I'm a passionate educator who desires to share knowledge with others.
Why Did I Research This Topic in the First Place?
I was using the microwave oven in my kitchen when I noticed my daughter walking away quickly with her two month old child in her arms. As she did, she took the opportunity to tell me that microwave ovens are dangerous and that I shouldn't even have one in the house. I couldn't believe my ears, but listened further as she explained. She told me that she had learned that microwave ovens leak dangerous radiation and that her obstetrician had told her to stay away from microwaves when she was still pregnant. Further, she indicated that there's lots of proof that microwaves destroy the nutritional value of the food and that food that has been microwaved can cause cancer. Of course, being "a big know it all" with a typical male ego, I objected to the nonsense I was hearing. However, a few moments later, I began to question myself. Could it be true? Is my ego so out of control that I could dismiss this warning and risk my own health and the health of my loved ones? I quickly came to my senses and decided to investigate. Since I pride myself in dealing with cold, hard facts, I admittedly began my research with a good dose of skepticism. However, don't get me wrong, the little voice inside me kept telling me to "be fair."
What Approach Did I Take?
I began my research using the Internet as most of us do these days. It's an extraordinarily valuable research tool. However, it too has its dangers. Anyone can post an article and one has to be very careful to differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources. Nevertheless, I began by doing a simple Google search using the words "the dangers of microwave ovens". I almost fell off my seat when the first page of results showed articles titled "Microwave Ovens - The Proven Dangers", "The Proven Dangers Of Microwaves", and "Microwave Cooking Is Killing You". I thought, "oh my God, I was so wrong". Then, after my moment of emotional weakness passed, I came to my senses. I quickly realized that I had better read all of these articles with a critical eye and then search for the opposite point of view and do the same.
What Are the Supposed "Proven" Dangers?
According to virtually every negative article I read, the supposed proven dangers state that:
- Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term—permanent—brain damage by "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain [de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue].
- The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products created in microwaved food.
- Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods.
- The effects of microwaved food by-products are residual [long term, permanent] within the human body.
- Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.
- The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.
- Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in America.
- The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.
- Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.
- Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.
Why Are the Sources of This Negative Information Suspect?
After reading the first few negative articles, I quickly began to notice several patterns. First, and foremost, virtually every article used information from what most of us would consider unreliable sources.
Here's a case in point. One of the sources was a scientific study conducted by the former Soviet Union during the 1950s. Are they kidding? Even the Soviet people didn't trust the information provided by their own government. Why should we? Further, does anyone really believe that the Soviet government conducted unbiased studies on the effects of microwave ovens for the express purpose of safeguarding the health of their citizens? Ask the residents of Chernoble if you're in doubt. Finally, if this study produced such compelling information in the 1950s, why hasn't anyone been able to replicate it since?
After reading many additional articles, I noticed that the information contained in a great many of them came from a single source. That source was an original article written by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell. Place their names in a Google search and you will come up with dozens and dozens of articles that support this point. While we should be skeptical of information that comes from a single source, we should not necessarily discount that source unless it proves to be unreliable or unauthoritative. Therefore, I decided to check the credentials of the authors. After reading through many articles attributed to them and many in which their names appear as sources, I was able to learn only one thing about them. They are associated with The Christian Law Institute & Fellowship Assembly. There is no mention of their educational background, their professions, or anything else that might suggest that theirs is expert opinion. Most logical people would not believe that being associated with the Christian Law Institute and Fellowship Assembly is sufficient evidence of expertise in the fields necessary to determine the dangers of microwave ovens.
While much of the proof offered in many of the articles is simply testimonial in nature, some of it comes from scientific studies. In one such short-term study, it was concluded that microwaved milk and vegetables cause significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals, and that hemoglobin levels decrease while white blood cells and cholesterol levels increase. However, before you throw your microwave away, you might be interested in knowing that this study included a grand total of "EIGHT" volunteers. Further, when I checked the Internet to find information about the scientists who conducted this study and came to this inescapable conclusion, I could find absolutely nothing about Raum & Zelt. Maybe their work is so top secret that they are hold up in the mountains of South Dakota, living in fear that the authorities in Washington will exterminate them for speaking the truth.
While I found many, many more reasons to disbelieve the so called "proven dangers" of microwave ovens, It would be overkill to present them here.
What Sources of Information Can Be Trusted and Why?
Individuals whose education and experience qualify them to conduct scientific studies and to draw conclusions are trusted sources of information as are many organizations that are dedicated to providing unbiased, fact-based information to the public. In the case of microwave ovens, I trust what I've learned from Consumers Union, and from Dr. Louis Bloomfield. Here's why.
Consumers Union employs hundreds of technical experts who purchase and test the products it evaluates. It is both an independent and non-profit organization. It does not accept outside advertising or free samples. Further, it owns and operates more than 50 state-of-the-art labs and offices and is a member of Consumers International, which is a federation of more than 220 consumer organizations. These are the kind of credentials that make their statements trustworthy.
Another reliable source of information is Louis A. Bloomfield because he posseses the education and experience that give him credability. He is presently a professor of physics at the University of Virginia and was the recipient of a State of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. He posseses a PhD from Stamford University and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is well known as a researcher in the field of physics and has won numerous awards for his work from organizations such as the American Physical Society, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.
What Do the Trusted Sources Say?
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".
Consumer Reports is quick to say that microwave ovens can leak radiation. However, they make it clear that it is unlikely. They indicate that the Food and Drug Administration allows for some leakage. However, this leakage is at levels that are far below any known to cause harm. Further, it states that microwave ovens stop producing radiation once the door is opened and they suggest that you don't attempt to operate a microwave if the door is broken.
Consumer Reports also addresses the accusation that microwave ovens cause cancer. They make it clear that intense microwave radiation can cause burns, temporary sterility, and even cataracts, since the a microwave oven can heat body tissue in the same way it heats food. However, for this to occur, one would have to be exposed to levels that are much higher than the allowable limits for leakage. Therefore, I would conclude that keeping one's body parts out of the oven when it's operating would be a simple way to avoid getting cancer from your microwave.
Many negative articles also claim that microwaves change the molecular structure and composition of food by ejecting some electrons from atoms and forming cancer-causing free radicals. According to Professor Bloomfield, "microwaves don't affect the molecular structure of the food, except through the thermal effects we associate with normal cooking (e.g., denaturing of proteins with heat and caramelizing of sugars). That's because, like all electromagnetic waves, microwaves are emitted and absorbed as particles called "photons." The energy in a microwave photon is so tiny that it can't cause any chemical rearrangement in a molecule. Instead, it can only add a tiny amount of heat to a water molecule. During the microwave cooking process, microwave photons stream into the food and heat it up. But millions of them would have to work together in order to cause non-thermal chemical changes in the food molecules and they don't normally do that. The photons can only work together if there is a conducting material, such as a metal wire, inside the oven. In that case, the photons can accelerate mobile electric charges along the conducting paths and create sparks. Such sparks can cause chemical damage, but nothing worse than the chemical damage caused by scorching food with a flame or broiler. Even if your microwave is full of sparks for some reason, I doubt that the food will be any worse for you than it would be if you cooked it over an open flame or barbecue".
Now that you have accurate information from reliable sources, don't throw away your microwave oven. Use it with the same degree of care you would when using any other cooking method.
Naireeta on July 18, 2020:
Read More From Delishably
This article was extremely helpful.Thank you so much sir.
kiwi-Ian on January 18, 2015:
to ElGringo - congrats, still going.
to Anthony Walton, I have an Honours B.Sc. in Animal Sciences with Biomechanics, does that mean I outrank you. Please re-read my comments above. MW ovens are no less safe than a standard oven or stove and in many cases are safer. That's physics, empirical, provable and repeatable.
to KurliQ - just who profits? It isn't US business as 80% of MW ovens are imported. Why would they supply misinformation for nothing? The alternatives however (toaster ovens etc) ARE US made, surely if money were the object, US business would be anti MW ovens. Or maybe the whole anti MW oven brigade is just a facade for US business!! Please re-read my comments above.
to Nef - I agree, my son did the experiment for a school science fair project and got similar results to you. A pity detractors don't actually DO the experiment themselves. But then many of them don't understand the basic principles of science.
to HZ, no you are not ridiculous, one should respect everyone. However the notion that MW ovens spoil food and cause more harm than conventional cooking is unsupported by the evidence, much of the "evidence" supplied by the anti MW oven brigade is taken out of context, unreliable or simply false. Conclusions should be based on a balanced research by an open mind. To come to a conclusion based on unreliable evidence while not even considering the large amount of "orthodox" evidence is risky, respectable but risky.
