Skip to main content

Microwaving "” Dangers to Your Food and You?

Microwave ovens are in 90% of American homes. However, the micro-oven manufacturers, Washington City politics, and plain old human nature are suppressing the facts and evidence. Because of this, people are continuing to microwave their food without knowing the effects or dangers of doing so. One short-term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables. All foods that were processed through the microwave ovens caused changes in the blood of the volunteers. Hemoglobin levels decreased and over all white cell levels and cholesterol levels increased. Lymphocytes decreased.

In Dr. Lita Lee's book, "Health Effects of Microwave Radiation - Microwave Ovens," and in the March and September 1991 issues of Earthletter, she stated that every microwave oven leaks electro-magnetic radiation, harms food and converts substances cooked in it to dangerous organ-toxic and carcinogenic products. Micro ovens are far more harmful than previously imagined. Listed are the many findings of the German and Russian investigators. Here are just a few:

Cancer Causing Effects "” Creation of a ˜binding effect' to radioactivity in the atmosphere, creation of cancer-causing agents within protein hydrolysate compounds, malfunctions within the lymphatic systems, higher percentage of cancerous cells within the blood serum, cancer-causing free radicals, stomach and intestinal cancerous growths, with a gradual breakdown of the function of the digestive and excretive systems.

Decrease In Food Value "” Microwave exposure caused significant decreases in the nutritive value of all foods researched. There was a decrease in bioavailability of B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics in all foods, a loss of 60 to 90% of the vital energy field of all tested foods, and a marked acceleration of structural disintegration in all foods.
Biological Effects of Exposure "” Breakdown of the human "life-energy field," degeneration and circuit breakdowns within the front portion of the brain where thought and higher functions reside, loss of balance, long term cumulative loss of vital energy and long-lasting residual effects.

In America, neither universities nor the federal government have conducted any tests concerning the effects on our bodies from eating microwaved foods. Isn't that odd?

Ten reasons to throw out your Microwave oven (taken from research):

1. Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term, permanent, brain damage by ˜shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain (de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue).

2. The human body cannot metabolize (breakdown) the unknown by-products created in microwaved food.

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

4. The effects of microwaved food by-products are residual (long term, permanent) within the human body.

5. Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.

6. The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.

7. Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths (tumors). This may explain the rapid increased rate of colon cancer in America.

8. The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.

9. Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and serum alterations.

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

{Health Freedom Resources, Public Awareness Announcement #1, June 2000, Radiation Ovens, The Proven Dangers of Microwaves." Also information from the Forensic Research Document, prepared by William P. Kopp, A.R.E.C. Research Operations. TO61-7R10/10-77F05. Written by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell., Apr. 2003} Editor's comment: The use of artificial microwave transmissions for subliminal psychological control, ˜brainwashing,' has also been proven. Clinical experiments have been written up by Drs. Luria and Perov.

Microwave cooking is an important cause of ill health, and its effects are mostly ignored. The violent change that microwaving causes to the food molecules forms new life forms called radiolytic compounds, which are mutations that are unknown in the natural world. Ordinary cooking also causes the formation of some radiolytic compounds, but microwaving cooking causes a much greater number. This then causes deterioration in your blood and immune system. In addition, it was found that the number of leukocytes increases after eating microwaved food, something which hematologists take very seriously because this is often a sign of highly harmful effects, such as poisoning. Cholesterol levels increase after eating microwaved foods. In summary: Blanc and Hertel found that eating microwaved food: increases cholesterol, increases white blood cell numbers, decreases red blood cell numbers, and causes production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature). Editor's comment: For those who are interested, there is a long list of effects from microwaves observed by Russian forensic teams.

I see clients for sessions of kinesiology (muscle testing), and correct the problems I find. I found that when ˜fixing' or ˜correcting' the electrical circuits of those who ate microwaved foods, they soon were out of balance again. However, this was not true of those who did not eat microwaved food. I gave this a higher priority than any of the things that are normally considered as health risks, such as alcohol or cigarettes. I began to tell my client on the first visit that under NO circumstance were they to ever do microwaved cooking again. David Bridgman, a kinesiologist with many years experience said, "Of all the people I test for allergies, so far 99.9% show severe sensitivity to any microwaved food." Be aware that many restaurants use microwaved cooking, even ˜health food' restaurants. Some of the information from this Web site on microwaved food is published in an eight volume lawyer's encyclopedia which is used by lawyers who sue in medical cases. Some of this can be seen this Web site for those who are interested. Also much of the information on this Web site is from the 1994 edition of Acres magazine, USA, by Tom Valentine. Information on irradiated foods and labeling laws may be found at Public Citizen - Irradiation is not the same as microwaving, but they are similar in that both use unnatural frequencies to alter food.

