Why You Should Never Microwave Your Food

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

woman-peering-into-microwave

Microwaving is a simple, convenient cooking option for people on the go. The microwave oven has been a mainstay in the US for 30+ years, virtually transforming society and how we view food. But despite its wonders, the question that’s been avoided remains: are microwaves the healthiest cooking option? The answer is, of course, no, as there are much better options available that will ensure nutrients will remain in your food.

How Does Microwaving Work?

Before we dive into the research on the possible effects and safety of microwave ovens, let’s clarify what a microwave is. A microwave is a form of non-ionizing radiation. As a matter of contrast, ionizing radiation changes the electromagnetic nature of atoms, or ionizes them. This alters the way they interact with other atoms and molecules around them. X-rays, gamma radiation, and nuclear medicine (CT scans, barium swallows, and mammograms) are types of ionizing radiation. Your food is being zapped by high-frequency waves of heat, and some people argue that this radiation can be harmful to your health.

One study by Dr. Hans Hertel explored how microwaves change the molecular structure of food and the effects of that food on the human body. In his study, he found that individuals who consumed the microwaved foods experienced a decrease in HDL cholesterol, a reduced red blood cell count, and fewer white blood cells. Unfortunately, no studies have been conducted since to replicate Dr. Hertel’s findings, so it would be reaching to conclude that microwaving does indeed deteriorate health. Still, there are other cooking options that may be far better at retaining the nutritive quality of food.

The Best Cooking Options for Maintaining Nutrition

Microwaving cooks the food at very high temperatures in a very short amount of time. This results in a great deal of nutrient loss for most foods, especially vegetables. Our foods are also subjected to nutrient loss when we boil, fry, or roast our food. Boiling vegetables, for example, leeches most of the nutrients (including antioxidants) into the water. The best option for cooking vegetables that will result in only a minor loss of nutrients is steaming. Sautéing and baking at low temperatures is also a viable option that will retain more nutrients than microwaving, boiling, or frying. Of course, by making the majority of your diet raw, with some added dietary fat to help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), you’ll ensure a high level of nutrient intake.

Adding To the Toxic Load

When it comes specifically to microwaves, damage to the food itself isn’t the only concern. Many microwavable foods are processed and in packaging that contains an assortment of chemicals. Chemicals found in many of these containers include benzene, toluene, polyethylene terpthalate (PET), xylene, and dioxins (known carcinogens). At high temperatures, it is likely that chemicals can absorb into the food, and intake of these chemicals presents a high health risk. What’s more, the chemicals in the food themselves are also a cause for concern.

Perhaps one of the most dangerous contaminants in microwavable food is BPA. A watchdog report from the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel found this estrogen-like plastic leaked from all packaging into the food tested. [1] BPA disrupts normal hormone activity. Infertility, low-libido, cardiac disease, mental disorders, allergies, high blood pressure, and weight gain have all been linked to BPA exposure. The simple fact is, when you use a microwave, you’re getting a lot more than the food you eat.

One Final Thought

Over the last 30 years, the science and research has come a long way to understand how microwaves affect proteins, antioxidants, and overall nutrient content of food. We’ve also learned how many toxins flood our food when zapped in the packaging. Today we shouldn’t be surprised by these dangers. Instead of microwaving, stick to raw foods as the primary aspect of your diet. When you do cook, try steaming and baking as your main cooking methods.

Have you given up your microwave? Is there anyone who has never used one? Share your experiences with us.

References:

  1. Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger. BPA leaches from ‘safe’ products. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pheelyp Pheelyp Aytona

    Where is the reference/citation for the study supposedly conducted by a Dr. Hans Hertel?

  • Rusty

    I’d like to start off with I respect all the information you give and in doing so helping people live healthier lives, however, microwaves are 100% safe, the food is not changed in any way, expect the way all food changes when you cook it. There have also been many peer reviewed studies that show microwaving preserves more nutrients than any other cooking method. Please do proper research on how microwaves work. If your microwave is not leaking, and is within the specification limits, your food is safe, just as nutrient dense as any other form, and in most cases just as delcious.

  • G-Shock

    That’s all well and great Rusty but you’re breaking your own rule in your argument when you just expect us to take your word for it. Can you please share the evidence that unequivocally proves microwaves to be safe and the food to be nutritionally untouched?

  • Rusty

    Given the fact that there is no shred of evidence here to even suggest microwaves are harmful, the burden of proof is on them, not me. When there are thousands of studies you can find by a single search that shows you they are safe and none that hold any credibility that say otherwise. No, I don’t expect you to take my word for it, but rather to look at the studies yourself, not one I or Global Healing Center provides for you.

  • Kaja Knudsen

    Never owned one.

  • ladlasheikh

    thanks this was very helpful….

