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Microwaves - Are they safe?



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ELENGIL
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Posts: 700
3/18/13 1:41 P

Eh, I don't know if they're safe, but I don't use them. Food always tastes weird coming out of microwaves. I use stove-top, conventional ovens, and toaster ovens because things come out tasting better. Even reheated food tastes better. You can reheat pizza in a toaster oven and the bottom stays crispy and the top gets all bubbly again. You don't get things where the outside is hot and the inside is still ice cold...

I just prefer cooking to microwaving.



FP4HLOSER
Posts: 968
3/18/13 10:52 A

Safe! We use ours quite a bit and even some of the other alternatives mentioned in the blog. Love our popcorn popper--we like pan popped over microwaved. And my DH has had a "Hot Shot" for years. He has one for his desk at work too since it is more convenient then a microwave at his work space.




DIDS70
Posts: 5,070
3/18/13 9:34 A

Personally I don't have one and can't think with my lifestyle what i would even use it for. one came in the apartment I rented once and I used it as an extra cabinet. Nice place to store some of my spices since it had a dish that turned.



ANARIE
Posts: 12,406
3/17/13 6:31 P

Joseph Mercola is a scam artist. He says that microwaves will kill you, but HE can save you by selling you a special, safe countertop cooker for only $100! (We just won't mention the fact that Walmart sells the same thing for $36.95.) Whey protein isolate, according to him, is deadly, but guess what? He can sell you the MUCH superior whey protein concentrate! It goes on and on and on-- whenever he gets a deal on wholesale price for anything, he'll make up a story about how the similar product that you're already using is going to kill you and only HIS product can save your life.

Things get hot when their molecules get excited (get extra energy and start moving faster.) When you cook something in the oven, you excite the molecules in the gas or the electric element, which excites the molecules in the air in the oven, which then excites the molecules in the food. When you cook something in the microwave, the microwaves excite the food molecules directly so you don't have to wait for the air to heat up. The process doesn't change the food any more than cooking it any other way does.

There's a lot of inaccurate information in the first article that was posted here. For example, microwave ovens are NOT banned in Russia. There might have been a brief ban somewhere in the Soviet Union in 1976-- several people have said there was, and there's no way to prove for sure that there wasn't-- but it's not recorded anywhere. And if there was, it's most likely because some official in that region thought they didn't have enough electrical generation capacity to support an extra electrical device in a lot of homes. They would have wanted to make people keep cooking with gas, which was more available. In the case they cite of microwaved blood killing a patient, the patient probably actually died of a blood clot. But it's possible that the blood was heated too much and "cooked." That can also happen if you heat it by any other means. It almost certainly *would* happen if you heated it on a stovetop, right? It doesn't matter how it gets warm; it just can't be allowed to get too warm.

Food is the same way. If you cook some foods too much, you can reduce the nutrient content. It doesn't matter whether you cook them too much on top of the stove or in the microwave. Microwave cooking actually helps preserve the nutrients of some foods because it reduces their contact with water, which can leach out nutrients. But for the most part, cooking is cooking. It's the heat that damages nutrients (or makes them easier to absorb!), not the source of the heat.



AJBOTV
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3/17/13 10:20 A

Microwaves release minute amounts of radiation into food (but even eating a banana means some radiation is entering your system) but they're generally believed to be 'safe'.

Though I am taking out my microwave and replacing it with a mini-oven. I tend not to use mine much anyway since I think it encourages less healthy eating. It's a lot easier to zap a tacquito than to actually make something on the stove or in the oven.

And I do have my counter-top toaster oven in case I need to make something relatively quickly!



SLIMMERKIWI
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3/15/13 7:21 P

I just read the article and came to the conclusion that it is total clap-trap. It is making statements that IF you use one they WILL cause this... or that! I was rather interested in the statements"

"3). Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods."

It hasn't seemed to alter these people's fertility - many people use them to reheat their meals rather than cook them, and yet you see some of these 'users' with plenty of children.

"10). Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.”

Tell that to the many highly qualified and achieving academics out there, who rely on a microwave for a lot of their food.

another thing that intrigued me was the article made loads of statements but didn't include links to them, so we that could draw our own conclusions.

