Why You Should Throw Out Your Microwave

So what’s wrong with a microwave? The issue is a little deeper than just a chewy crust on your leftover pizza. It’s hard to avoid all of the new (and old) studies coming to the surface that are putting into question the safety of microwave ovens.

Perhaps you’ve seen the warnings in a health article or newsfeed. It can be easy to shrug them off as inconclusive or something only fanatic health people care about, but there are some very good reasons why you should look into these dangers more carefully before you pop that popcorn.

Why You Should Be Worried

Microwaves create unknown by-products in food that your body cannot break down. If your body can’t recognize these unknown particles and cannot metabolize them, we have reason to worry.

Microwaves do not heat food using simple heat. Microwave radiation is sent through the food to create rotation and friction of the water molecules which then causes the food to become hot. This causes essentially only the water in food to heat and this can produce carcinogens such as acrylamide that have a high probability of exposing people to multiple types of cancer. This chemical is formed when microwaving starchy foods at high temperatures.

Microwaves have been found to alter and destroy some important nutrients in food. The best example of this is that scientists have found that human milk should not be microwaved since protein and enzymes are destroyed in the process.

The disconcerting story of a woman who died from getting a simple blood transfusion should also worry you. This happened in 1991 when Norma Levitt went in for a hip surgery. Something went wrong and she died from getting a blood transfusion with blood that was heated in the microwave. Something about the microwaving process changed the blood in a way that was lethal to her system.

A Backstory

This isn’t all new information. In fact, scientists have been studying the effects of microwaving food since the late 1940s when microwave technology was taken from the Nazis at the end of World War II. Believe it or not, since seizing this information, the US Government and the Russian Government have both had a big part in studying and developing the technology that now heats your Hot Pockets and Chinese leftovers.

The interesting part of this is that the Russian government has completely outlawed microwaves for use with food. Due to the biological effects and environmental damage that they found microwaves to cause, they deemed it unsafe to use them for cooking food.

So the question here is why did Russia find this necessary to ban but not the US?

A Great Question

One of the reasons why the microwaves haven’t been banned in the US is due to not only the high household demand for these devices due to convenience, but mainly because of the lack of research.

If this is possibly a major health concern for almost every household in the US, why isn’t there more research on this issue?

Great question.

Ultimately, the research doesn’t have the backing it needs and the makers and suppliers are oddly uninterested in further research. Some microwave makers have been actively putting down this issue since it isn’t in their interest monetarily. In Switzerland, they have gone so far as to actually put a gag order on a researcher.

Hans Hertel performed a detailed study on microwaved nutrients and their effects on humans. His study found that microwaving food does indeed change the nutrients and these changes took place in the participants’ blood. These changes were shown to be unhealthy and causing deterioration in human systems. The good news? A few years after the gag order was placed, the decision was reversed due to it being in violation of Hertel’s human rights.

What Are Others Saying?

Harvard Health explains the microwaving process as a selective and quick method for heating food that actually helps keep more nutrients in foods such as veggies. Their reasoning for this is that some nutrients break down due to heat exposure and can also be dispersed into the water of boiled foods and discarded. Due to the quick heating time that microwaves have, they can actually keep more vitamins and minerals in the food than if it had been boiled or cooked for a longer period.

Many claims of convenience, flavor retention and less formation of carcinogenic tars than regular cooking processes can be found in defense of microwaves. Also, there’s the possibility that microwaves are more efficient, and therefore a more environmentally friendly, way to cook small meals. However, a simple search will reveal that these claims of benefits are highly outnumbered by warnings and cautionary studies.

Is It Worth It?

A good question to be asking yourself if you’re considering whether or not to throw out your microwave or keep it humming would be, “Is it worth it?” After looking into more of the current findings and research, it is clear that there are, at very least, some potentially problematic issues connected to microwaves. Research has been provided on both sides but not nearly enough, we can agree to that. But in the meantime, before you or your family members become more reliant on this device, take some time to measure the risks involved.

Maybe your solution is to cook more on the stove or in the oven and microwave less, or perhaps just use the microwave for select things. Or maybe you’ll join Team Microwave Free and avoid the potential issues entirely. Either way, hopefully you will give more thought to what mysterious and hazardous things you’re putting into your body.

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty well known and proven that microwaves do present significant health risks. However, it is also commonly expressed by researchers and individuals that we desperately need more research on this topic to find out the details of the risks and harm that microwaves may present. Sometimes, while enough research may not be available yet, it’s important to take precautions in order to ensure the health and safety of you and your loved ones.

Sticking to what we can prove scientifically and what we do know so far can be one of the best ways to ensure health. Although there really are no perfect dietary practices, it is generally best to stick with foods in their most natural and fresh form. When there is so much controversy surrounding a method or process, it may be best to keep it at a distance.