    ____________________
    omair

  • AngelGabe

    I have not had a microwave for about 20 years, now. Question: since they are so prevalent, and many recipes use them, how do you convert microwave recipes to oven ones? Any thoughts?

  • AngelGabe

    Vaccines are safe, cigarettes are safe, agent orange, no worries, etc. I could go on, but you get the drift.

  • http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/ Global Healing Center

    Depends on what you’re making. If anything needs to be cooked thoroughly, cook it to those specs. Doing what you’ve been doing the last 20 years should still work, right?

  • AngelGabe

    I’m talking about specific new recipes that are for the microwave, with times based on microwave cooking but that could be cooked in an oven…There are recipes out there for baking in ceramic potting pots, or mugs or even canning jars, for use in the microwave: I won’t use one, so would like to know how to convert those micro recipes to oven times. Is there some formula for conversion to oven from microwave? The only thing I can find in a search is the other way ’round.

  • ChefTed

    Hope you don’t mind if I jump in here on this. Usually with some internet searching it’s pretty easy to find similar recipes for “microwave exclusive” recipes. There isn’t a cut and dry answer that works across the board because it’s always going to depend what you’re making. For instance, you wouldn’t necessarily microwave or bake fish at the same temperature or way that you’d microwave or bake beef, or potatoes, or other vegetables, or anything really. If you find a dish that mentions the microwave, just do some searching for other similar recipes and you’re bound to find some that don’t use the microwave.

  • PatnCats

    Hi Doctor! I gave up the microwave when a cancer nurse and homeopathic healer gave me a copy of the German Drs study. I was shocked and got ride of it. It has been about 8 years and I don’t miss it. I just heat food in a small toaster oven or use my cast iron skillet or stainless steel pot. Never have missed it and my food tastes so much better! I never eat at restaurants that micriwave either. Shabby cooking ! I tell everyone about the German Drs study and how blood levels change. I have good blood chemistry per my doctor’s blood test. My cholesterol level was 245 steady the bad kind that is. So I go on Crestor then when it drops to below 100 then I quit for a month as I have fibromyalgia. I’ve just started taking a gFS green food supplement from Herbal Healer Academy as I need help for fibromyalgia and the medications for it make me sick with severe migraines – serotonin in the meds I don’t need. Blessing. Pat

  • PatnTrucks

    Oops I posted to someone else’s question. Anyway I bought a good used Julia Child’s cookbook the Joy of Cooking and beats the day lights of anything found that needs microwaved!! That woman can sure cook! I would guess the standard 350 degrees for 39 minutes should sum up a lot. I trashed my microwave 8 years ago when I read the German dictor’s study. It was very detailed and scientifically based. Food changes at the molecular level in a microwave and is lacking in nutrition. And the packaged garbage they sell for microwave food is appalling. I’ll tske Julia Child recipes any day! Happy REAL cooking!! Food tastes better cooked rhe old fashioned way! Steel pots and a caste iron skillet are all that one needs! Hugs!

  • PatnTrucks

    I bought Julia Child’s cookbook and never have any problems. Forget microwave cooking I threw mine away 8 years ago and never regretted it. I read the German dictor’so study on how it changed blood chemistry.

  • PatnTrucks

    Yes I know the containers you mention. I have a German clay roaster but the bottom is glazed and the top not glazed but is soaked in water for 20 minutes to provide moisture. I would not use a clay flower pot to cook in as they are unglazed and may contain lead or something else as nasty depending upon country of origin. To replace the canning jars use pyrex in the oven. As I mentioned The Joy of Cooking with Old Julia is a time and true method. And really delicious.

  • PatnTrucks

    You are very smart!!!

  • plusaf

    Sorry, G-Shock, but you’re tossing that red herring in and I can recognize it. You’re asking for 100%-safety PROOF on a long-term-basis data set that doesn’t exist, and until you are delivered that impossible data set, you won’t believe microwave ovens could ever be safe.
    Fess up! Microwave ovens operate on the principle that when the right frequency of electromagnetic radiation (that term alone is scary enough for you, isn’t it?) is applied to materials that contain water or fat molecules, the interaction causes those molecules to absorb the energy and vibrate or spin… a basic characteristic of a material absorbing energy and Heating UP.
    No chromosomes are damaged and no nuclear radiation is involved. Those fears are all bogus.
    The nutritional degradation from microwave heating should be impossible to detect as being different from heating over a wood fire or an electric wok OR a magnetic-induction stovetop, too!
    The onus IS on YOU to bring evidence that any of the worries you have or the changes you fear HAVE really occurred, and that you’re not just saying things out of a ‘fear that it might happen.’
    That’s Bad Science and poor thinking. I don’t know where you learned to logic things out like that, but you really should go back and question that ‘teacher’ at length. They’ve misled you down a dark path.