Our society runs pretty much on money, and there is no money in telling people to stop using microwave cooking. The multinational companies who make microwaves make a lot of money from the sale of microwave ovens. There is, however, the satisfaction and happiness from knowing that you are saving people's lives by spreading the word to stop eating microwaved foods.{"Microwave Cooking is Killing You!" by Stephanie Relfe, B.Sc. (Syd.) on, 2003}

Various Studies on Microwave Cooking

There are very few studies on microwave cooking and food quality, and what studies exist are all bad news for microwaving: they universally describe some type of damage. One study showed a breakdown of vitamin B-12 to inactive degradation products in microwaved foods. The magazine, "Health and Healing Wisdom" reports that Russian research concerning neurological effects of altered magnetic states of microwaved foods caused the government to outlaw all microwave apparatus in 1976. Editor's comment: I don't know if the ban still exists. Another study showed depletion of antibodies and breakdown of enzymes when breast milk is microwaved.

There is also a problem with release of potentially toxic molecules into the food from packaging designed to help brown food during microwaving. This includes items such as pizza, French fries, waffles, popcorn and breaded fish "” and these findings were determined by the FDA!

The most controlled (and scary) research was almost suppressed from public knowledge before being published. Two Swiss researchers sequestered subjects under close scrutiny and blood tests were conducted after the subjects randomly ate food that was either microwaved or conventionally cooked. They found all sorts of potentially nasty stuff:

Blood hemoglobin levels decreased significantly after ingesting microwaved foods, both total levels and the amount contained in each red blood cell. White blood cell levels tended to increase for no other reason than foods were microwaved. Microwaves altered protein molecules. LDL cholesterol (the ˜bad' type) increased relative to HDL cholesterol (the ˜good' type). The researchers were immediately sued by the "Swiss Association of Dealers for Electroapparatuses for Households and Industry," and one of the authors was convicted by the Swiss Federal Court of "interfering with commerce." The fine was the equivalent of $65,000. Editor's comment: So, the message is that you think twice before stepping on too many big-money toes.
{HSI panelist, Allan Spreen, MD, on Health Scientist Institute, Jan. 2003}

Also in this same e-Alert: HSI Panelist Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, gave objections to microwaves because of their tendency to heat foods unevenly, indicating that some of the food is not sufficiently heated to kill all the bacteria or parasites that might be present. This uneven heating also creates hot spots in foods that release synthetic estrogens found in certain plastics. But even when only using glass (Pyrex) containers, Dr. Gittleman feels that low levels of radiation escaping from the ovens may be harmful, and cautions against standing in front of a microwave unit while in use. Since the consensus for microwave ovens is not very positive, it would seem the safest use of microwaves might be as a cooking aid (for defrosting, heating liquids, etc.) rather than as a method for primary cooking. Editor's comment: Many references are given in this report if wanted.

The anthroposophist A. Bohmert, reported the following discovery in one of her presentations. Water samples were heated, some in a microwave oven and others conventionally, and then left to cool before use. These water samples were used to bring grain to germination. The grain in contact with microwaved water was the only one that did not geminate. In 1973, two American scientists, P. Czerski and W.M. Leach, proved that microwaves caused cancer in animals. The American National Council for Radiation Protection (NCRP) announced at the end of the 80's, that children of mothers exposed to using microwave ovens were found to have an increased rate of malformations. In the early 1990's a hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, distributed pamphlets warning people against using microwave ovens to heat infant formulas because they altered the food. In 1991, a patient in a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, died of anaphylaxis after receiving a blood transfusion for which the blood had been warmed in a microwave oven. Apparently the microwave irradiation had altered the blood causing the patient's death. In that very same year the New England Medical Center in Boston stated that the structural and functional integrity of erythrocytes (red blood cells) remained unaltered by microwaving. But then what killed the patient? A further study on milk, conducted in Vienna, showed microwave treatment induced high racemization rates in food proteins which were not observed after conventional cooking.

Significant and disturbing changes in the blood of the individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables were found by Raum and Zelt in 1992. One study doesn't provide positive proof, but it certainly raises enough warning flags to support a recommendation of "don't use until safety is proved." A bit of common sense is also indicated. A ˜steady diet' of microwaved food is more likely to cause health problems than very occasional consumption.
{˜Natural Response,' Nutrition & Healing newsletter, Apr. 1996}

When anyone microwaves food, the oven exerts a power input of about 1,000 watts or more. This radiation results in destruction and deformation of molecules of food, and causes the formation of new compounds (called radiolytic compounds) unknown to man and nature. Microwaving produces more of these compounds than do broiled, baked or other conventional ways of cooking, and the increased leukocytes (white blood cells) with the microwaved foods was more pronounced than with all the other variants. From the Swiss study it is clear that something is amiss and larger studies should be funded.

