironically, many people who criticise microwaves would jump at a wood-fired pizza with crispy edges - even though there is ample evidence that microwaves are safe and food that is burnt or smoke-exposed is very carcinogenic.
 
pollinator
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My biggest concern with microwave ovens is that someone may bump into it, knock it off the counter, and it might land on my foot.  Other than that, I've never seen anything I consider concerning about them.
 
Posts: 499
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Jondo Almondo wrote:Microwaves are fine. So is wifi.



That's your right to personally choose for yourself, Jondo.

We have neither in our house so we can enjoy an electronically quiet environment. However, I have nothing against anyone else using any RF generating device they want, as they have no effect on my own life.

 
Posts: 551
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Jondo Almondo wrote:But they're extremely efficient, worth using if you care about your carbon footprint.


Microwaves are around 50% efficient … from electricity – which is about 40% for coal and gas plants (and far worse from a generator). So you only need to get 20% of a coal or gas fire into the meal+container to match it.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Sebastian Köln wrote:

Jondo Almondo wrote:But they're extremely efficient, worth using if you care about your carbon footprint.


Microwaves are around 50% efficient … from electricity – which is about 40% for coal and gas plants (and far worse from a generator). So you only need to get 20% of a coal or gas fire into the meal+container to match it.



We heat our food directly by burning propane or wood... both of which operate without electricity. It's much simpler and quieter than an ugly bulky noisy box beeping, whining, and grinding away on a counter.
 
pollinator
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IMHO:
I don't believe there is a difference between microwaved vs non-microwaved and microwaved water.  Nor is there any problem with residual radiation.

However, the immediate direct radiation is a problem for me, which is why it makes me feel funny to see kitchens with the box on a shelf at head-level.  I realize it's in a cheap faraday cage, but the leakage is substantial. It's like "here's a thousand watts of meat-cooking radiation. now aim directly at your brain, please."  (Then again, I did grow up in the era of CRT screens, so, can't say that was any better.)

Also, like somebody said, what chemical alterations are made to complex organic molecules like those in food -- impossible to even predict what's going on!  A microzapped hotdog is mystery meat in more ways than one!

On a lighter side, here is one of my favorite comedy youtubes of all time, exposing the dangers of microwaves! :D


"Ze rat is DEAD!"
 
Sebastian Köln
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K Eilander wrote:IMHO:
I don't believe there is a difference between microwaved vs non-microwaved and microwaved water.  Nor is there any problem with residual radiation.



From what I have gathered, water is actually quite a complex thing… more like a fast flowing glass. And glas has memory, so I would not be surprised to see differences.
(I am saying that as a physicist with the realization: too complex; can't predict)
 
pollinator
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My brother-in-law redecorated his kitchen with an exploding scotch egg. Over cooked it and it exploded like a grenade. Garlic scented cooked mince coated literally every surface of the kitchen - walls, floor, ceiling, windows. Very dangerous.
 
gardener
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I was skimming through a diet book one of those famous conspiracy theory guys wrote, and one of the first things he wrote was throw away your microwave.  I didn't buy the book.  It cooks in seconds, so of course it can't be good for you.  On the other hand I can think of a lot worse.  Like everything in life it should be used in moderation.  We probably shouldn't be using it all the time, but the convenience can be a dinner saver at times.  As far as water goes I don't know if its harmful to us, but I don't heat water for my tea, or reheat it in the microwave.  Even with filtered water it changes the taste, and not in a good way, and there is a foamy scum on the top that isn't very appetizing.  Good or bad, I don't know, but something has definitely changed.
 
gardener
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I have read and heard articles and podcasts by the engineers who used to make them who could explain why they are harmful. I didn't really pay attention until I kept hearing from 3, 4 5, 6, 7.  Yes, the leaching of heated plastic is even worse.  When I hear from doctors dealing with cancer and auto-immune patients, most are my age (56 or older). They talk about accumulated problems in the body.  "now their kidneys don't work. Then they do this and the liver doesn't filter anything. They're already 50 pounds overweight, and they have blood sugar problems".  I don't use it and I ask my family members not to use it when I'm in the kitchen.  In my opinion, we have enough toxins and problems in our modern society without adding more.  Yes, cell phones are also convenient, but if you have one next to your ear for many minutes each day, I don't think that helps either.
John S
PDX OR
 
Mike Haasl
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I think of many of these sorts of things (microwaves, 5g, cell phones, fast food, air pollution, vaccines, food additives, preservatives, PFAS in the water, BPA, etc, etc, etc) as a drop or two of weak poison each.  

People will say "You can't prove that putting MSG in food harms anyone, look at all these studies showing that it doesn't hurt people".  Sure, one drop of weak poison also can't be shown to hurt people.  So every industry that benefits from adding a preservative, chemical, electromagnetic frequency, toxin, etc to their product or to the environment uses that same argument.  And now we're drinking a tablespoon of poison.  

And that tablespoon of poison is starting to hurt people.  But you can't tell which drop is the one that's the problem because it's the cumulative effect.  And some people are more sensitive to one toxin than other toxins which further confuses things.  Others can handle the tablespoon just fine.  Others are slightly sick but don't know why.  Others have gotten slightly sick but think they're just getting older.  If you go to the doctor saying that you're sick and they can't pinpoint the issue you're out of luck.  

Many of the poison drops are very convenient (cell phones, microwaves, 5G) so there's resistance to thinking they're bad "I can't live without a bluetooth so I'm going to chose to believe they're not hurting me".  Others have huge marketing or medical studies generated to try to show that they're fine "5 out of 7 doctors recommend Winston cigarettes".  Resistance is seen as weird.  You're not concerned about an environmental issue, you're wearing a tinfoil hat.  "Shame on you" "Get with the program" "Why are you so difficult" "You're just a conspiracy theory nut"

I do chose to not use a microwave.  I have found ways to live without one that don't impact my life that much.  So I chose to think that I'm drinking one drop less of poison.
 
Sebastian Köln
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Sebastian Köln wrote:
From what I have gathered, water is actually quite a complex thing… more like a fast flowing glass. And glas has memory, so I would not be surprised to see differences.
(I am saying that as a physicist with the realization: too complex; can't predict)



For the curious ones:
Wikipedia: Water cluster
Water Clusters: Overview
Water clusters: Untangling the mysteries of the liquid, one molecule at a time
 
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We don't have a microwave and haven't for about 3-4 years now. We do use the oven however pretty much all ovens here have a microwave function too. I'd rather it didn't but the new oven we just bought (not installed yet) has that function. Do you think its okay just to only use the oven part and not the microwave? I hope it is anyway.
gift
 
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