HZ on January 17, 2015:
"Maybe it's time to give up that ridiculous notion!"
So i am ridiculous because i don't want to use one. Maybe it's time to respect others and realize that even trusted sources can be bought.
Nef on January 10, 2015:
I did the microwave water experiment with tomato seeds. They all germinated and grew just fine, just as well and some even looking better than the regular water, and the stove top boiled water.
KurliQ on January 08, 2015:
Wow, whoever wrote this article is an idiot! Microwaves ARE harmful - follow the money trail for those who say otherwise. You'll find they have some vested interest for saying so. Microwaves, cell phones, wireless internet, GMO Frankenfoods - NONE of it is safe! This information is put out there by those who stand to profit, and who value earning their billionth dollar at the expense of your health, our food supply, and the health of our environment!
Anthony Walton on December 20, 2014:
I have a degree in biochemistry. I will not have a microwave oven in my house. I avoid microwaves. From years of research, I have found a definite link between microwaves and cancer. I do use my cell phone. It is uncharged, sitting in my car so if I happen upon an emergency, I can call authorities. It is obvious, they are throwing up so much disinformation about the dangers of microwaves, the viewer will think microwave ovens are safe. They are not - end of story.
jj on December 20, 2014:
Would love to know the truth on this issue.
As for damaging food etc, I find all that to be perfectly believable, but not necessarily true. It seems logical and I can imagine the information being suppressed, but also unlikely that there wouldn't be more outcry from the science folk. This article, while it offers some relief and I don't feel like I have to throw out my microwave, does not assuage concern entirely. I will use my microwave more sparingly in the future but I definitely won't get rid of it.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on October 21, 2014:
The source you quoted is not a reliable source of information. It's an on-line website that permits people to post whatever they please without requiring any authentication whatsoever. Please do some research using reliable sources that require authentication and you'll see that there are no such studies with conclusions anything like this. On the contrary, many have tried to prove that microwaved food changes in some way that results in serious health problems for those who consume it. They have all failed to do so. Maybe it's time to give up that ridiculous notion!
marcel de grijze on October 21, 2014:
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF
PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH AND BIO-SCIENCE
EFFECT OF MICROWAVE EXPOSED MICE FEED ON THE HEMATOLOGICAL
PARAMETERS OF SWISS ALBINO MICE.
PRIYANKA RAGHUVANSHI, PRIYANKA MATHUR, RUCHISHA SETHI, VIDHI KUMAWAT,
Department of Life Sciences, The IIS University, Jaipur
Date: 15/09/2013; Published Date: 27/10/2013
Microwave is recent technological advancement which has reduced cooking time
considerably. There are certain reservations related to use of microwave oven. In the present
study mice were given the microwave exposed food for as their normal dietary intake
for 2 weeks, 3 weeks 4 weeks and 4 weeks recovery (for 4 weeks microwaved food and 4 weeks
normal food) after which autopsies were performed. Animals were divided into 3 groups
namely Experimental, Control, and Sham. After the period of feeding the haematological profiles were investigated .The results revealed statistically significant decrease of red blood
cells, haemoglobin, packed cell volume and increase of the white blood cells.
Microwave Oven, Haematological profile, RBC, WBC
Priyanka Raghuvanshi, IJPRBS, 2013; Volume 2(5):59-66
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on September 21, 2014:
@anthony. Microwave ovens do NOT use radiation to cook food. And as it pertains to lying, I am quite certain that you are lying about having a degree of any kind. I refuse to believe that any university of this Earth would issue a degree to a moron.
Anthony Walton on September 21, 2014:
I have a degree in Biochemistry. This site lies extensively about the 'safety' of microwave radiation. Radiation from any source is unsafe. Anyone that that tells you different is lying to you. The question is it intentional or just not knowing.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on September 18, 2014:
@Dayna - You criticize the FDA with a very specific allegation. So, where's your proof? You are an obvious proponent of juicing and eating organic. So, where's the proof? You refer to EMF's being real, making the backhanded assertion that they cause cancer. Again, where's your proof? You also refer to microwaves as producing radiation when scientists make it clear that they do not cook food through radiation at all. And once again, where's your proof. You said one thing that is very definitely correct. "Some people use whatever info as an excuse because they don't want to give up that fast tasty treat." Your tasty treat is your unfounded, mythical beliefs that you insist on eating despite the overwhelming proof that you are wrong. Maybe the electric wires in the walls in your home have created and EMF that has stunted the growth of your brain and made it impossible to argue intelligently.
Dayna Wright from Spokane, Washington on September 18, 2014:
Most people WITHOUT cognitive dissonance would never look at the FDA as credible resource. They are bought and sold crooks that allow many things banned in other counties. Give me a break . Some people use what ever info as an excuse because they don't want to give up that fast tasty treat. The easy pill instead of juicing and eating organic. EMF's are real, radiation is real from these. My grandma was given a heart attack with her pacemaker standing next to a microwave. She was warned to stand back from it for a reason. Ignore everything for your easy pills. Ignorance is bliss... I'm so glad not everyone here has
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on August 30, 2014:
@Blissful - sorry, but the information in the link you provided is nothing more than somebody's summary of what others said. On top of this, neither of the two people quoted have any expertise that would make them experts in the field. One is a self-appointed nutrition expert and the other is a physician with a very dubious background. I prefer good ole fashioned factual information derived through scientific inquiry rather than unsupported statements from people who possess no expertise in the field.
BlissfulWriter on August 30, 2014:
I too have research the topic on both sides. While much of the evidence is on that side that microwave oven are safe, there was a couple of arguments on the other side that warrants consideration. The post here ...
gives links and quotes of evidence on both sides.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on August 24, 2014:
@faith - I'm going to be polite despite you use of foul language and your obvious disdain for intellectuals and educated people. This experiment was done by Snopes.con and the outcome you describe didn't happen at all. Your just another example of the kind of people that believe in feel good science. If you see the results of the Snopes experiment, will you finally believe or will you find some other ridiculous argument to support your foolishness?
Faith on August 24, 2014:
This article is bullshit. Im gonna cut to the chase here. Anyone skeptical about how dangerous microwaves are need to do this experiment..... Plant seeds into a pot. Water one pot with water that has been microwaved, and the other with water that hasn't been microwaved. The seeds soaking up the microwaved water will never sprout!!!! That should be enough proof that clearly microwaves arnt safe! You don't need to be a scientist, have a degree, or have a high IQ to prove anything, just do the experiment for yourself because the results you get say it all. Microwaves are NOT SAFE.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on May 11, 2014:
@Jene - I haven't tried the test you described, but I will. I am definitely curious and Consumer Reports is certainly a reliable source of information. However, I can comment on the logic. There are numerous reasons why a phone doesn't ring when it's called. Therefore, if your phone doesn't ring, I wouldn't be quick to conclude that your microwave oven doesn't leak. That being said, microwave ovens are still just as safe as any other kitchen appliance.
Jene Monica on May 11, 2014:
I read an article in Consumer Report that gave a quick way to check to see if your microwave was leaking. Place your cell phone inside the microwave (do not turn it on), close the door, and call your cell phone. If you hear it ringing you have a leak - if it doesn't ring, your microwave is okay. How reliable do you think this is?
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on May 08, 2014:
@Hoolyjulie - TY so much for your wonderful comments. Each time I get an e-mail informing me that someone has commented on my hub, I think that it's probably another one of those loony birds who just don't like it when facts contradict the warped ideas they hold so dear. Fortunately, I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw yours and realized I wasn't going have to hand out yet another of my tongue in cheek beatings. I do want to point out that you gave me sole credit for keeping this link alive. Alas, I can not accept all of the credit myself. The multitudinous number of the loonies and their unrelenting waves of comments have been my inspiration. So glad the retorts have kept you entertained.
