This “convenience” can have a truly profound impact on the quality of your and your family’s food and health.
Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in them to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam. They quickly heat the food you eat, but they can also cause a change in the chemical structure of your food.
Toxins Can Leach Into Your Food When You Microwave It
Microwave ovens were first introduced to the public more than four decades ago. Numerous food and health issues have emerged since them, including how uneven the heating of your food is.
“Hot spots” in microwaved food can be hot enough to burn, or build up to a steam explosion. This resulted in advice for new mothers to not use the microwave to heat up baby bottles – there have been cases of babies who’ve been burned by undetected super-heated formula.
Another concern with microwaves is carcinogenic toxins leaching out of plastic and paper containers or covers and into the food you eat.
When you microwave fatty foods in plastic containers, there also occurs the release of dioxins (carcinogens) and other toxins into your food.
Bisphenol A or BPA is among the worst offenders. BPA is an estrogen-like compound widely used in plastic products – dishes created specifically for the microwave oven often contains it.
Microwave Radiation Is a Real Threat
There are also a number of dangers of microwaves escaping from your oven while it’s operating, especially in earlier models. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to five milliwatts per square centimeter at around two inches from the oven surface.
With all the tests and regulations, you would believe you and your children are safe, but according to Powerwatch, even when your microwave oven is working correctly, the microwave levels within your kitchen are probably significantly higher than those from any nearby cell phone base stations. If the microwave oven is against an inside wall, the microwaves may travel through walls as well.
Given the uncertainty over the safety of current regulations, you might have to consider buying a testing device to check the radiation inside your home. You should also keep your children (or yourself, if you’re pregnant) away from the microwave when it’s running, as standing a foot away from it while it’s operating can expose you to upwards of 400 milliGauss. Just four milliGauss has been associated with leukemia.
A recent study also found “unequivocal evidence” that microwave frequency radiation affects your heart at non-thermal levels well below federal safety guidelines.
Clear and Simple: Microwaving Depletes Your Food of Nutrients
For the most part, microwaving food damages its nutritional value. It transforms your organic vegetables into “dead” food. Heating food itself can result in a certain nutrient loss.
Some excellent scientific evidence points to this, including a Japanese study by Watanabe showing that just six minutes of microwave heating turned 30 to 40 percent of the vitamin B12 in milk into an inert or dead form.
Microwaving has also been seen to destroy the essential disease fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In a 1992 study, it was found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity and antibodies, and gave way for the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria.
What Can You Do?
You can eat and survive without using the microwave oven. First, plan ahead – take your dinner out of the freezer in the morning or the night before for you not to rush defrosting a chunk of meat before dinner. You may also create soups and stews in bulk, freeze them, defrost them in a sink of water until thawed, and put it into a pot to be reheated.
Use a toaster instead of a microwave oven to heat leftovers, keeping it at a low temperature (like 200 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit).
Prepare your meals in advance, and try to eat more organic raw foods! These wholesome food choices can improve your and your child’s health in the long run.
Katrina Pascual writes for Mercola.com. She emphasizes the importance of nutrition, and keeping your levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and other vitamins and minerals at optimal levels.