I threw out my microwave almost five years ago and never looked back. (ok, i donated it to prevent e-waste, feeling all the while guilty about possibly subjecting some other poor soul to nutrient-scrambled, radiation-dense food). In the constant quest to reduce exposure to radiation and electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), I decided I could live without it.
Over 90 percent of American homes (and most restaurants) are equipped with microwaves for food prep ease. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy, like light waves or radio waves. They work by creating agitation, causing molecular friction, which heats up the food from the inside. This unusual type of heating causes substantial damage to the surrounding molecules, often tearing them apart or forcefully deforming them. This radiation results in the destruction and deformation of food molecules. Eating microwaved foods with denatured proteins can cause oxidative damage.
Studies have revealed that microwaving can destroy more than 90 percent of a food’s important nutrients. A 2003 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed that broccoli cooked in a microwave lost the highest percentage of flavonoid antioxidants: 97 percent! Phytonutrients (such as flavonoids) play an important role in preventing disease. Because foods already begin to lose nutrients shortly after they are picked, and even more after they are shipped to you and sit on store shelves (another reason to buy local), it’s important to preserve foods’ nutrient levels as much as possible. Other foods containing heat sensitive vitamins, such as eggs and other meats (B6 and B12), are also susceptible to losing nutrients.
If you are microwave-heating foods in plastic, or covered in plastic wrap, you are in for a double whammy. When heated, plastics release dioxins and other chemicals into your food, and these chemicals have xenoestrogenic effects, causing hormonal problems and infertility issues in both men and women. This is especially important to note for heating milk in plastic baby bottles: NEVER heat a baby’s bottle in the microwave. Aside from the fact that microwaves heat unevenly, subjecting the milk to hotspots, these chemicals can leech from the plastic into the milk and contribute to developmental problems. Also, microwave heating destroys the vital nutrients and immune constituents in breast milk. Don’t use plastic baby bottles at all, for that matter. Use glass bottles for baby.
Combine microwave radiation with other sources of EMFs, such as your cell phone, computers, and wireless internet connection, and it’s clear that we are bombarded. It’s really too early to know the extent of the cellular damage that occurs as a result of these devices and their harmful output. There have been accounts of people suffering headaches, insomnia, and nosebleeds from living under cell phone towers. Modern society is not without risks, but personally, I prefer not to be subjected to human testing with devices that may or may not be safe. Plus, food heated in the microwave doesn’t taste good. It turns gummy and hard and no longer tastes like food.
Minimize exposure wherever you can. It’s not difficult to live microwave free. Use a teapot to heat water. Use a stove to heat soup. Use a convection oven or a toaster oven to reheat leftovers. If you do choose to microwave, at the very least, don’t stand in front of it while you’re heating your food. You’re tripling your EMF exposure right there. I don’t miss it at all, and it makes me feel good to know i’m not exposing myself further to potential cell damage. Abnormal cells potentially turn into cancer cells. Do you want to take the risk?
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