Microwaves are installed in nearly every new kitchen. Some people cook all their meals by microwave, especially the elderly, because it’s quicker and easier. But what do microwaves do to our food, and are they safe?
In 1989 a Swiss food scientist called Dr Hans-Urich Hertel made some disturbing discoveries regarding microwave ovens. He was gagged by the Swiss Courts following complaints by the Dealers of Swiss Association of Electrical Implements. The Swiss Courts threatened him with personal ruin. The Swiss Press was also silenced with the threat of hefty fines.
Finally, in 1998, The Court of Human Rights decided that this ruling went against the right of freedom of expression and Hertel was able to publish his findings.
After working for several years on the effect of microwaved food on humans, Hertel found that consuming microwaved food caused changes in one’s blood, including a reduction in haemoglobin and cholesterol, both LDL (unhealthy) and HDL (healthy)1.
Hertel also found cell membrane permeability was altered i.e. the ability of one’s cells to absorb nutrients and to expel toxins, with the damaged cells becoming more susceptible to infections such as fungi and viruses.
When food is microwaved at about 1000 watts, food is deformed through this process and turned into ‘radiolytic’ compounds, which are unknown in nature.
Blood samples taken from test subjects revealed erythrocyte, haemoglobin, haematocrit and leucocyte measures to be lower than in healthy individuals. The longer the test subjects consumed microwaved foods the lower these levels fell, together with cholesterol levels. As we age we need higher levels of cholesterol to ensure brain health.
Russia banned microwave ovens after WWII. They found microwaving foods created cancer-causing compounds in milk and grains, altered the structure of frozen fruit, created free-radicals in vegetables, caused malfunction of the lymphatic system and compromised our immune system with regard to fighting cancer. Microwaved foods led to digestive disorders, an increase in intestinal and stomach cancers, and led to a breakdown in our digestive and excretory systems1.
Since Hertel’s findings other studies have revealed that microwaving food changes its chemical structure. Lita Lee Ph.D. found that carcinogens form in nearly all foods during microwaving.
Most people heat food in plastic containers. When plastic is heated toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as BPA and phthalates can leach into your food. Furthermore, when food is heated at high heat, such as occurs during microwaving, it forms more carcinogens:
- Heterocyclic amines
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Advance glycation end products (AGEs)
Microwave ovens operate on gigahertz frequencies similar to 4G cellular networks. This means microwaves cause the same kind of low level non-thermal exposure as mobile phones. The voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) embedded in our cell membranes are activated by microwaves leading to the production of hydroxyl free radicals, the most destructive known to man, which decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA and lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is behind most chronic disease.
Most VGCCs are found in our brain and nerve tissue in the heart and testes. Professor Emeritus Martin Pall believes microwave EMFs cause “widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression.”3
Furthermore, every time you turns on your microwave oven you expose yourself to microwave radiation densities thousands of times higher than with a mobile phone.
|The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 200317
This study found that broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact.
|Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica B, 199918
This Scandinavian study, which evaluated changes in texture and nutritional quality of green asparagus spears during microwave blanching, caused a reduction in vitamin C.
|Journal of Nutrition, 200119
Here, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate the allinase in garlic, which is the active ingredient against cancer.
|Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 199820
This Japanese study found that six minutes of microwave heating turned 30 to 40 percent of the B-12 in milk into an inert (dead) form.
This Australian study showed that microwaves cause a higher degree of “protein unfolding” than conventional heating.
Microwaving has also been shown to destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. This 1992 study found microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria. According to the author, more damage was done to the milk by microwaving than by other methods of heating.
We are what we eat and what we eat eats. We want, as best we can, to retain the nutritional value of our food. Nutrition from food is the fuel required to keep us healthy.
- Rev Envirn Health. 2015;30(2):99-116
- Health Effects of Microwave Radiation – Microwave Ovens by Lita Lee, Ph.D.