  • plusaf

    Oh, bullcrap.. NOTHING is 100% “safe” and that’s what you’re demanding of anything and everything you could put on such a list.
    Some of those things are know to do serious damage and others have risks so small that the benefits overwhelm the risks.
    Nothing can deliver the 100% safety you’re demanding. So, what’s your point in demanding it? 100% safety and security in this world? Sorry, wrong universe, wrong planet. Good luck finding what you’re looking for. It’s not on Earth.
    No matter how much you’d like it to be… or demand that it be delivered to you like that.

  • plusaf

    Spot on, and great challenges to the Bad Science Believers!

  • kiwi-ian

    Google “organic food causes autism” and you should find a graph showing that there is an almost perfect correlation between the sales of organic food and the diagnoses of autism.

    The graph is real, the data are reliable, the correlation is 0.98 (perfect is 1.00).

    Using the “scientific” analysis prevalent on sites such as this one and the conclusion would be “organic food causes autism, the facts are there”. But there isn’t a scientist around who will claim this, because there is a difference between causation and correlation.

    That’s why what may seem blindingly obvious to you is ignored by scientists. Because organic food does NOT cause autism even though the facts show it does.

    Sometimes you just have to look up the real facts.

  • oldskool

    Several years ago Kirlian photography picqued my interest. What concerned me the most was the difference in the pictures between microwaved water and water heated conventionally. The difference was clear to me and I use my microwave as little as possible.

  • Beauty1976

    I gave up my microwave three years ago. I haven’t missed it once I was always kinda scared of them. I would leave the room when I would turn it on. So I finally chucked it out good riddions one less toxic thing in my home.

  • Zombie apocalypse with beans

    i bought my first microwave oven back in the late 70s. At first we were all quite concerned with being radiated to death just by standing next to this new modern convenience. So i did a little research at our local area library, via this one unfounded fear. While studying the principal of operation i found this device to be most practical and well shielded too. Its just a food cooking device that uses pure RF energy that comes in the form of 100s of watts at a high freq. The magnetron tube utilizes about 2Kv of DC power provided by a high voltage transformer via rectifier filter cap with a build in resistor. Add to this a high current filament voltage supply provided by a separate winding on that same transformer to the tube and that’s all that’s needed to start the oscillation of this air cooled tube kicking out those watts while operating in a very low microwave freq band.

    Now it may be oscillating at a freq of about 2.4 GHz which is in the low end of microwave. However, it is still considered RF radiation with nothing nuclear associated with it in the least. i have owned at least a dozen or more different models since that first model, and never once have i noticed any health concerns associated with using any of these devices to cook my meals with, this especially potatoes that are # 1 when it comes to microwave cooking. As for that popcorn jazz? Never really cared much for it, to much weird junk mixed in with it to be considered healthy…

    Lastly when cooking with any microwave oven, lets face it we are indeed dealing with meats 90% of the time… Some that may have a little surprise? Like that not so healthy bacteria via processing storage whenever! Just waiting to attack once delicate digestive track. Note: can’t recall one time i had any problems with the quality of prepared food via microwave oven…

    Thus, i believe this high freq energy destroys those harmful bacterias instantly, (food poisoning) that normal cooking often misses…

  • Tory Abraham

    you are poor

  • kiwi-ian

    Oh dear, you are going to upset a lot of people!!

    MW ovens use DC? True, but it messes up a current theory that AC causes some of the MW oscillations and that oven MWs (AC) are different from sun MWs (DC).

    MW frequency is 2.4GHz? True too, but that is completely counter to the argument that AC frequencies (60Hz in the US, 50Hz nearly everywhere else) are a cause of MW frequency.

    MW Popcorn bad for you because of the additives not the MW bit? Absolutely true.

    In fact the only statement I disagree with is that MW ovens are used mainly for meat, I much prefer the carcinogenics in traditionally cooked meat that have been browned. It’s an unfortunate fact that if it tastes nice it’s either fattening or carcinogenic. I use the the MW for the best scrambled eggs, lovely jacket potatoes, quick baked beans, and of course reheated left-overs.

  • Peter Ayisi

    THANKS, I NEVER KNEW- AYISI

  • martha mathews

    How I wish it were possible for me to just forget mws. Food definitely tastes better when cooked properly or not at all. What do I do, living in a facility for elderly? The food served is unreal as it gets – canned fruits & veges – when we get them. I have always hated canned peas and nowadays those guys are staring me in the eyeballs several times a week. I just do not eat them. Our mashed pots come from a box of potato flakes. Those I do not eat even when they dress them up with canned gravy. Rarely do we receive fresh salad. They use micro to heat the food we are given to eat. Four years, i have been here and there are about 40 Residents (one committed suicide). I am all alone as my family is all dead. Here I bes, eating like I had never ever DREAMED I would eat, with no one to help me. The saddest part for me is watching these people around me slowly loosing weight. Most are older than I (68 and still walking plus no dementia) , just stay in my what they call apartment. In my little place I can afford a pizza from Hot Lips (gourmet pizza) once or twice a month and force it to last me a week. My kitchenette has no oven. A microwave and small ‘fridge that doesn’t keep things frozen in the freezer. A small counter. It is kinda pathetic but what I have. My one link to outside is to write as I am doing you. If you know what to do to help me, please let me know. The one worker I trusted has left . . . She said this place was driving her crazy.