Hoolyjulie on May 08, 2014:
Thank you and Kiwi-lan for all the effort to "right this ship." Not only was your posting well thought out, but the support that Kiwi gave was great! Alton Brown in his book, "I'm Just Here for the Food"(p.248-251), also sites the distinction of non-ionizing (TV /radio waves) to ionizing waves...Read: Hiroshima, in how microwaves operate.
Could the greater danger of MW be more so the type of "food" people are eating as opposed to how it is heated?
Thank you both so much! I laughed out loud reading the comments and your replies! Thanks for doing this for years and keeping this link alive so I could find it!
Now, what is the next subject you are going to tackle?
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 17, 2014:
@Kayla - Obviously, you have stopped using microwave ovens, periods in sentences, and your head. You would be a lot better off if you started using all three again.
Kayla on April 17, 2014:
I have stopped using a microwave they have never really sat right with me. At the end the day we all have choices I choose to not use a microwave, but I don't judge or care if others do. That's just me.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 10, 2014:
@Rocca - Apparently, there are different kinds of morons. I commend you for ascending to the top in this regard.
First of all, I don't have to present any proof whatsoever that microwaved food is healthy and that it keeps its nutritious value. Those who claim it's dangerous and that it destroys the nutritional value of food have the burden of proof on their shoulders. Those who have claimed it's dangerous have not a single reliable study to which they can point and those who claim it destroys the nutritional value of food have conveniently left out the fact that both cooktop and oven cooking do the same to an even greater extent in general.
Now, when it comes to who will and who will not benefit from the selling of microwave ovens, let me make a few things perfectly clear. I can't think of a single microwave oven that's manufactured in the United States. And if one is, clearly almost all others are definitely not. As for myself, I have never profited a single penny from the sale of microwave ovens. In addition to this, it should be noted that sources I quoted are beyond reproach in this regard. One is an internationally famous college professor and authority who makes his living teaching and the other is the Consumers Union which is a non-profit organization that prides itself in its objectivity.
I think you should consider sticking your head in a microwave oven on the theory that the molecular structure of your brain might change and that may make you genuinely intelligent instead of a pseudo-intellect.
Rocca on April 10, 2014:
This article seems like a very sad debunking attempt. At least sources that attempt to explain the potential dangers of microwaving foods do that while doing their best to sound scientific, and explain things with some science and logic; on the other hand, this article is littered with opinion about these sources and those sources. When you can bring some scientific PROOF that microwaved food is perfectly healthy and keeps all its nutritious values, let us know.
Until then, intelligent people do not believe that microwaving food will make you drop dead immediately, but they alter the substances that are exposed to their radiation, on the molecular level. The molecular structure of the food changes. And our scientific and technological knowledge today is not even advanced enough yet to understand everything about how food benefits the body or certain foods can be carcinogenic; we're still making educated guesses about so much.
And regardless to opinions about these or those sources, a person only needs to ask themselves, who is standing to benefit from selling microwaves, and who is standing to benefit if there were no microwaves? We will still survive just fine without microwaves as a species and as societies, and no single industry or party will benefit if those radiation machines are gone.
If you want to take the risk, feel free; just don't try to sound logical when subjectively shrugging off potential true theories about the dangers of microwaving consumables.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 03, 2014:
@Amanda - I'm sure that you believe that you have made an amazingly strong argument condemning microwave ovens for their dangers. Unfortunately, you have said nothing whatsoever about microwave ovens other than your belief that they leak radiation. Frankly, they don't contain radiation, so you are not even correct about that. The rest of what you said is just rambling nonsense. Next time crap like that " pops into your head", keep it to yourself and spare my readers the pain.
Amanda on April 03, 2014:
Everyone knows that a cigarette won't kill you in a day, nither will the allowable leakage of radiation that the Food and Drug Admisitration say is ok. And if the Food and Drug company said it's safe then it has to be right? I mean they let sell cigarertts and let mercury into our vaccines and bpa into cans so it can leach into our food. They make sure to lable yellow #5 (tartrazine) on all lables due to the reactions in children. So what's not to trust? And that is just the first few things that popped into my head. Please feel free to show more of your "proof".
Nicolaj Rosing on March 16, 2014:
I just stumbled over the Federal Department of Home Affairs website in Switzerland. They have posted an article on Microwave ovens. Note all the references at the end. Reference 16 might be of special interest for the people in this forum as it is an old study (D. Jonker 1995) on the toxicity effect in rats when feeding them with human food being prepared in a microwave oven. They found no effects on the animals at all.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on March 16, 2014:
@Rich Yu - It's always nice when someone presents documentable facts and supports the article. However, the problem appears not be the dangers of microwave ovens but rather the negative effect of their existence on the ability of some people to think or to make a credible argument.
Rich Yu on March 16, 2014:
That fact is, microwaves are even less energetic than visible light and infrared. And both of those are not ionizing. MWs too cannot possibly change the chemical composition of something in any way but thermal. It seems like people who are so afraid of MWs have not even an elementary understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum and the difference between electromagnetic and particle radiation. To them, it's all "radioactive" and microwaves are somehow transmutating radionuclides into existence. I think of this everytime someones talks about "nuking" their food.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on March 09, 2014:
Craig 23 - You're amazing! You are so right. Microwave ovens are innocent until proven guilty. There is literally no proof, unless you want to believe "lunchmoney", who we all know is way smarter than any scientists on Earth because he uses inexpensive and convenient tadpoles to prove stuff. Maybe we should take him out of the environment upon which his life depends, place him next to a microwave oven, stop feeding him, and see if he dies in a few weeks.
lunchmoney on March 08, 2014:
It's hard to argue with the person who refuses to give up a habit. It's also hard to justify the dangers of a microwave since they cannot be outright proven with one use. It's over time that these dangers become evident, but by then the evidence is often pointed to many other possible causes of a disease. If you want to do a real test.. go get a tadpole out of a local pond (or use a very tinyl fish) . Put the tadpole in a bowl and leave it next the microwave (within 1 foot) for a few weeks. This couldn't possibly harm the tadpole right? Run the microwave 5 times daily for two minutes each time. After 2 weeks you'll find the tadpole floating at the top, dead.
Craig23 on March 07, 2014:
Wow, so many people are also asking for proof that a MW is safe first. Good golly, the onus of proof is on the person making the claim, not the person defending against it! You can't prove a negative. Period, the end, for ever after until the three dimensional universe ceases to exist. Some people on this comments section need to read a f***king book, preferably one that teaches formal logical methodologies and how to understand informal logical fallacies.
Craig23 on March 07, 2014:
There are so many post hoc fallacies and straw man arguments from the people commenting on this who propose this idea of MW danger, it's no wonder they can get out of bed in the morning. My only concerns would be whether the MW companies used enough mylar to block the leakage of the hazardous energy or if there is an issue with over cooking some saturated fats, which can lead to a damage to the nutritional value of some fat types. Barring those rather weak arguments, I don't see many other legit arguments on this comments section that make any good cases against using a MW. In fact I see a lot of detractors who cannot make arguments without resorting to sophistry and mental confusion, whether they are doing it because they are willful idiots or they have an agenda, it's hard to tell.
Mel on February 28, 2014:
Gees Louise that was exhausting! and you've been going through this for 4 years!! wowsers. I sometimes use my microwave for steaming broccoli or frozen vegies and other than that it gets used for reheating meals that were cooked on stove top, slow cooker or oven, I'm usually reheating at high for up to 4 mins I do hope thats not too much as far as overcooking?? Anyways microwave is staying...I think
kemik on February 21, 2014:
Nice read, the comments especially. I have done a fair amount of research on it myself. Growing up I've always had a sketchy feeling about microwave ovens and roughly 5 years ago, I really started looking into it. All of the negative articles, combined with the lack of research done on microwave ovens despite all of the concerns, is what concerned me... so I got rid of it.
