Microwave Cooking from Mark Brainer, DDS
As I wait for my food to be reheated in the microwave, I
intuitively feel that this can't be good. However, because it is
so convenient, I put my concerns aside, and ignore the "inner
month I decided that it was time to investigate whether
microwaving food is safe and healthy.
of foods was studied by German scientists during World War II.
If large quantities of food could be cooked by microwave, this
cooking method could solve the logistical problems associated
with transporting cooking fuel; additionally the food would be
able to be cooked in a much shorter time.
After the war
ended, the scientists' research papers and experimental
microwave equipment were found and transferred to the United
States and to the Soviet Union.
have done the most research on the biological effects of
microwaves and microwaved foods. In my research, I discovered
that in 1976, microwave ovens were outlawed in the Soviet Union
(this is no longer true today). Here is a summary of their key
findings of what happens when food is microwaved.
1. D-nitrosodiethanolamines are formed in meats. These chemicals
are known cancer-causing agents.
2. Cancer-causing agents are created in cereals and milk.
3. There is actually increased radiation in the food.
4. Elementally, food is changed resulting in digestive problems
and disturbances in the lymphatic system.
5. Cancer-causing free radicals are formed, especially in
vegetables and fruit.
6. Vitamin C, vitamin E, the B vitamins and essential minerals
all have their bioavailability decreased.
7. Digestibility of fruits and vegetables is decreased due to
the alteration of their internal structure.
8. The nutritive value of meat proteins is decreased.
scientists also found external exposure to microwaves had many
detrimental effects on the brain, hormones, nervous system and
In addition to what the Russians found, there have been some
other negative reports from more recent research in other
countries. In the
December 1989 issue of the British medical journal, Lancet, it
was reported that mirowaving baby formula created a disturbing
result. Certain amino acids - the building blocks of
proteins -undergo structural changes that render them not
biologically usable. One of the amino acids, L- proline was
changed into a form known to be toxic to the nervous system and
to the kidney.
Another result the
British scientists reported related to the microwaving of food
in the plastic packaging these foods are often wrapped in.
Chemicals from the plastics leaked into the food. Among
these chemicals are benzene, toluene, xylene, and polyethylene
terphthalate. Another study showed that microwaving different
plastic wraps in olive oil caused DEHA, a carcinogen, to migrate
into the oil at 10 million times, the FDA limit! Also
xenoestrogens were found in the oil. These are substances
foreign to the human body, and they mimic the effects of
In the late 1980s,
a Swiss food scientist, Dr. Hans-Urich Hertel, teamed up with
Professor Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology to study the effect of microwaved foods on humans.
They applied for funding and were turned down on the grounds
that research was not needed in this area.
They self-funded a small study. Eight people were sequestered in
a hotel for two months. They were fed a diet of vegetables
cooked either conventionally or by microwave plus either fresh
milk or microwaved milk. At intervals of two to five days, their
blood was drawn before and after eating.
In the blood drawn
after consuming microwaved food versus the blood drawn after
ingesting conventionally cooked foods, there were serious
irregularities. They found a decrease in HDL's (good
cholesterol) and in certain white blood cells. They also found
lowered hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell counts. These
got worse over the two months of the study, and, in fact, these
changes were in a direction approaching anemia.
The trade organization, the Swiss Association of Dealers for
Electroapparatuses for Households and Industry, obtained a
court-directed gag order against Dr. Hertel and Professor Blanc,
which prevented them from declaring that microwaving food is
dangerous to people's health. In 1998, this ruling was
overturned in the courts.
However, the years
of silence allowed microwave cooking to enter the mainstream and
become a common household appliance..
It seems that my "inner instinct" was true. In the interest of
good health, I am no longer going to reheat food in the
microwave (we never cooked anything in it).
You will have to
make your own decision.
presented is for educational purposes only. You should consult a
qualified dentist or health practitioner for diagnosis and
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