  • John

    Do the plant test , two young plants waterd by microwave water or pan water….then tell me it’s safe.

  • K

    Dear apt(?) dweller, my dad used to use a toaster over and when they took that away he put a pan on top of his non plastic toaster and cooked himself a steak. Lived to be 100. K

  • Brad Watson

    Have you got photos of when you did the test? I’d like to see them?
    I would hope the sample size was larger than 2 plants.

  • kiwi-ian

    My son did the plant test. I am a regular judge in the local Regional High School Science Fair and see the plant test regularly.

    Problem – despite seeing dozens of these tests involving hundreds of plants, I have yet to see results that show microwaved water to be dangerous. This is the case all over the world where 1000s of these high school experiments are done annually.

    I would suggest that, rather than believing what you read on the internet, you actually do the test for yourself.

    Conclusion – despite much controversy, the experiments that I have reviewed or judged show microwaved water to be no more harmful than water heated in any other way.

  • Michael Dunbar

    This study was proven false….

  • pf3

    “study”

  • TD

    Maybe microwaves are safe but SOMETHING is causing an epidemic of cancer and nobody seems to know what. Or, do they?

  • Hawaii Dean

    Patn Trucks:
    I, too, have noticed the immense loss of flavor in microwaved foods!
    This simplistic indicator, alone, should prove that molecules are breaking down.
    My brother ‘nukes’ coffee: has all the flavor of warm water!

  • Eric Sin

    This article sounds like a first grader explaining microwaves. LOL

  • Eric Sin

    Conspiracy theories usually exist in the brain

  • Khyri GuitarLoving Weatherby

    Obviously you didn’t read this correctly when they said microwaves are bad for the food and in general.

  • Pauline

    Oh Martha ..how are you today.. i am so sorry to hear..couldn’t you move to another home where the food and the staff are more friendly.

  • Pauline

    Lol..i started microwave about 6 years ago ..i have been called old fashioned for waiting so long. .but i just don’t like them..only use it to heat up food though and I must say heating up some leftovers in it ..doesn’t taste good at all..like pizzas

  • nicspits66

    THANK YOU!!! (so sick of hair brained non-scientists examining science without understanding the nouns used).

  • nicspits66

    Thank you also, freaking forrest for the trees right? Heart disease from smoking, lack of exercise, and a diet that doesn’t mitigate either are still the largest concerns and easiest solutions. Meanwhile, propagating incomplete and irrational information in hopes of being one of these first to stop eating ____ or warn their family about ______ has become the modern “I knew them when” of society. There’s certainly a balance and caring proportionately more, significantly more, about what your body is doing (or could be) than what you put into it should be a rule for any damned health conversation. imo.

  • nicspits66

    …forgetting that the majority of microwaveable foods themselves are salt, carb, fat, and protein heavy caused those changes; the results, however detailed, were completely unrelated to the microwave. They were sued because they did not control that element of the study and the negligence of that factor was slanderous. It’d be like saying 1/10 people killed while jogging were wearing Nike tennis shoes (if 9/10 shoes on the shelf were Nike’s) and detailing the physiological causes of death and assigning the shoes to be the cause…(instead of being hit by cars, etc.)

  • Michael Dunbar

    Yes “study “. Did you even read the article? ” One study by Dr. Hans Hertel explored how microwaves change the
    molecular structure of food and the effects of that food on the human
    body.” Completely unproven…have a nice day pf3…

  • pf3

    It’s not a study just because you call it one and the author didn’t even bother citing it.

  • OmShanti

    As do all theories… be they agreed upon or not. Even scientic laws are not neccessarily true, but probable. But then again, that too is debatable… (Hume’s Problem of Induction).

  • OmShanti

    You do not need nuclear radiation to damage the molecular structure of the food. For example, if one is consistently exposed to the non-ionizing radiation emited in the form of a metal dectectors, it will eventually place a great ammount of stress on the bodies molecules to maintain a frequency conducive to good health. This molecular destablization will cause an increase in free radicals, which will go on to directly damage one’s DNA. Our entire universe is composed of varying degrees of vibration. Macrocosmically, these vibrations are experienced as protons, electrons, neutrons, atoms, dna, molecules, cells, so on and so forth. You are incorrect in arguing that heat generated by the specific electromagnetic frequency used by microwaves is fundamentally the same as heat generated by fire or electricity. This should be fairly obvious, as although it is difficult to get skin cancer from a fire, it is a completely different story of the fire emits a great amount of UV radiation. This is just one such, example… Furthermore, your argument would have been far more sound without the added insult you threw in towards your opponent, which was both an assumption, and irrelevant to validity of his arguement. I am sure you know the name of that fallacy.