Even though my reasoning is likely flawed, it has changed my diet significantly, for the better. No longer do I eat processed foods that are meant to be microwaved, or reheat the same thing I just ate the day earlier... I make just enough and then rotate to something fresh and different the next day to keep the moderation flowing. I will admit this article has balanced my bias towards microwave ovens but I will likely never use one again regardless.. I find they personally promote laziness and lack of care for my diet, plus I found microwaved foods to be very expensive in comparison to traditional whole foods. And finally... since the change, my wife has learned how to cook! OMG A WIFE THAT CAN COOK!? Get out...
kiwi-Ian on February 13, 2014:
Oh bugger it. I’m getting fed up with the ignorance.
Let’s recapitulate on the debate, and on the articles by .Wayne and Newell, Bill Kopp, Tom Valentine and Joseph Mercola’s website and other “stuff”.
- None of these people have much (if any) scientific background so make elementary errors (like the definition of radiation and what MWs are).
- The Nazis did NOT invent the MW oven (no, they didn’t).
- The Soviets did NOT ban it (sorry, not true either).
- The Soviet work, quoted by Kopp and then by Wayne and Newell, has been incompletely cited and anyway was on general exposure to MW (probably radar) not ovens.
- Hans Hertel’s article on the physiological effects of MW cooking was never published in a peer reviewed journal and has never been reviewed or scrutinised by experts in the field. The protocols were appalling - 8 subjects including himself [so no blind controls], other factors included organic vs non organic, raw vs pasteurised milk, fresh vs frozen vegetable, raw vs cooked food, and all that before introducing microwaving food – so what exactly WAS being tested?. It should NEVER be quoted or cited.
- Raum & Zeld are not authors of a separate study but a typo of “Raum & Zeid”, a German magazine that published an article by Hertel.
- The “Swiss clinical study” was Hertel’s as well. It’s all only the one study, not 3.
- Norma Levitt died after receiving MWed blood, but died of a blood clot according to the autopsy. Her family sued claiming that the nurse had left the blood too long in the MW oven and cooked it. The court found for the hospital. Why do so few sites actually do the research and find this out?
- Hospitals do not heat blood in MW ovens – or in saucepans, frying pans, steamers, ovens or on grills. Could cooking be the common factor ?
- MWs are electro-magnetic radiation found on the EM spectrum between radio and radiant heat (which is below visible light). They are NON ionising, NON radiolytic.
- Radiolysis needs radio-active radiation, radiolytic compounds cannot be formed by non-ionising MWs.
- Radiation is NOT a synonym for radio-activity. Do NOT confuse the two. Concerns on radio-activity may be ignored for MWs.
- Structural isomerism, if it occurs (and it’s a BIG if), will be a thermic effect, same as any form of cooking.
- Many of the science papers quoted have been misquoted or misunderstood. The Spanish work on broccoli compared steaming for 3½ minutes to microwaving in lots of water for 5-6 mins, equivalent to perhaps 10-15 mins steaming. One wonders what nutrients would be there then? The American study on breastmilk and formula was done on tiny amounts (4ml, less than a 5ml teaspoon) where localised hotspots were an admitted problem. Also comparisons were made between nearly boiled MWed samples to just warmed controls, what about nearly boiling controls as well. You shouldn’t boil breast milk or formula anyway which is why this paper also said heating in a saucepan was contra-indicated.
- The experiment of MWed water being fed to plants – just DO it yourself and stop depending on someone else’s faked website. Yes, the most commonly quoted experiment (the granddaughter’s science fair, Arielle Reynolds, anthroposophist A Bohmert; see EUTimes.net website for the 2011 version) is FAKED. It’s a fraud.
- Big Industry and Money Men – ignore them, the US industry is too small for them to pull strings effectively. Most MW ovens are imported. The US manufactures the alternatives though so the Money Men want you to buy alternatives.
- There ARE peer reviewed papers on MW cooking which find the banal result that there is very little difference between ordinary cooking and using a MW.
- Because microwaving uses less water and oil, fewer nutrients are leached away.
- Because MWs mainly act on water, temperatures stay near the boiling point of water (100°C) and don’t get near the temperatures of grilling, roasting, baking or frying (180-220°C) where some very nasty compounds can form.
- Temperatures do NOT get high enough to break down minerals.
- Proteins are often cleanly denatured meaning no fat molecules are added to the polypeptide chains resulting from the heat generated breakdown of proteins. All proteins denature in heat, indeed the German word for protein is “eiweiss” meaning egg white, egg white is actually CLEAR until heat denatures its proteins and they turn white!
- Hydrogenation of fats hardly occurs (hydrogenation adds a water molecule to an oil molecule to change it from a liquid oil to a solid fat. Hydrogenated fats have been linked to cancer) as this needs higher temperatures.
- Beware of pseudoscience, and there’s a lot of it about on this subject. Be wary of any articles that include terms like bio-equilibrium, energy potentials, degeneration, metabolism malfunctions. Some may indeed have a basis in fact but the vast majority are just trying to sound good. Especially when they are selling something to help you get back to your bio-stabilised natural self.
- Water, in its stable state, has only one form. It can be “energised” and “aligned” but as soon the external energy source stops, water reverts immediately (i.e. in less than a millionth of a second) to its stable state.
- If you don’t understand, look it up, Wikipedia is actually a very good research medium for this (keep away from current events and celebrities where 99% of the silliness occurs). The majority of its critics are people who have been shown to be wrong by Wikipedia and can’t find evidence to back up their story.
- Please try to do balanced research and look up the science side too.
- Please stop telling scientists that they aren’t listening and that should open their eyes and ears and “feel” Nature. Almost without exception, they have heard your arguments and seen your “evidence”. Now do them the courtesy of listening to them and hearing their evidence. Because sure as eggs is eggs, most critics didn’t listen to the science and therefore don’t understand it.
- Complain about lack of balance by all means, but realise that if the scientist, and this site-meister, has heard the “alternative” populist story and seen their evidence, but the populist tends to dismiss the science as “closed” minded without even listening to it, just who is guilty of lack of balance?
- Scientific method is based on sound reasoning in an attempt to analyse what you want to analyse and eliminate the other factors. It includes research as to what others say or have done, current theories, clearly laid out objectives, basis for testing and results. Conclusions must be drawn on ALL results, not just the convenient ones. It looks at the evidence and forms a hypothesis based on that. Contra evidence must be evaluated and if necessary the hypothesis must be changed.
- The populist comes to a conclusion first and then looks for evidence to support it. Inconvenient contra evidence can be dismissed, and if there is no evidence, fake it (see the MW watered plants story).
- Scientists really are, by and large, just looking for truth and knowledge. Their work may be tinkered with by politicians and industrialists, misreported by journalists, and dismissed by the ignorant, but the scientists just want to know HOW and WHY.
As one commentator succinctly put it:
Don’t let orthodoxy subdue you, respect but don’t be oppressed by authority, be open and receptive to alternative and new ideas.
But don’t be so open minded that your brains fall out.
kiwi-Ian on February 13, 2014:
Colcio, trying not to insult you or in any way make you feel inferior, the fact still remains that you made a statement that the evidence was not checked sufficiently.
I am from New Zealand, we kicked the US Navy out of our waters (we have a Nuclear Free Zone), we didn’t support the US invasion of Iraq and the US military has been sniping at our “non-contribution to world peace” for years so comments about supporting US war-mongering do not apply to me.
We in God’s Own Country do not have a MW oven industry to support (neither in fact does the US), MW ovens are freely available and made in Asia (as are most of those sold in the US). US based conspiracy theories have no relevance in NZ.
So I’m asking politely for your evidence.
Don’t say the government or big industry has buried it – I want evidence presentable to non-Americans, we foreigners can see through that conspiracy even if you can’t.
Don’t say there’s plenty on the internet. There are plenty of sites that copy from and repeat each other, but if you drill through the misunderstandings, the lack of scientific knowledge, the mistakes, the anecdotal evidence and the subjectivity, there isn’t much actual evidence.
