Microwave Cooking: Healthy Or Health Hazard?

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Microwave Cooking - Healthy Or Health Hazard

A couple days ago, I was on a forum and I saw a thread about microwave cooking and heating. The thread was about 20 pages and literally hundreds of people kept expressing their concerns about risks of cancer, radiation and brain damage. The most cited source was an alleged Soviet Union study from the 1950s that discovered horrific effects of microwaved food (or the mere presence of a working microwave oven!) on human subjects. Effects such as:

● Risk of cancer

● A gradual breakdown of the digestive and excretory systems

● Insomnia, night sweats, and various sleep disturbances

● Headaches and dizzines

● Swollen lymph nodes and a weakened immune system

● Impaired cognition

● Depression and irritability

● Nausea and appetite loss

● Vision and eye problems

● Frequent urination and extreme thirst

● Immediate and dramatic changes in both heart rate and heart rate variability

The only problem is… there is no 100% reliable source to confirm the results of this alleged study. It seems somewhat unlikely that the Soviet Union (ruled by Stalin, who killed millions of his own people) studied the effects of microwave ovens to protect Russians from them.

However, it’s hard to dismiss the study as fake, when a few simple science fair projects prove how destructive microwaves can be. For example, a couple years ago, I saw an experiment with microwave-heated water. It was a science fair project by Arielle Reynolds. Here’s what it was about and what results she got:

Arielle got two identical plants and watered them with water heated in two different ways:

– one plant with water heated in a pan on the stove (and then let to cool down)

– the other one with water heated in a microwave oven (and then let to cool down)

She did this for nine days. And after just nine days, the plant watered with microwaved water died. No, it didn’t die. It disappeared. On the other hand, the plant treated with stove-heated water survived and developed normally. You can see the results of the experiment in pictures right here, to see it for yourself.

Microwaved Water
Source: www.eutimes.net

Then Wholesome Learning did an experiment of their own. They tried to replicate Arielle’s science fair project, but both plants died. So they came up with a different sort of experiment, one that didn’t involve any other factor but the water used (the development of the plants depended on sunlight and temperature, as well, which could influence the results). Here’s what they did:

They took six pea seeds and placed 3 into two paper towels that were folded into two plastic baggies and then poured enough water (boiled vs. microwaved) that the paper towels were soaked, but no water was pooling in the bags.

And here are the results:

“By the end of the first week, 5 of the 6 seed had shot out roots. A few days later, some greenery. By the end of 3 weeks there was no comparison. It was very clear that the boiled water seeds had been a success – since they each stood over 3 inches tall and had several long and healthy roots!! The microwave seeds, however, remained pitifully the same with stunted growth, at best!”

These are the final pictures: boiled water peas on the left and microwaved water peas on the right…

microwaved water peas

Surely this experiment is replicable. Has anyone actually done this?

However, some scientists say all this “evidence” is simply feeding a worldwide paranoia that has no medical background. They claim microwaved food is more healthy that the classic heating methods, because it locks more nutrients and vitamins in the food instead of letting them slowly drip out of them.

“Many negative articles claim that microwave cooking sucks the nutrients out of food. According to Consumer Reports Magazine, this is not true. The technicians and scientists at Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumer Reports, say that “microwave-cooked food may retain vitamins and minerals better than stove-top-cooked food because the microwave zaps food quickly and without much water. The longer you cook food in liquid, the more nutrients may seep out, which is fine for soups and stews, but it’s a problem if you discard the liquid before eating. One study found that spinach retained all of its folate when cooked in a microwave, compared with 77 percent when cooked on a stove”.” (source)

I’m not a scientist, so I can’t tell you whether microwave ovens are safe or dangerous. I will however stay away from them as much as I can – just to make sure. Why take unnecessary risks? However, I won’t make a tragedy out of it if I happen to eat microwaved food once in a while. I don’t want to become one of those health freaks that cook their food on the roof, because the sun is 100% natural, but I don’t want to harm myself or my family either.

What do you think about microwave ovens? What side are you on: the Healthy or the Health Hazard team?

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