Microwaves heat food by making water molecules in the food to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. That is why food with lots of water heat up faster. While this can rapidly heat your food, what most people don’t realize is that it can also cause change in your food’s chemical structure. This distorts and deforms the molecules of whatever food or other substance you subject to it.

An example of this is seen in blood products:

There is a well-publicized lawsuit about a woman who died after receiving a transfusion of microwaved blood in 1991. Blood is usually warmed before being transfused into a person. It is now known that doing this actually changes blood components and is not a safe way to warm blood.

  • Microwave radiation leakage can damage human cells and tissues.
  • Microwaving causes the chemicals in the packaging to leak to our food. The January/February 1990 issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter reported the leakage of numerous toxic chemicals from the packaging of common microwavable foods like pizza, popcorn and frozen meals. Chemicals including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene are incredible toxic and harmful to our health. Making sure to use glass containers for microwaving is very important. Especially when heating fatty foods to avoid the release of dioxins (known carcinogens) and other toxins into your food.
  • Microwaves break chemical and molecular bonds, and can literally rip atoms apart, disrupting the basic biochemical structures of life.
  • Microwaved foods lose nutrition – A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli cooked in the microwave with a bit of water, lost up to 97% of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli (cooked on a stove) only lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.
In a study performed on garlic, 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its alliinase, garlic’s most important active ingredient against cancer.

The Swiss scientist Hans Hertel, was the first to study microwave dangers. Specifically, how cooking degrades and depletes food of nutrients. An effect that showed up in participants blood samples on a study regarding the subject.

After the participants consumed microwaved vegetables, Swiss Scientist Hertel measured and discovered the following effects:

-Cholesterol levels increased rapidly.

-Hemoglobin decreased significantly (creating anemic tendencies.)

-Lymphocytes (white blood cells) showed a significant term decrease.

-Increased stress (evidence by the increase of leukocyte)

NOTE: Leukocyte response can indicate pathogenic effects such as poisoning and cell damage

There is a reason it is advised to heat breast milk in warm water and not a microwave. A study about breast milk/infant formula by Lee in 1989 found vitamin content becomes depleted by microwaving. Also, certain amino acids are converted into other substances that are biologically inactive. Some altered amino acids are poisonous to the nervous system and kidneys.

A Japanese study by Watanabe showed that just 6 minutes of microwave heating killed 30-40 percent of the B12 in milk.
  • Microwaving makes food unhealthy – Microwave radiation can actually create new compounds (radiolytic compounds) that are harmful to our bodies.

There are plenty more studies regarding this topic that prove how microwaving food can deplete nutrients from food and make them harmful to our health. It just seems like a crime to me to “ruin” food in the microwave after spending time and money in purchasing and cooking high quality nutritious food.

I know sometimes using a stove top isn’t an option for people who take their home cooked meals to work. But I think that most of us, if we really care about our health and the quality of our food, can definitely reduce its usage.

Hertel, who conducted one of the most important scientific studies regarding microwaving safety said:
“There are no atoms, molecules, or cells of any organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power for any period of time. This will happen even given the microwave oven’s low power range of milliwatts.”

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