Do us the courtesy though of recognising that as part of any debunking exercise we will have almost certainly been exposed already to your evidence particularly if you use the plethora of “health and holistic” sites on the internet. We have read Mercola.com’s contributions, the articles by Wayne and Newell, Kopp, Valentine etc. (Please read the actual original post above). I have read the science papers on breast milk and broccoli so often misquoted. I have seen the so called “evidence” from Hans Hertel and Lita Lee and I’ve read the court summary of the case of the unfortunate Norma Levitt who died following a microwaved blood transfusion.
Please don’t use terms like structural isomerism, radiolysis, ionisation or radiation unless you can define them and have at least a basic understanding of them. Radiation is not the same as radio-activity, scaremongering by using people’s fears of radio-activity would just expose a catastrophic misunderstanding of elementary physics.
Please don’t start talking of carcinogenisis. Many sites will say just about anything can cause cancer except what they are proposing – or selling. And we are all terrified of the Big C so it does work.
Please disregard any site that claims that the Nazis invented MW ovens (they did not) or that the Soviets banned them in 1976 or any other year (there is absolutely no evidence that they did). If they can claim these, then they can claim anything and probably do.
Please do not forget the effects of traditional cooking on food, we need evidence that MW ovens are different.
In short, give us the evidence of your argument or be quiet. So far all you have done is to dish out insults. Until you show that you have something legitimate to say, we have no choice but to ignore your rantings.
And if you cannot provide the evidence, then just follow the old maxim, “ignorance is bliss” and be blissful.
By the way, the ads are put there by the provider not the site master. I get NZ ads which I’m assuming are completely useless to you. Ads like “The human body – a device for turning New Zealand beer into American beer. Drink Speights”. Sorry – not a real ad, it’s a nationalistic joke but I thought it was funny.
Colcio on February 13, 2014:
To bitchslap you, I'd probably need to ask my 10 year old daughter to do it for me. My bitchslap would guarantee you a visit in an emergency room. I have to indicate here that I am highly qualified to answer your last question. I hope this satisfies your curiosity, however if you still doubt and consider my source of information as unreliable, and you are man enough not to press any charges, live interview with demonstration can be arranged.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on February 13, 2014:
@Colcio - I fully intended to apologize to you after noting that you appear to have been insulted by what I said. However, upon rereading your original comment, I realize that I was right in the first place. You were poking fun at me in a somewhat insulting way and I see that this second comment is no different since you are stating that people like me need to be bitch slapped. Let me clarify a few things. First, you are the pot calling the kettle black. It was you who threw the first punch and I who simply responded in kind. Second, you make no substantive argument about microwave oven safety in either of your comments. In short, you have nothing to say and only know how to sling mud. Obviously, intellectual argument is beyond the scope of your abilities. I am left with but one question. Are you the bitch that plans to administer the slap, or is that another skill that's beyond your abilities?
Colcio on February 13, 2014:
I see you are very good at insulting people, sir. Internet hero. After reading all your insulting comments, I decided that citing latest research or arguing any point here with you, would make no sense, you are clearly a master at dismissing any argument and insulting people in your own "intelligent and well spelt way". I know a few characters like yours, and the only way to make people like you be more respectful, is a decent b.tch slap.
Neil on February 12, 2014:
I have tested my microwave oven with a detector and it did not detect rays from the oven. I have always stayed several feet from a microwave just in case. I still have found no information to prove the danger or dispel the danger of Microwave ovens. The only proven danger seems to from scalding from the contents being removed from the oven.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on February 12, 2014:
@Colcio - I make you "lough"? Good! Maybe you can do something simple in life like checking your spelling. Please don't criticize what anyone has written if you don't have the brains to provide even a single reason to support a point of view.
Colcio on February 12, 2014:
Ha..Ha.. Dude, you make me lough. You need to try harder with your approach to checking research. I guess you also believe in good intentions of America's involvement in all recent wars, and those microwave adverts at the end of your article. You are really funny.
rick on December 29, 2013:
I completely agree that we should use reliable sources and techniques when making decision that impact things such as our health. Perhaps you would post a few links to the long term research that supports the claims made in this article.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on December 14, 2013:
@Dr No - You're a fraud! Nobody who writes such absolute nonsense and who does so in the way in which you have can possibly possess the advanced degrees to which you lay claim in such a backhanded way. First, a genuine authority would lay out his/her credentials rather than implying them through a posting name on a website. Second, nobody with such academic qualifications would speak in such broad generalities and with such poor grammar. For example, you said that "The radiation levels of food were 15x higher when heated in a microwave for 30 seconds. Higher than what? Scientists are not idiots like you. When they make comparisons, they actually compare their findings to something rather than to nothing. And by the way, Mr. Brilliant and Educated Scientist, food that has been microwaved does not contain radiation. According to the Food & Drug Administration, and we all know how much smarter you are than they are, "The microwave energy is changed to heat as it is absorbed by food, and does not make food “radioactive” or "contaminated." Please don't try to pass yourself off as anything other than the misinformed, lying snake that you are.
Dr Stefano Phd Med sci, BioChem, Bc Nutri sci on December 14, 2013:
Funny how there's microwave sales at the bottom. This is a simple one. I did lab tests on food radiation levels. The radiation levels of food were 15x higher when heated in a microwave for 30 seconds. Nutrients are damaged severely due to the heat and oils oxidize which is very well known for causing cancer. Would I use the microwave to save a minute? Not if it costs my health.
Clare on December 12, 2013:
Thanks for your article, I found it informative and well-researched - it saved me having to do all that investigative legwork! I thought all those articles on the "dangers of microwaves" were BS but honestly I have too much on to go reading all that stuff to prove it, so thank you. I originally started quickly looking at this topic after someone told me not to microwave my food in Tupperware - I've also found plenty of reliable scientific evidence than Tupperware is perfectly save, both for food storage and for microwaving. Anyone who tells you Tupperware "leaches" into food is being sensationalist and/or wants to sell you glass containers. Other cheap plastic containers might leach, but not the good stuff - always invest in good quality cookware, like you do with food!
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on December 11, 2013:
From the last two responses to my article and from a host of others that have forced me to poke a little fun at them, it's clear to me that the presentation of logical, straightforward, verifiable information attracts brainless idiots that believe in and hold onto unsubstantiated nonsense beliefs. Priya says absolutely nothing in rebuttal but takes the time to attach a link to an article that is merely a list of totally unsupported statements by an unnamed author. Wow, that's compelling! And Little Organic is a person who is hell bent on a host of mistaken beliefs. First, LO is right. Cooking does destroy nutrients. However, stove-top cooking is the worst offender in that arena according to scientists, and this does not even begin to address the issue that scientists have not yet been able to prove any positive health benefits of food nutrients for people who don't have vitamin deficiencies. There is one notable exception to this and that is the fact that after years and years of study, scientists have determined that there is a very slight decrease in the cancer rate for people who take vitamin supplements. My friend LO needs to eat more whole and organic foods since it's a "no brainer" that they are "where its at". I recommend some tree bark and then some excrement, both of which are whole and organic.
priya Sharma on December 11, 2013:
SIDE EFFECTS OF MICROWAVE OVEN....http://www.ehealthytip.com/2013/12/side-effects-of...
little organic on December 07, 2013:
The mere fact it uses micro-waves should be a no brainer - let alone cooking your food to a quality that leaves it with very little nutrients. Cooking period kills your food - but micro waving it? Have you been programmed? Whole food is where its at - anything you have to micro wave shouldn't even be considered food.....My goodness - you didn't state ANY facts at all - you simply debunked the internet which is controlled information - realize what micro waves do and there are MULTIPLE studies that are not on the internet.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on November 19, 2013:
@Trinity11 - So sorry to hear that you are afflicted with thin skin disease. Poking a little fun at people is a far cry from being verbally abusive. I have no argument with people who disagree with my opinion as to what is and what is not a trusted source. However, I do have significant issues with people who disagree with my opinion and who offer no reasonable counter point. Further, you state that microwaves have been proven to be dangerous yet you offer no reference to any proof whatsoever. As I have said many times to other idiots like you, present some reasonable proof of your statement or shut up!