Kris





GLIESE581
Posts: 18
3/15/13 6:54 P

Where do I even begin? This article is NOT accuate. I am not an expert in microwave oven technology, but I do have a bachelors degree in chemistry and biology. I have studied the effects of various types of radiation on both chemicals, chemical reactions and biological molecules and systems as various times during the course of my studies. The word "radiation" often scares people because they associate it with nuclear bombs. However, there are many types of radiation and only some of them are harmful. For example, visible light is a form of radiation. The frequency of radiation used by microwave does not tear apart molecules and cause them to become dangerous "by-products." It does affect the water causing those molecules to vibrate. These vibrations cause friction that heats the food. This type of radiation does not have enough energy to break most chemical bond unless they are very weak, such as some enzymes. Enzymes are basically folded up protein chains. Many enzymes are broken down by heat from cooking. It is the high temperature that causes them to break down (denature), regardless of the heat source. Sometimes, when food is overheated in the microwave, it will become dry, rubbery or even explode. Dryness is cause by loss of water due to vaporization (water in the food turning from liquid to gaseous steam), rubberyness can be from loss of water and breakdown of enzymes/proteins. When food explodes, it is because of vaporizing water. Gas takes up much more space than liquid and if it cannot escape from the interior of the food, it will cause it to pop or explode. NONE of these things render the food harmful. As for "shorting out" your brain by depolarizing or demagnetizing it, this makes absolutely no sense. I don't even know how to argue against this point because I can't even figure out what it means. If electrical signals in the brain are disrupted, why would electrical signals that cause muscle movement, including the heartbeat, be unaffected? As far as not being able to breakdown UNKNOWN by products, how do you know they can't be broken down if you don't even know what they are? Nutrient content can be altered by cooking, but it is dependent on the temperature and the length of time it is cooked more than the method. Typically, the longer and hotter food is cooked the more nutrients are lost. One exception is lycopene. Lycopene content is higher in cooked food than raw. As far as the "experts" cited in the article. Have they done peer-reviewed research? Are they trying to sell you something based on their "research"? Science does not have all the answers, but pseudo-scientists like this cause the public unnecessary fear and damage pubic perception of real science and scientists.



SHERYLDS
Posts: 11,739
3/15/13 5:17 P

I reheat things with microwaves but I constantly boil water for tea in my ceramic teapot.

I have to be careful about overheating the water. As well as burning the tea. I have occasionally drop a couple of teabags into the pot (after removing it from the microwave) and witnessed the water erupt into a boil. I heat the water in less time now and wait 5 minutes before drinking it.

My fear is doing damage to my throat with super heated water.



SLIMMERKIWI
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3/15/13 4:40 P

My microwave was given to me, and altho' I can do everything on the stove top, a microwave speeds things up when busy, and also cuts the cost of power, and when water is an issue, can drastically reduce the amount of water over the period of a month or two. I'm dependent on rain water, and at the moment we are sorely in need of rain :-(

Kris



NAUSIKAA
Posts: 4,848
3/15/13 8:11 A

I don't have one as I've never been able to figure out what I would use it for. I've never tried to cook anything and thought "I wish I had a microwave." There is nothing you can do in a microwave that you can't do on a regular stove or in an oven. I don't have enough counter space to waste!!



POCKETLLAMA1
SparkPoints: (33,013)
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Posts: 437
3/15/13 4:19 A

Yes, they are.



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (128,119)
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3/15/13 12:55 A

There is another factor which needs consideration with microwaves:

Ensure that the seal around the door is in good condition - you can get special testers to check for any microwave leakage (as opposed to food/liquid)

My understanding is that provided the food is cooked appropriately in the microwave including good microwavable utensils, then the nutritional content of the food is better than most other cooking methods.

Kris



LOPTR27
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3/14/13 11:27 P

One of those sites had a bunch of stuff about astrology and crap. Lol. Bad place to go for science. Anyway, I looked at those sites and then did some digging of my own. The first thing I noticed about the linked sites - neither has any sources linked. That should always send up a red flag. If they can't provide peer-reviewed articles to support their statement, there's no reason to listen to them.