In the journal Pediatrics, Apr. 1992, research appeared that warned that microwaving human milk, even at a low setting, can destroy some of its important disease-fighting capabilities. Pediatrician John A. Kerner, Jr. and his co-workers at Stanford University reported that breast milk that was microwaved lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria. Adverse changes at such low temperatures suggest that microwaving itself may in fact cause some injury to the milk above and beyond the heating.

Unfortunately, further studies are not scheduled at this time. If there are so many indications that the effects of microwaves on foods can degrade the foods far above the known breakdowns of standard cooking, is it not reasonable to conduct exhaustive studies on living, breathing human beings to determine if it is possible that eating microwaved foods continually, as many people do can be significantly detrimental to individual health? If you wanted to introduce an herbal supplement into the American mainstream and make any health claims for it, you would be subjected to exhaustive documentation and costly research. Yet the microwave industry had only to prove that the dangerous microwaves could, indeed, be contained within the oven and not escape even in the best-made ovens. So far, not one thought has been given by the industry to the possibility that the nutrients could be so altered as to be deleterious to health. Are we going to continue to take it from established authority, without question, on the premise that they know best?{"The Proven Dangers of Microwaves," excerpted from NEXUS magazine, Apr./May 1995, originally printed from the Apr. 1994 edition of Acres, USA, on - Aug. 2001}

Radiolytic Compounds, Isomeric Changes, and Unnatural Compounds

A basic hypothesis of "natural medicine" states that the introduction into the human body of molecules and energies to which it is not accustomed is much more likely to cause harm than good. Microwaved food contains both molecules and energies not present in food cooked in the way humans have been cooking food for tens of thousands of generations. Microwave energy from the sun (and other stars) is "direct current" based. "Artificially" produced microwaves, including those in ovens, are produced from alternating current and force a billion or more polarity reversals per second in every food molecule they hit. Production of "unnatural molecules" is inevitable. Naturally occurring amino acids have been observed to undergo "isomeric" changes, as well as transformation into toxic forms, under the impact of microwaves produced in ovens.

Microwave ovens have become increasingly popular in the last decade, and clever advertising campaigns of industry and trade have made sure that consumers are well informed of the advantages of microwave ovens. Microwave cooking is timesaving, simple and more convenient as well as energy saving are the main sales arguments. In many medical practices patients are informed that microwaved food is practically free of microorganisms and is therefore recommendable. In a book about cancer and nutrition the Swiss Cancer League states that ˜gentle cooking' in a microwave oven allows "only a little mutagen formation." However, recent findings in research paint a different picture. Increasing numbers of consumers are beginning to suspect that microwaves are anything but harmless.

Microwave cooking creates unique molecules, never before found in nature,called ˜radiolytic byproducts' that are likely to cause health problems if continuously consumed, especially over decades of time. They are likely to be harmful to growing children.{˜On Call,' Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD, Let's Live magazine, Mar. 1994}

Reheating foods in a microwave oven probably doesn't damage them, but if you cook protein-containing foods for more than 10 minutes, the microwave radiation might alter the chemistry of the proteins in unhealthy ways. The problem is not free radicals but deformed protein molecules, which have an unknown effect on health. Therefore, I recommend using the microwave only for defrosting or reheating foods rather than cooking.
{Natural Health magazine, Dr. Andrew Weil, Nov./Dec. 1995}

Effect on Nutrients and Food Value

A nutrition book published in 2203 states that for most nutrients, microwave heating minimizes losses compared to traditional cooking methods. Such is not the case for vitamin B-12. Microwave heating inactivates vitamin B-12. To preserve this vitamin, use the oven or stovetop instead of the microwave to cook meats and milk products (major sources of vitamin B-12). Many elderly are at risk of B-12 deficiency and shouldn't microwave meat, milk, eggs or B-12 fortified foods, unless they only occasionally microwave or are getting B-12 in a supplement or fortified cereal.{Elizabeth Snyder, MS, RD, nutrition instructor, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee, in Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Food & Fitness Advisor newsletter, Mar. 2003}