  • zizanie

    Excellent source, well done and thank you OmShanti. I remember a wonderful demonstration of Hume’s Problem in a Philosophy of Science class by a teacher who certainly produced a healthy number of “scientific fact” skeptics.

  • Audrey Monroe

    I have not owned a microwave in over a year now and it is not missed. Food tastes darn right terrible heated or cooked in the microwave

  • kiwi-ian

    Mmm.

    When you say “nuclear radiation” do you mean radio-active radiation? Or do you mean ionising radiation like x-rays and UV?

    When you use metal detectors frequently, is the damage done by the radiation or the heat generated in a similar, but less efficient, way that MW heats stuff, i.e. by exciting the molecules?

    I’m also trying to figure out how one can use macrocosmically (is this a real word?) in the same sentence as electrons. Generally the cosmos refers to big things (stars, planets, space), macro means even bigger, and electrons are very SMALL.

    As for heat, it is a form of energy and matters little how it is generated. You say that it is difficult to get skin cancer from a fire unless the fire emits UV. Well, er, yes. Fires can emit heat and also UV, 2 different sorts of energy just as a light bulb can emit heat and light (and UV). But the heat is essentially the same whether from friction, combustion, exothermic reaction or whatever.

    What Plusaf was saying is that it is up to the accuser to prove guilt not the defendant to prove innocence – this is a central tenet of common law. G-Shock made an accusation – that MW ovens are dangerous – but failed to support the accusation with evidence. Hence the criticism.

    It is not for MW oven supporters to prove absolute safety, that would probably be impossible. If you look up organic food sales and autism you will see that the incidence of autism follows almost exactly the sales of organic food. Now prove that organic food is absolutely safe. What must be done is to show the dangers of MW ovens by producing valid, reproducible, controlled data something which has NOT been done to date.

    One final comment, as a non-American, I get fed up with accusations of “big business” and government cover-ups. 80% of MW ovens sold in the States today are imported. It is in the interest of US big business to get rid of MW ovens and get Americans buying US built toaster ovens etc. If Big Business has any influence at all, it would SUPPORT the anti MW oven movement in which case we would see full disclosure of any problems. The fact that is not the case points more toward no evidence than hidden evidence.

  • OmShanti

    By nuclear radiation I was replying to Plusaf’s statement that no nuclear radiation is involved in the heating process in order to defend his argument that microwaves are safe. Also, the size of something, be it macro or micro, is dependent upon the size/relationship of the viewer/experiencer. Just because the universe is macro in comparison to a person and a molecule is micro in comparison to the same person does not mean that something cannot exist micro or macrocosmically in relation to a molecule. I am coming from a Buddhist perspective, and according to my understanding the idea of something “greater” being independent of a “lesser” and vice-versa is impossible, as the two are wholly dependent upon each other for existence. I know how the term in used in everyday English, but, as I just explained, it would not be incorrect to use the same word in other instances. Sorry for the ambiguity.
    As for heat, yes, the fire was a weak example, however although it is true that the process of heating remains the same regardless of how it is generated in that the molecules move faster, the damage created by the way the heat is transferred or created DOES differ. For example, heating a potato using conduction, vs. heating the same potato using nuclear radiation will result in different chemical changes. Although the end result is a heated potato, you would definitely want to stay away from the potato heated using nuclear radiation. I was attempting to use the fire example, and now the potato example, to show that although the heat generated is the same, the chemical change will differ (nutrition)
    As far as organic food and autism, the negative or nonexistent health consequences of microwaves, I made no attempt to either prove or disprove any of those arguments, I was merely trying to show that Plusaf’s argument was weak.

  • kiwi-ian

    Hi Om Shanti, I think perhaps you are making the same confusion as Dr Group about the term “radiation”. Radiation is the emission of energy in the form of particles and/or waves and arguably includes sound. Electromagnetic radiation includes radio waves, MWs, radiant heat (what you feel at a bonfire – convectional heat has already risen and air is a bad conductor of heat) and light which are non ionising, and then UV, X-rays and gamma rays which are ionising meaning that they can strip particles – e.g. electrons – from a molecule. When you, and Plusaf, speak of “nuclear radiation” I think you probably mean the radio-active gamma radiation. Radio-active alpha and beta radiation are a different beast being purely particles with no waves and are effectively unrelated to MWs.

    Please note that radio-activity and radiation are not actually the same thing. Also, because it is energy, too much of any form of radiation is dangerous, but the flip is that too little is also harmful. Light and radiant heat are both forms of radiation (more energetic than MWs) and we NEED them or we’ll die. It’s a question of dosage.