However, I did do a search on Google scholar to see if anything came up, and while I did find a few things, there was nothing from a peer-reviewed journal saying anything about microwaves being unsafe. I only found one article (not from a scientific journal) that cited a source, but only one and I couldn't find it. It didn't mention where it came from either, so I'm thinking that once again, it's not peer-reviewed.

So basically, there's no actual science to say that microwaves are unsafe for food prep. In fact, I found an article from Food Research International titled "Quality and structural changes in starchy foods during microwave and convective drying." They looked at the vitamin C content and rehydratibility of dried potatoes, and found that the microwaved potatoes had less vitamin C destruction and better rehydration.

And I just found another article from Food Chemistry called "Microwave heating and conventional roasting of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum L.) and effect on chemical composition of volatiles." They found that the microwave heated samples retained flavor compounds better than those that were conventionally roasted.

Edited by: LOPTR27 at: 3/14/2013 (23:31)


VELVETMERLIN
Posts: 229
3/14/13 10:38 P

Microwaves are safe as long as you don't use metal (obviously) and it's recommended that you don't use any type of plastic, whether it be saran wrap, dishes, or even those steamers that are becoming more and more popular. I try to only use the microwave in a hurry as I have noticed that food tastes better if you put it in the oven anyway.



LOVEMOUSE82
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Posts: 349
3/14/13 10:29 P

LOL mandieterrier1 that was hilarious! I forgot another great thing I recently learned to do with the microwave is make scrambled eggs!



OPUSEVA
Posts: 1,304
3/14/13 9:36 P

" I do know it zaps the nutrients out of the food. and breaks down the enzymes we need. So basically were eating empty calories....."

No, you DON'T know that. It's a complete myth. And you do not "need" enzymes from food - they will break down in your stomach anyway.

Microwaves are completely safe for heating food. Since they are so fast, the food can actually retain MORE nutrients than food heated on the stove or in the oven.




LEOPARDSPOTS1
SparkPoints: (608)
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Posts: 79
3/14/13 9:35 P

I wouldn't worry about loss of nurtients. A nutritionist once told me that microwaving my vegetables instead of steaming them keeps you from losing most of the nutrients.....



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
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Posts: 2,171
3/14/13 9:26 P

My grandparents have had one for years and years and years. My grandpa turned 93 today. So I'm thinking they're OK.



ABONDGIRL
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Posts: 105
3/14/13 8:48 P

There may not be any bad side effects, but I do know it zaps the nutrients out of the food. and breaks down the enzymes we need. So basically were eating empty calories.....



AILEBBELIA
SparkPoints: (13,410)
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Posts: 3,171
3/14/13 8:28 P

I knew this had something to do with either Dr. Quack Mercola or Dr. Oz......


I was right!


"This is from Dr. Mercola’s website (mercola.com)."



MANDIETERRIER1
Posts: 13,640
3/14/13 8:21 P

I hope so, my family and I have used one for thirty years. We haven't had any bad side effects.

Ahhhh Dr. Mercola, that explains it. Thankfully I don't have any blood transfusions to heat up. I have no medical background, but that doesn't sound like a good idea. I only cook food in the microwave.

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 3/14/2013 (20:48)


CANDYPA
SparkPoints: (4,883)
Fitness Minutes: (623)
Posts: 20
3/14/13 8:20 P

Check out this link too:
http://www.themessenger.info/content/gar
dening-and-ecology/item/741-everyday-e
cology-microwave-ovens-safe-or-not



Edited by: CANDYPA at: 3/14/2013 (20:20)


LOVEMOUSE82
SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/14/13 8:08 P

Man I sure hope so. I use it for everything....to steam broccoli, to cook rice, to heat oatmeal...I even used to use it to heat up water for tea before I got a keurig brewer. I seriously don't know how I would eat if I didn't use it!!!



CANDYPA
SparkPoints: (4,883)
Fitness Minutes: (623)
Posts: 20
3/14/13 8:05 P



I would like to know your opinion. Any engineers or scientists I would love your input too.

emoticon www.healthyeatingontherun.com/dangers-of-m
icrowave-ovens.html

As of now, I hardly use my microwave. I'm scared of it.
Loss of nutrients, etc, etc.



 
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