Trinity11 on November 19, 2013:
The fact that you are soooooo verbally abusive in your response to others who do not agree with your belief, speaks volumes!!! Your opinion is NOT the definitive for all. What you consider "trusted source" is solely your opinion. Microwaves have been proven to be dangerous, regardless of the degree, that fact does NOT change. Bullying someone into thinking no further research is required highlight that your character and motive is VERY questionable.
Nicolaj Rosing on November 13, 2013:
After reading yet another post on Facebook about the dangers of MW ovens I got the same urge to get my hands on some basic facts and see if the danger statements would stand a decent google research from my side. El Gringo your article is brilliant and many of the subsequent comments are brilliant too especially the Kiwi Ian. Good work guys and thanks. I think I'll use this whole story as a good example - a case study for my growing up kids - in how to deal with trusting readings on the internet.
Eddy on November 10, 2013:
Nice article and great thread! I've enjoyed reading this. Many people simply don't understand the science behind microwaves, so they seem to err on the side of caution and decide to simply not use a microwave oven. This view is fanned by utter nonsense, especially the 'new age' kind that ascribes 'memory' to water.
The MW oven is essentially an alternating magnetic field. Water is slightly magnetic. As the field polarity changes, the water molecule aligns with it, generating heat.
It's not magic, it's NOT ionising radiation (another common confusion!) and it's not dangerous.
PS homeopathy is quackery!
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on November 09, 2013:
I actually took the time to read the article to which you pointed in the URL you posted. It was the same old crap that I debunked in the article above. I need. Not comment on the content at all for that reason. However, I have a suggestion for the author. Next time, don't be so anxious to announce to the world that you are a prejudiced, inflexible person who sticks to a point of view by ignoring divergent opinion/fact.
Marcus Rheams on November 09, 2013:
Microwaves distort the molecular structure of the foods. They destroy
much of the nutrients and cause many other problems with the immune
system over a period of time.
Everyone, please read this article, you'll never eat microwaved food again!
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on October 29, 2013:
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". Did you miss this in the text of my article or did you just ignore it because you prefer to hold onto your preconceived notions?
lmd on October 29, 2013:
I do have some fear and I do know that it does greatly reduce the amnt of nutrients in food, that's why I mostly only use it for heating water or small things and HAVE to use it at work..but I eat mostly salads and cook the rest of my food..it's all abt moderation..like anything else.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 30, 2013:
You are 100% right when you say that lack of scientific evidence doesn't prove that something isn't harmful. However, your philosophy is ridiculously impractical. Going by your logic, everything is harmful unless it's proven safe. May I suggest that you do little or nothing in life and eat next to nothing as you wait for the scientific evidence to prove it's not harmful. Also, you make the assumption that microwaved food taste better than food cooked in an oven, Frankly, there are several methods of cooking and each does better for some things than for others. I prefer my popcorn to be made in the microwave rather than in the oven. Well, maybe that's just me.
Boyan Zlatarev on April 30, 2013:
The approach of the article makes sense at a first glance but if it gets reversed it gets very weak. Science is a bit like politics. If you don't have money to conduct a research you will never be able to prove any thesis. Lack of scientific evidence that microwave is harmful doesn't prove that it isn't harmful. My personal observation is that people who tend to use microwaves also tend to use foods designed for microwave and those foods are made with a lot of additives that have no nutritional value. Maybe small % of people actually cook fresh veggies in microwave but i still haven't seen that and at the end if there is no harm I see no benefit in the microwave. It isn't a scientific proof but microwave food has bad taste compared to cooke din oven.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 26, 2013:
@ Nalga. First, and foremost, I must say that your choice of name is befitting. You have demonstrated that well in just a few short sentences. While you may have correctly identified me as pedantic, I am not of Mexican decent and I really resent your characterization of Mexicans as beaners (frijoleriotos), gardeners, and lawn mower pushers. Admittedly, I do poke a little fun at people from time to time and I am generally very respectful. In your case, you are neither funny nor are your comments in good taste. Next time, responds to the topic with some intelligent comment, or make a little good clean fun, or keep your mouth shut. Racial stereotypes don't belong in a public forum of this kind where the audience is unknown to you.
Tu Nalga Está Hedionda on April 26, 2013:
Listen, I simply believe that pedantic retired beaner high school teachers should go back to Mexico or retrieve your lawn mower & go be a jardinero (gardener). Microwaves are great, but you're tone here is one of a pendantic nalguitioso. And tone is an essential component of the message frijolerito.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 07, 2013:
@Honey Junkie - Isn't it enough that you are an idiot, or must you publish that fact so everyone will know?
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 07, 2013:
Please let me know how you are feeling in another 40. All of the evidence I have been able to gather tells me that you'll still be alive and kicking.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on April 07, 2013:
@Earthcub - While you are very complimentary about my approach and while you agree with my conclusions in large part, it is obvious that you don't want to completely give up your unfounded and scientifically unsupported preconceived notion about microwave ovens destroying food. The first article to which you referred appears to be an erudite explanation of how microwaves work. However the title, "Why A Microwave Oven Is Bad For Your Health" is unsupported by the content. While it correctly identifies the fact that "cooking food destroys nutrients, whether it's on a stove, or in the microwave oven", it doesn't disclose the scientifically accepted, research-based fact that cooking foods on the stove generally destroys more nutrients in food than do microwave ovens. Also, destroying nutrients in food is not consistent with the title of the article which flat out states that it's bad for your health. No, it's not bad for your health, it just deprives you of some nutrients. Big deal! If you want more nutritious food than that cooked in a microwave, just eat it raw. Cooking through most other methods will likely rob you of even more nutrients.
David Cann on April 07, 2013:
I've been using one for 40 years and I feel fine thanks :)
Honey Junkie on March 06, 2013:
What do you people even need to cook in a freakin microwave oven? Safe or not, everything that goes into it is crap to begin with.
earthcub on March 05, 2013:
I wanted to say that I appreciated your article and it's non-bias approach to the facts you discovered and the way in which you wrote about the content and your replies to the feedback. I also did a lot of reading on the subject and needed to look up many "facts" because I'm not a science guy tho I appreciate scientific inquiry and do feel that I like to have some "evidence" before I make my decisions about something. I also however, rely a lot on my intuition, and although I don't cook with my microwave, I've used one for years to reheat things, and strangely, I've always done so by utilizing the controls of the microwave to alter the cooking time and power. I recently came across this article which confirmed my intuition about why I've always done this which I thought you might find interesting.
Also, this is an interesting read which may point to why the microwave could be a cancer causing device, tho indirectly, and it's not about the popcorn perse, but more about how the microwave is ignorantly used.
I'd love to get your feedback on these articles.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on February 20, 2013:
Apparently you do not ascribe to the concept of "innocent until proven guilty". You may believe that what you had written was a scholarly response to my clear and simple logic. It was simply ramblings of factual information to boost your own ego. Ultimately, you drew the following conclusion: "The studies necessary to provide us with a reasonable understanding of the risks involved with the long term consumption of microwaved food will likely never be performed until it is too late (think tobacco). In short, what you said, without realizing it is that no reliable studies have yet provided us with proof of the so called risks involved with the long term consumption of microwaved food. My point exactly, and I thank you for your complicity.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on February 20, 2013:
@Searchingasyou - You indeed have found a reliable source of information. However, this is a newspaper article that is poorly written and that was misread by you. It is NOT about microwave ovens at all. It's about the heating of certain types of foods through any method. The research indicates that "the food contaminant was formed by frying and baking starch-based foods". I must tell you that most people do their frying on the stovetop and their baking in a conventional oven. Enough said!
Searchingasyou on February 19, 2013:
You have reason to search for the truth, but which is the truth?
I have searched, as you, on internet, hoping that the danger of microwave is a hoax, but I'm not sure. Today there are a lot of article on this, but, as you say, ppl can write on the web without any control.
I have searched for university report (not found at the moment), however I have found this BBC article, and I think BBS is a serious font:
Seema on January 18, 2013:
Great article... Thanks a lot for great info..
