So the question is, what about microwaves?
I will be honest, we have a microwave in our home but you may be surprised by its main use. We use it as our clock, a timer and we use it to kill bacteria on the sponge we use in our kitchen. That’s it! Hopefully you are not using this for cooking.
Sure, the microwave is convenient; what other device allows you to heat your food up in a matter of seconds? And they‘re so widely used that you‘d be hard-pressed to find a gas station or office building without one.
When working with my clients or in workshops, I do make it a point to discuss the dangers of microwave cooking. The Harvard School of Nutrition did some research years ago to understand the best way to cook your vegetables. Now mind you, they had no agenda in regard to what was best, they simply wanted to understand that if you cooked via steaming, boiling or microwaving; what held the highest nutritional value?
What they did was measure the nutritional level of vegetables, cooked the vegetables in these three ways mentioned above and then measured the nutritional levels after cooking. Well, the results showed that the best way to maintain nutrition was in order of best to worst; steaming, boiling and lastly microwaving. The most shocking aspect of this research was showing that when you cooked your food in the microwave, you lost up to 95% of the nutritional value. So basically, you can be very confident that what ever you put in the microwave, it will come out with very little nutritional value.
The challenge then is that this creates a void. You see, to break down and digest your food, your body utilizes energy. When you use energy to break down something that does not put any energy back in, this creates the void I have mentioned. By the way, this is whether you cook the entire meal or simply reheat a high quality meal from the night before. Either way, it is a void.
Other concerns to consider with microwave ovens:
• Carcinogenic toxins could be leached from plastic or paper plates or covers and mix with your food.
• The food temperature may become extremely hot, at temperatures high enough to cause burns or steam buildup that could explode--this is especially problematic for baby bottles, and is one of the reasons why baby bottles should never be heated in the microwave (microwaving can also break down the disease-fighting ability of breast milk).
• The chemical structure of foods changes when microwaved, with potentionally severe consequences.
Consider the 1991 lawsuit involving a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. Blood is routinely warmed before transfusions, but not by microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman.
Microwave cooking vibrates the molecules in your food to levels they were never designed to experience. This tends to damage the highly perishable nutrients so they are unable to nourish you the way they were designed to.
A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli "zapped" in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of the beneficial antioxidant chemicals it contains. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.
Besides the loss of nutrients, microwaving forms new compounds (radiolytic compounds) that are unknown to humans and nature. It‘s not yet known exactly what these compounds do in the human body but I would not suggest that this will be positive.
Perhaps the most concrete evidence of the dangers of microwaves comes from Dr. Hans Hertel, a Swiss food scientist, who carried out a small but high-quality study on the effects of microwaved food on humans. His conclusions were clear and alarming: microwave cooking significantly altered the food‘s nutrients enough so that changes occurred in the participants’ blood--changes that suggested deterioration. The changes included:
• Increased cholesterol levels
• More leukocytes, or white blood cells, which can suggest poisoning
• Decreased numbers of red blood cells
• Production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature)
• Decreased hemoglobin levels, which could indicate anemic tendencies
Dr. Hertel and his team published the results in 1992, but a Swiss trade organization, the Swiss Association of Dealers for Electro-apparatuses for Households and Industry, had a gag order issued, which prohibited Dr. Hertel from declaring that microwaves were dangerous to health. The gag order was later removed in 1998, after the Swiss court ruled that the gag order violated the right to freedom of expression. Switzerland was ordered to pay Dr. Hertel compensation as well.
You may notice that taking more time to prepare your food will transcend to other aspects of your life as well, and you‘ll enjoy a slower, more relaxed lifestyle than the majority of those around you.
I do understand that convenience is difficult to give up but you do not have to give this up. In our home we use an appliance called a Turbo Oven. The Turbo Oven gives us the availability to reheat foods quickly without the damaging effects. We also use the Turbo Oven to create healthy low temperature cooked meals which contain an even higher level of nutritional integrity and taste great. To learn more about the Turbo Oven as used in our kitchen, feel free to click on the link provided.
Even if you are not going to introduce the Turbo Oven into your household, please stop the use of microwave cooking. Use your oven, toaster oven, or a frying pan on the stove top…anything but the microwave. Of course unless you want to kill the bacteria on your sponge.
Friday, January 29, 2010
What About Microwaves?
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I use the Turbo Over as well...love it! Oh, and our microwave is in the garage where it belongs.ReplyDelete
Great article Glen.ReplyDelete
Question: is the Harvard Study about the 95% loss in nutrition published anywhere that we can read it?
I had a hard drive crash about 18 months ago and I did not have some of my files backed up, so I do not have the exact reference available. I will search for this though and find it in time.
I will add that as I started my search, I noticed that there are some Harvard backed studies that are saying that they have "updated" research that says the microwave may be the best way to cook your food. This is simply appalling to me. How do you go from true measurements on nutrient levels showing extreme depletion to saying it may be best.
It would be interesting to see who actually funded this study; one of the major appliance companies perhaps?
I will post the link to the research when once I find it.
I'd be interested in reading the research study too.ReplyDelete
I would suggest reviewing the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. This particular paper provides you with the research you are looking for in regard to microwave cooking. You could also click on the link provided for information on microwaves per Dr. Hans Hertel, as Swiss food scientist. http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards2.htm#hanshertelReplyDelete