Heating/Cooking on a stove is different from heating/cooking in a microwave. Absolutely right. While conventional ways of heating/cooking your food HEAT/COOK your food, microwaves heat/cook YOU. If this sounds frightening, or very much like an over-the-top statement, read what the US Food and Drug Administration has to say:
It is known that microwave radiation can heat body tissue the same way it heats food. Exposure to high levels of microwaves can cause a painful burn.
While in an earlier article, we shared some of the harmful effects (such as cancer, swollen lymph nodes and a weakened immune system) of using microwave ovens for cooking or re-heating food—and gave you ample reasons why you should stop using microwaves—in this article we will share the work of five scientific studies from across the world, to illustrate what effects microwave cooking or re-heating has on your food…
1. Way back in 1992, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, conducted a study which observed that microwaving breast milk caused a decrease in lysozyme activity and antibodies, and aided the growth of more pathogenic bacteria.
2. In 1998, to clarify the effects of microwave heating on the loss of vitamin B12 in foods, Japanese researchers treated raw beef, pork, and milk with microwave heating and then determined their vitamin B12 contents. Appreciable loss (approximately 30-40%) of vitamin B12 occurred in the foods during microwave heating.
3. Research conducted by the Pennsylvania State University in 2001, concluded that 60 seconds of microwave heating or 45 minutes of oven heating can block the anti-carcinogenic activity of garlic.
4. A Spanish study, which was published in The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture in 2003, detected high losses of flavonoids (97%), sinapic acid derivatives (74%) and caffeoylquinic acid derivatives (87%) when broccoli was microwaved. Conventional boiling led to a significant loss of flavonoids (66%) from fresh raw broccoli; high-pressure boiling caused considerable leaching (47%) of caffeoylquinic acid derivatives into the cooking water; while steaming had minimal effects, in terms of loss, on both flavonoid and hydroxycinnamoyl derivative contents.
5. An Australian study, which was published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2008, found that microwaves cause a significantly higher degree of unfolding than conventional thermal stress for protein solutions heated to the same maximum temperature. Several neurodegenerative and other diseases are believed to result from the accumulation of amyloid fibrils formed by misfolded proteins.
To microwave or not to microwave?
Microwaves work by causing water molecules to resonate at very high frequencies, converting them into steam and thereby heating your food. While this might be a convenient way to prepare your food, using microwave radiation in this way actually changes the chemical structure of that food. Microwaving in plastic is dangerous too, because it can cause toxic chemicals (like phthalates and dioxins) to leak into your food.
Been over a month since I’ve stopped using the microwave. Not sure if it was actually having a neg effect on me but my food tastes better
— BROOKE ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@BrookeSligs) November 13, 2015
Though the industry projects that microwave cooking/heating protects the nutrient content of foods, there is plenty of evidence to prove that the sensitive compounds in food, such as amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and phytonutrients change as a result of microwave cooking/heating – the health benefits of microwaved food remain questionable.
And even though some “experts” still use the “fact” that “radiation doesn’t mean radioactive” to “give the final word on whether microwaves are dangerous,” the USFDA recommends taking “common sense precautions,” like not standing directly next to the microwave while it’s on.