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on January 14, 2013:
@s-peak - You said: "Here are two examples of the dangers of the microwave that I challenge you to defend." I glaldy accept your challenge and I thank you for making the challenge so easy. Clearly, you are the master of cut and paste but your reading skills are obviously lacking. The Snopes article for which you provided a link, clearly dispells the myth you are supporting and trying to perpetrate. The Snopes article identifies your point and calls it the "claim". The claim is, and it is the same one you challenged me to disprove, that water that has been boiled in a microwave oven is harmful to plants. Well, maybe you had troubled reading the large print word in red. it said: FALSE. Frankly, no more need be said. However, I will take the time to explain it to you. They identifed the study to which you referred. However, they noted that it was someone's granddaughter's science fair project and not a controlled experiment that was repeated by dozens of students as you indicated. Also, they replicated the experiment in a highly scientific manner and were unable to replicate the results. Don't you know that the failure to replicate results casts very serious doubt on the original research? Further, they took the time at the end of their article to dispute your second point. They very clearly indicated that microwaving blood did NOT corrupt the DNA of the blood but rather heated it too quickly and too unevenly. All that means is that a microwave oven is not the most desireable method of warming blood. Once again, the content of my article stands without any reasonable challenges and your reading skills and debate skills remain completely inadequate.
s-peak on January 10, 2013:
No offense, but some of this article sounds like hearsay. Here are two examples of the dangers of the microwave that I challenge you to defend:
1. In a controlled experiment that was repeated by dozens of students, microwaved (as opposed to oven-heated) to boiling water (then cooled) killed plants everytime, while the oven-heated water did not.
2. Blood for a transfusion is heated to avoid sending patients into shock. In a well known case recently... Blood heated in a microwave kills patients.
Microwaves DO destroy nutrients in food... Although all cooking does to some degree (some nutrients are easier to break down than others), microwaves do most of their damage to longer chained compounds, sometimes melting others together. The compounds produced are called Radiolytic compounds, and the human body can't recognize them as nutrients most of the time. The difference between a microwave and a stove is hard to measure... since nutrients break down differently depending on what they are... but for the sake of argument we can just say that's inconclusive, I haven't studied the difference enough.
Some of the other points against the microwave might be inconclusive, but I personally believe in the work of Masaru Emoto, who's research shows that water has a "memory" and microwaves make water unable to form geometrically beautiful crystals... they "kill" the water, in a sense... although... this is more of a "new agey" mindset, there's other evidence to suggest that water is more than just a simple substance. (The resonant frequency of water, of course, is the frequency that microwaves are targeted for, and since we're mostly water... we should respect water's structure and potential health benefits)
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on December 05, 2012:
I too believe that kiwi-ian has made a great contribution to the logical argument I proposed in this article. In addition, I am with you. I love the fact that this thread has continued for such a very long time.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on December 05, 2012:
You amaze me! You covered an entire area (the money aspect) of this argument that was not included in the article and did so with panache. Your contribution addresses the usual economic conspiracy arguments that people love to propose when they have no other way to address a logical argument that conflicts with their own unsubstantiated views.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on December 05, 2012:
@ Donna - Calling someone names like "change agent", "CIA asset", and "illuminati" is meaningless. It's the content of one's argument that matters and not who or what they are. My article contains a point of view with reasonable supporting documentation. You don't have to agree. However, your comment lacks any supporting documentation whatsoever. This, and your reliance upon name calling, leads me to believe that you are just lashing out with anger because your point of view has been exposed and because you are not mature enough to accept that indefensible opinions need to be jetisoned.
P on December 02, 2012:
Nice post. Great logic / debate skills too (as well kiwi-ian) in reference to the comments.
I love how this thread is running for so long. Especially now that this "hoop-lah" about microwave danger is reaching a boiling point on the internets (no pun intended).
Donna on November 21, 2012:
I have to wonder if you are a change agent or some CIA asset or part of the Illuminati...that's how ludicrous your article is trying to disprove the dangers of microwave cooking!!!
kiwi-Ian on November 21, 2012:
You're still going well.
Several people have commented about the money aspect of microwave ovens and how Washington lobbies and US Big Industry may censor or bury adverse comment. So here are a few points to consider.
The US exports practically no microwave ovens (we evil foreigners buy Japanese and Korean).
It imports about 75-80% of ovens sold.
Therefore the US manufacturing industry is pretty weak. Does it actually have a voice in DC?
Any benefits to US manufacturers would also benefit Chinese, Korean and Japanese manufacturers by a ratio of 3:1. Even the US government isn’t that stupid.
Retailers don’t care whether you buy a microwave oven or an alternative as long as you buy something.
Retailers would prefer that you throw away your nearly new perfectly good microwave and buy an alternative. That’s double dipping, kerching kerching.
If US Big Industry and Washington lobbying did manage to bury adverse comment, why hasn’t it popped up somewhere else like New Zealand with no microwave manufacturer to defend and a completely different lobbying method, or the UK, France, or other countries? Yet they all use the very same arguments as the Americans.
Many of the alternatives (toaster ovens etc) ARE manufactured in the US.
Could we have a big irony here? US Big Industry wants you to throw away that evil imported product of Satan and buy good old sweet as apple pie US made alternatives. Do the money men have the anti microwave oven crusaders by the nose and are pointing them in the direction the money wants while skilfully allowing them to believe the crusade is working!
IF you believe that US Big Industry does actually have influence in this area, could it be that the influence is actually AGAINST microwave ovens because that’s where US (as opposed to Japanese) profits are? In which case, having been so vehement in denigrating US Industry, what is your argument now that you realise it is you who might be their puppets?
I actually believe that the role of politics and industry is not overpowering (otherwise the scenario above is just as likely) but feel that general ignorance toward science shown by the public at large is a far bigger problem.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on November 21, 2012:
I wish you luck trying to convince others. I suggest that you just tell your friends that the information they are providing all comes from an article by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell. Send them a link to the original article and then challenge them to find any information whatsoever that legitimizes these two fakirs. They won't be able to find a thing. How embarrasssing!
saoirse86 on November 20, 2012:
Great, well-constructed article. It has saved me so much work in research with which I was hoping to prove the point against friends. (This one blog is probably not the best way either to cement my opinion on the matter but I trust you a bit more than any website proclaiming death by microwave!) Thank you very much and greetings from Ireland.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on September 27, 2012:
@Ralho47 - So, you didn't use your knowledge of science nor any research to draw a conclusion. Instead, you decided that since convenience is the mother of some screw ups, that anything such as microwave ovens must not be trusted. I must admit that, based upon your philosophy, I anxiously await your removing your refrigerator from your home in favor of an ice box and your eliminating your bathroom in favor of the outhouse you will be erecting outside your home. Your logic is ridiculous!
ralph047 on September 26, 2012:
i dont have a science background nor have i done any research. Just by weighing in on the pro's & cons people have discussed here i'll be heating up my food the conventional way in cast iron. Convenience has been the mother of some fuck ups ! so i dont want to learn the hard way if this is a myth or fact. Therefore, i'd treat this as a myth & go with the science against microwaving food.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on September 15, 2012:
What appears to be a scholarly approach is actually a totally un-supported argument. This is somethat surprising given your scientific training.
You are quite right when you begin your post by indicating that heating of all kind affects that which you heat. First, you begin by telling the readers that you have no intention of telling us, in simple terms, how waves of each type affect the cellular structure. After all, you are smart and we are stupid. We could not possibly understand the technical explanation. Frankly, if you want to propose an argument to convince, you are going to have to offer some supportive evidence rather than asking the readers to accept your argument on blind faith. Then you state that your colleagues would never feed anything to their infants that was cooked in a microwave. Really? How do you account of the millions of trained scientists who do feed their children microwaved foods? Are they bad scientists and your colleagues are the good ones? Sorry, but that argument holds no water.
It's clear that you are one of those people who believe that the world is full of conspiracies. You believe that coporate profits always result in the promulgation of misinformation, support for the corporate evildoers, and surpression of information. Let me remind you that one of the sources I used was Consumer Reports, which is an independent and unbiased organization that prides itself in not permitting its findings to be tainted by anyone's economic self-interest and Professor Bloomfield, who is a renowned expert in the field of physics. So far as I can see, your sources are yourself and your unsubstantiated claims of what "most physicist and physical scientists" are saying. If there was even a single reputable physicist or physical scientist saying such things, why did you fail to mention any names and/or to provide some quotes or data from them? The fact is, what you said was unsubstantiated support for an unfounded conclusion and a clear indicator that your schooling in physics and science was either grossly substandard or that your stating such was an untruth.