    When radiation (any sort) hits matter, some energy (remember radiation = energy) is used to excite the particles making them move and hit each other causing friction which then causes heat. This is effectively conductive heat as it needs matter to exist. As such, it doesn’t matter if you use plutonium, MWs or a fire, the cooking heat is the same. However when you heat something using radioactivity, you have two processes, one of heating and one of ionisation (actually there are others as well but let’s KIS). Thus in both your examples the heat effects were the same but the other effects were totally different and I agree, I certainly wouldn’t touch any food cooked by gamma radiation but only because there are nasty effects other than the cooking – that would be the same. MWs are just a very efficient way of converting this energy into movement and then heat, but I’m sure you may have seen eating places using infra red lamps to keep food warm using the same principle.

    This is why Plusaf said that the heat is the same, because it is. He was also right in saying that no radio-activity is involved (nuclear radiation) because it isn’t. MWs are non ionising and cannot strip particles nor can they deform molecules, they simply do not have the quantum energy to do so.

    When scientists talk of size it is relative (scientists invented relativity in a way that could be defined rather than philosophical relativity which follows the particular school using it) and scientists do not compare one thing to another as being “better”. There is a hope that one day we may be able to describe the universe using just one big function that applies equally to quarks and galaxies. So yes, scientists do indeed believe that everything is related but that does not mean that everything is equal. Cosmic is still very big, nuclear is still very small. Macro still means big (and micro means small). None is better or worse. Macrocosmic would mean bigger than cosmic which already describes the universe, and you shouldn’t use macro unless you can also use its opposite, micro, but what does microcosmic mean? That is why I questioned it.

    Plusaf’s comment was essentially that there is little to no evidence that MW cooking is more dangerous than conventional cooking and it is up to the accusers to bring that evidence into the arena not the MW manufacturers to prove their innocence. My comment on organic food was to show that proof of safety is impossible. Although there isn’t a scientist in the world who would really link autism with organic food, we can’t prove absolutely that they are not linked.

  • OmShanti

    Good Stuff. Thank you. BTW, Scientists did not invent relativity in a way that could be defined. The scientific definition of micro or macro is based on inductive reasoning, which, by its very nature, can never see all possibilities. Thus, they take relative assumptions and agree that they are probable, but for many scientists, and philosophers, even the probability of these assumptions are disputable. Yes, macro means big and micro means small, but for the sake of science, scientists agree upon “limited infinities” in order to test their ideas. This agreement does not, however, mean that our (humankind’s) relative relationship with space/time (the cosmos) is to be the only basis for our usage of the terms microcosm and macrocosm. For in the end, it is impossible to conclusively determine whether or not our relationship with the universe, or anything for that matter, is microcosmic or macrocosmic or even both. Thus, it is true that scientists speak as though everything is not equal, but they have not and probably will never demonstrate otherwise. Therefore, it would be correct to say that a quark is microcosmic in comparison to a molecule, especially if one agrees with the Theory of Relativity. Ultimately, until science can prove that the universe can be measured without making relative assumptions, if it is even possible to prove such a thing that is :), the question of micro or macro remains one that is philosophical in nature.

  • Frances Sarver

    That should be against the law to treat the elderly like that! I am 70 years old and hope I never have to live like that, unable to get healthy food. If there was a way I could help you, I would. God bless you, sending prayers

  • Nutritionist

    I am doing a research on microwaves and all i can say is they are SAFE. please read this substantial summary of all the research out there on microwave safety. it in addition talks about all the myths I have read so far in my research http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/Microwave.htm

    In any microwave safety discussions it is important to distinguish the effects of heating in general form the effects very specific to using microwaves. with that said any claims related to nutrient loss, nutrient conversion, plastics etc are consistent with heating in general.

    secondly any ‘first hand accounts’ are also very difficult to trust due to the experimental errors.

    thirdly, it is difficult to control all other factors in order to observe the correlation of microwave use and disease prevalence.

  • kiwi-ian

    I wish you luck.

    When you research something, there are 2 ways you can do it. You can be open minded with no preconceptions, do broad research taking into account as many factors as you can, read up on and listen to all sides, research the areas you don’t understand, and base your conclusions on the evidence that you have obtained. This is clearly what you’ve done.

    Or you can say that you already know the answer, that any conclusions to the contrary are obviously based on government or big business conspiracy, that scientists aren’t listening and don’t understand, and base your conclusions only on evidence that is favourable to what you want. These people will never listen because to do so would compromise their tenets. Unfortunately they outnumber the first sort and have access to the internet.

  • chekwriter

    Yes, have used a microwave since they first came out. Have had at least 4 that I can right off think about to date. I do not recall ever reading such an article about any bad things of using one. So I am really surprised that they are still being sold to the general public if they areso dangerous and are detrimental to humans, in the way that they are used to prepare food. Are wide spread in the fast food industry as well as most well known restaurants? So bottom line, if they were actually SO DANGEROUS and UNHEALTHY then why are they still being sold in every department store and on line, Amazon, etc.?