Tom Parks on September 15, 2012:
Having been schooled in physics and science and I won't get into the degrees from colleges, etc.. For most physical scientists who understand wave theory it is basically common-sense and logic that microwave radiation, waves that cause heat of any type... excite and raise the temperature of matter... some do it more slowly than others... some do it more quickly than others. If we're looking only from temperature perspective... making things warmer or hotter via steaming, convection oven, gas or electric heat, or microwaves... it is all the same in varying degrees (pardon the pun).
However, how these various waves affect the cellular structures of molecules and transmute them... is quite different from wave to wave. Probably too technical and scientific to get into for layman here in this post. Suffice it to say... there is truth in negative effects to heating and cooking foods via microwave ovens. In particular... heating foods and liquids for the consumption of infants. I and my colleagues would NEVER feed our infants anything that was heated or cooked with microwaves. So why would we consume them ourselves?
Please understand that most government agencies and even private concerns that supposedly protect consumers or that report on consumer devices... are usually funded by corporate interests. The sale and profits of microwave appliances is a multi-billion$ business. Even if there were valid studies... and there probably have been... they would be suppressed. For most physicist and physical scientists who are not disconnected from their common sensical brain... do NOT use microwave radiation for heating or cooking food for human consumption.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on September 01, 2012:
Sometimes people believe things and they are not ready to permit the facts to dissuade them from their opinions. We all learn ONLY when we are ready to do so.
Dave Davis on August 31, 2012:
Exactly what I was looking for. Trying to convince my wife and daughter that the dangers of microwaving are at best mythological.
Of course I had no success. They believe what they believe rational thought be damned.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on June 11, 2012:
I did check out the content of the article but not the publication itself. While I am not quick to trust most publications, the content of the article seems reasonable. It compares microwave cooking to steaming. However, let's get real. Most people don't steam their food, they cook it on the stove or in the oven. Studies do support steaming as a good method to minimize the loss of nutrients when cooking. However, those same studies indicate that microwaved food creates far less loss of nutrients than the other two methods of food preparation. So, microwaves are NOT dangerous, they, all other methods of food preparation, diminish the nutritional value of the food we cook. And most important, they diminish the nutritional value to a far less degree than does cooking on the stove or in the oven.
G on June 11, 2012:
As a follow-up, I found that just in this one journal (which can be searched here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28...
To me, there is more research than I imagined concerning microwave technology and food value. I would suggest that the truth lies somewhere between no detrimental effects and "some." A case in point is a paper in this journal entitled: "Comparative study of the nutritive value of casein heated by microwave and conventionally," (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.27... which found no change in the nutritive value of casein protein when heated by microwaves.
For anyone who is interested enough in the topic, there are plenty of journals to search through for "microwave," "food," etc. There is more to researching this topic than a quick surf of the net. Many of these papers and scientific articles don't come up with a "Google" type search.
We all need to dig deeper to get closer to the truth.
G on June 11, 2012:
Not so fast. Just searching for a few minutes I find at least one article that would tend to support the claim that microwave prepared/heated food loses more nutritive value. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.15...
While not proof of all the detrimental claims about using microwave ovens to heat/cook food, it is an indicator for further research. And that is what I think is lacking. You can't help wondering why skeptics of the claims about microwave prepared food haven't organized any large enough studies to be accepted. Instead the lack of more research let's skeptics claim there is no good proof. Well, I wonder why no one in that corner has done research? Not about the radiation safety , but the claims of food value alteration.
seo tools on June 07, 2012:
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ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on May 20, 2012:
Amen! I agree with you about the similarity among those who have ingored the logic and who have jumped to personal attacks and I take my hat off to you for the excellent way in which you expressed this point. TY
Ann on May 19, 2012:
So many health warning emails popped up in my Hotmail every day. While I ignored most of the claims, I found little in-depth online discussion that provided satisfactory argument against the harm of microwave ovens and cellular phones.
Today I received the same old "Ten Reasons Why You Must Throw Away Your Microwave Ovens" email again. They are in Chinese, too. (I am a Chinese-American from Taiwan, who has been in United States for 30 yrs.) You won't believe how health tip have been enthusiastically spread like wild fire there in Taiwan.
I was going to reply to this concerned old college friend immediately and challenge her on the source of her info, (it puts down The Health Department of Taiwan as the provider of the statement, with the real address,) but I thought I should check again, and I was pleasantly surprised to find your website. I appreciate everything you said and some of the best comments you got. It's amusing to see how similar the persons who disagree with you here are to those who engage in political debate in other places. They are so quick to condemn--they ignore the logic and reasoning and take disagreement as personal attack, and they jump quickly to make personal attack on those who disagree with them.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on May 18, 2012:
I did not say that the Russian scientists lied. However, since you opened the door, I would be happy to walk through it. First of all, it's extremely important to note the date of the supposed research. This occurred during the Cold War when Russia was part of the communist Soviet Union. The leadership of this nation at the time was notorious for lying to their own people and to the world. They took total control of the media and used lies and half-truths to subjegate their own people and to misinform the world for their own selfish ends. Nothing coming out of the Soviet Union at that time should be completely trusted nor should it be completely dismissed either. However, one should look at it with a very high degree of skepticism.
If you understand anything about scietific studies, you should know that they need to be replicated if we are to believe the conclusions that are drawn. After more than 50 years, this has not been done despite the incredible advances in technology. That alone should make you discount the Russian studies.
ElGringoSalsero (author) from Palm City, Florida on May 18, 2012:
@gofigure. Congratulations! You have slung lots of mud with absolutely no substance whatsoever. Closed-mindedness is a term that refers to people who don't listen, who ignore information that is provided, and who resist the information despite its logic. Frankly, I don't see how this applies to me. I have accepted every comment and allowed them to be presented here despite the fact that I had the ability to delete all of the ones with which I had disagreement. Further, rather than simply dismiss arguments that have been made, I have provided logical rebuttals, complete with additional facts and I have I have taken the time to do additonal research as I did in the case of the Leo Bellew comment.
You, on the other hand, are definitely a closed-minded individual. You had an open invitation to prove any and all of my comments wrong and yet you did not provide one scintilla of evidence to contradict the facts and opinions I provided. Instead, you sunk to the depths by engaging in personal attacks. This is the sign of a closed-minded person and someone who is incapable of presenting a cogent argument.
As I ride away on my "high horse", I saw "adios" and "good riddance".
gofigure on May 18, 2012:
After reading your article and all the feedback it has earned these past two years, I have concluded that not only are you close-minded in your refusal to acknowledge any new evidence tossed your way, but that you become quite aggressive and somewhat insulting when confronted by those with differing opinions. Your reaction to dali48's feedback was eye-opening, to say the least. You sounded as though she'd insulted you for not first telling you what a genius you were before thanking Leo Bellew... no doubt your reaction might have been different if she'd first acknowledged what a wonderful researcher you were... obviously... shame on her. You state above that you have offered 'first-rate scientific documentation of safety from experts in the field' - take a step back, re-read your article... you are most certainly not offering anything of the kind. You are riding your high horse, looking down on everyone and 'telling' people what you think. You are not an expert, and as far as I can see... you are not an authority on the subject. You are a small-time blogger with a chip on his shoulder. As you stated above; 'Anyone can post an article'... and so you did.
Stuart Jennings on May 17, 2012:
Why would Russian Scientists lie about the Danger from Microwave Ovens?
Wolfgang G. Greiner from Germany on May 12, 2012:
Thank you ElGringoSalsero, for your Comment - there must be a misunderstanding - let me explain: I must excuse me that I was careless and commented a critical comment instead of your Hub - I won't do this again - and that I purposefully looked for critical comments without having read before your documentation once again - some days ago I was criticised for using permanently the microwave oven - and accidentally I was reminded of your Hub - via notifications - I hope it will console you when I say - that I am still convinced of the advantages of my prefered cooking by microwaves...