  • chekwriter

    If organic food causes autism, then why is NOT the entire generation from 1630 on down all have had the affliction? Organic food has been grown in this country since the first settlers came from where ever, England, Germany, France, Spain, etc. So lets get the ‘ducks in a row’ before we all go off half cocked”. If any thing, fertilized food may be the one that is and has been causing CANCER since the day it was first used. As in all things, too, NOT every one has a gene that makes them more or less susceptible to having the disease. DNA has to play a role in all these things as well. One would think any way. Add in Smoking, wow, cigarettes are not the same as in about 1500’s on? Alcohol consumption is also way different, the way it was made from way back when too. Lots of chemicals there maybe. Work Environments are also a big threat and causes known CANCER’s. Asbestos, etc. So one would have to sort every one down into many different groups, walk of life, etc, and then do the microwave study from there as these subjects would consume the food as prepared with one.

  • L….J

    Man you are dreaming, putting out disinformation, and probably a shill for the processed food industry and or the pharmaceutical industry that would benefit from people getting ill.

  • irod999

    From reading this article, although very informative I feel doesn’t properly weigh the argument correctly for the Microwave being unhealthy. A lot of the information shared pertains to unhealthy chemicals in the packaging and the food that is made for microwaving, rather than the process of microwaving. It would be interesting to compare cooking methods and the impact on food that is not made specifically for a microwave, for example a raw vegetable. As not everyone cooks microwavable meals in microwaves!

  • kiwi-ian

    My point was not that organic food causes autism – I quite clearly stated that no-one took this seriously even though there “appears” to be a correlation. My point is that one piece of evidence is not sufficient to come to a conclusion, that there is more to the story than organic food linked to autism, in fact no other evidence links the two, there is no real correlation, it is purely mathematical.

    So I agree, we should not go off half cocked because there appears to be a correlation. Unfortunately, the article above does exactly that and ignores practically the entire spectrum of science in favour of some very dubious anecdotal evidence.

  • kiwi-ian

    Let’s indeed follow the money.

    Since 2000, 80% of microwave ovens in the US are imported not US made, so any profits go abroad.

    Many of the alternatives (e.g. toaster ovens) are US made.

    Retailers don’t care provided you buy something.

    US business WANTS you to throw out your perfectly good foreign MW oven and buy a US made alternative. The retailer gets an early sale and the manufacturer makes US profits. The government is elated because money stays in the country without increasing national debt and it gets to tax the profits.

    If “money talks” it’s actually saying “get rid of your microwave oven”.

    I’m not American, I come from a country that banned the US military (well, the nuclear bits anyway), didn’t support the US invasion of Iraq, we no longer manufacture MW ovens since the company was taken over by the Chinese. We can see through the “Big Business” conspiracies, they are red herrings.

    Logic and common sense also say that MW essentially heat the water in food and are therefore generally limited to about 150ºC (super heated water) while traditional frying, grilling, roasting etc heat to well over 200ºC thus possibly doing even more damage to molecules.

    The source of the heat is irrelevant, molecules will vibrate at the same speed at a given temperature whether the vibrations cause the heat or the heat causes the vibrations.

  • rosiequinn

    Try a pizzazz. Can usually get on sale at shopko for about $40. Cooks like an electric oven. Very safe, when the timer goes off, it will keep spinning but the hot rods turn off. I love mine.

  • Christofer Magne Lindgren

    “Something” isnt likely to be the cause of cancer, or someone would have found it by now. More likely a cascade of things related to all aspects of life. Trying to put the blame on “something” is just contra-productive at best.

  • aztecace

    More people, better record keeping, actual diagnoses of autism rather than mental retardation these are all reasons why autism is being reported more. Mental retardation no longer seems to be a thing, it seem the umbrella of autism covers a multitude of learning problems.

  • Jode Jette

    You are an excellent debater, sir. Curious about what country you’re from? (unrelated but just curious!)

  • Jode Jette

    On this point I agree–the flavor and texture of microwaved food cannot compare to the “real deal.” But I still re-heat some things in the microwave, but always in glass or non-plastic containers.

  • Bobbayy

    In reading most of these comments. I’m seeing a lot of this cognitive dissonance. This article very simply and scientifically explained with a touch of bias that microwaves are not good for our bodies. Unfortunately, most people and Americans wouldn’t dare be ripped from their “convenience” factor that they can quickly have something without having to wait. Since ditching my microwave a few years ago and in discussion with friends whom have also done the same, there’s an agreeance that not only we feel better in general but also that we can all smell a microwaved item a mile away and it smells like AWEFUL metal burning. Yea. The science behind it is actually, considering we’re all made of atoms, were made of complete frequency, the universe is made of certain frequencies that can be measured. The microwaves we use to put nourishment into our bodies are set to such an unnatural frequency that it harms us. It’s simple. Look it up. Or don’t and stay in your bubble of being told what to think by the media giants. Not my circus not my monkeys. But always remember that knowledge is power.

  • Osama Bedead

    The most important “something” is that we are living much longer than we used to thanks to things like cooking with microwaves rather than open fires. If you die at 40 as most people used to then you don’t live long enough to get most cancers.

    Next we have the media which reports so much more than they used to. Cancer rates ARE slightly higher similar age groups but not significantly. You just hear about it more today than people did 100 years ago.

  • Judy4gogreen

    I agree. I am certainly no expert but it never made sense to me. Back in the 80’s I worked in a Research Lab in Admin but when the technicians refused to use the microwave that was enough for me.

  • Maria

    What causes cancer is the food we eat ( the processed junk) and all animal proteins are carcinogen ! Dairy is filled with growth hormones (for the calve to become a full grown cow), pus and provokes osteoporosis in human (proof ? Look at Norwegians, one of the countries that consumes the most dairy has the highest levels of osteoporosis). Egg are extrimely toxic for humans : high cholesterol levels and causes lung cancer (1 egg is as if you were smoking 10 cigarettes) check it out if you don’t believe me. Plus eggs are the memorial cycle of a chicken (gross !!). Why are Asian countries the least affected with cancer ? Well simply cause they eat less to almost no animal protein and eat tons and tons of carbs , fruits, vegetables and legumes ! The microwave causes cancer thing is just an escape goat!

  • Shine

    do you have any thoughts on induction cooktops? I want to make RSO oil, and people are using these digitally controlled induction cooktops, but I have concerns about the EMF and its possible, negative affects on the product. I can only find research on the affects of EMF and induction cooktops in regards to human exposure, and nothing about how these magnetic devices may change the food in a detrimental way.

  • Joyce Eley Johnson

    I wonder if microwave ovens are safe to use for heating up grain filled cotton bags to ease head and body aches. Anyone know?

  • JohnHousecat

    Cancers happen sometimes “just because”; it’s idiopathic. It’s possible tissue gets damaged somehow through no fault of our own. But to get scared and raise hysteria about it is futile.

  • JohnHousecat

    *scans the comments* God damn there are a lot of stupid, stupid people completely ignorant of real science in this world.

  • kiwi-ian

    Yes they are, absolutely. Just take care to leave the bags to equalise heat and make sure that they are not too hot when you use them. Common sense.

    Since you aren’t going to eat them even the most hardened anti MW activist has no argument. There is no radio-activity to be concerned about and the only residual radiation will be the heat – see above.

  • Cherryl

    Goodness, this is the least researched and most poorly presented information I’ve run across in quite awhile. I’m a health nut, and have been for many, many decades. A microwave oven is a fabulous convenience. Yes, I know how to cook without one, and I have a beverage warmer so that I don’t have to nuke my coffee or my tea when it gets cold. But, I wouldn’t give up this appliance based on what is basically non-reproduced research.

    Mostly, I eat raw foods and minimally processed food. When I use the microwave, it’s to bake a potato, or reheat something that I don’t want to otherwise lose texture and moisture from being reheated in a pan or in the dry heat of an oven. I often steam vegetables in it. I’m not giving up my microwave unless the power goes off permanently.

  • zizi Newton

    I used microwave oven to reheat food all the time and use it to cook some food some times. The question of whether it is harmful to my health has always been in my mind. Of the writings I read on the subject it is almost evenly divided. Still feel skeptic I read more today. The first one I read was published by Harvard Medical School. It stated the microwave is completely safe to use. It even pointed out that: “The cooking method that best retains nutrients is one that cooks quickly, heats food for the shortest amount of time, and uses as little liquid as possible. Microwaving meets those criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method.”
    Who should I trust????

  • zizi Newton

    How do we know that something is microwave oven? There have been many research reports suggesting the cause of cancer. I have not come across one indicating the microwave oven. I am not depending microwave. I want to know whether it is a weal or a woe.

  • zizi Newton

    Hi Martha: You are 68 years old? Comparing to some seniors I know you are very young. I know some folks in their 80s and 90s. They not only live in their own homes but go out dancing, skating, and so on, living very active lives. One lady at 94, living by herself, vacuums her own rooms and cut her own grass. She does not have a power garage door opener so she has to lift the door by hand. You are much too young to be in a senior apartment. You should be more active and associate with younger people.

  • Bobby L

    What a load of nonsense. I would not even know where to start. Organic food, healthy food trends etc. resemble a cult more than anything these days. The long list of reference article also shows how much research went into dishing out this article !!!

  • Abz

    I started eating microwaved meals 2 months ago I’m now experiencing massive hair loss something is wrong and I believe the microwave has something to do with it.


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