Few people realize that many of the vitamins in food are rapidly being destroyed by cooking. Even fewer know that microwaving destroys vitamins five times more quickly than does regular cooking. After just six minutes of microwaving, nearly half of the vitamin B-12 was destroyed when a Japanese dietitian measured the levels after microwaving. Vitamin B-12 was singled out for study since it is of vital importance in helping to prevent several major diseases that become more common as we grow older, including arteriosclerosis (cholesterol deposits in arteries), heart attacks and strokes. It is now also now understood that B-12 deficiency is one of several factors that together often cause dementia (such as Alzheimer's disease) in older people. Since cooking destroys vitamin B-12, and since older people have trouble absorbing it anyway, experts now recommend that adults take a 1 mg (1,000 micrograms) tablet of vitamin B-12 daily. This greatly overcomes the difficulty older people have in absorbing it. Even at this dosage, vitamin B-12 is harmless, inexpensive, and obtainable without a prescription.{Science News - vol. 153 #7:105, 1998, in Health Gazette, Apr. 1998}

Microwaving causes the cells of the nutrients to become destructively polarized, and free radicals can be created, and all radicals have a strong tendency to cause reactions and may interact with enzymes causing a disruption of biological processes. At the end of the 1970's a forensic research document was released in the United States containing alarming findings on the destruction of the nutritive value of foods, development of cancer-causing agents, and direct biological effects of exposure by microwave emission on humans.{˜Microwave Madness - The Truth Campaign magazine vol. 2, p. 16-17}

Microwaving is the biggest culprit in destroying cancer-fighting compounds in your vegetables, says a new study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Microwaved broccoli loses 97 percent, 74 percent, and 87 percent of the three major antioxidant compounds (flavonoids, sinapics and caffeoyl-quinic derivatives). By comparison, steamed broccoli loses only 11 percent, 0 percent and 8 percent of the very same antioxidants. To retain nutrients, veggies should be cooked in a minimum amount of water, as in steaming, since most bioactive compounds are water-soluble, says Dr. Cristina Garcia-Viguera, co-author of the study. The authors note that how food is prepared and cooked may be just as important as what is eaten.{Microwaved veggies: bad news," Betty Kamen, PhD and Michael Rosenbaum, MD, "Nutrition Hint #1322, Oct. 2003. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2003; 93(14)}

Safe Exposure Levels

No one really knows what are safe levels of exposure to microwaves. Several American laboratories have found that low-level exposure to microwaves can cause cumulative effects to the eyes, resulting in cataracts. Research also reports a reduction in personnel efficiency, and even a possible link to cancer. In as much as the significance for humans of repeated exposure to low levels of microwave radiation is still unclear, there is enough evidence to warrant certain commonsense precautions:

  • Stay at least an arm's length away from an operating microwave oven.
  • Do not operate an oven when it is empty.
  • Do not operate an oven if the door will not close properly or is damaged in any way.
  • Never tamper with the safety interlock switches or the fuse. {"Microwaves: How Dangerous Are They?", excerpts from the book, "The Complete Microwave Oven Service Handbook," 1998-1999 by J. Carlton Gallawa, - 2003}

    In the western part of the world the detrimental effects of microwaves on biological systems have at least been known since their first application during the last world war. Russian scientists had already conducted research in the 1930's on the effects of microwaves on the nervous systems of humans and animals. Their findings led to very strict safety measures which, however, were not taken seriously by western scientists (who in 1960's still used threshold values a thousand times higher than those of the Russians). In the late 1980's a study on domestic microwave ovens was conducted in Washington, DC as well as two other states. It revealed that microwave emission during thawing, cooking, and grilling processes was one-quarter higher than the official threshold value of the 10 mW/cm standard established by the electrical industry. A product test revealed that 24 of the 30 tested microwave ovens were considered too dangerous and had to be withdrawn from the market. Microwave emission of these ovens reached values up to 20 mW/cm {BAG-Bulletin, 1992}. The largest manufacturer of microwave appliances, the Raytheon Company (that also supplies industrial enterprises and canteens with cooking and drying appliances) assured the committee that all their devices were fitted with ample safety measures. Furthermore, they stated, that microwaves, unlike X-rays, don't have a cumulative effect. However, a renowned university professor from Berlin wrote the following: "We have proven beyond doubt that microwaves hitting the eye have the following damaging effect: repeated short microwave radiation which itself is not painful and shows no ill effects in the beginning, leads in the case of frequently repeated exposure to lasting eye damage. Thus this non-ionizing radiation has a dangerous cumulative effect."
    {Brodeur, P., 1987, Berlin}

    The same also applies to domestic microwave ovens. A housewife unknowingly exposed day by day to microwave emission from an oven installed at eye level may acquire serious eye damage or even go blind. Those areas of the body with low circulation, respectively with a low cooling effect, generally react more sensitively to microwaves because the rise in temperature is greater than in areas with good blood circulation. The most sensitive part of the body is the lens. In 1990, during a microwave oven testing program conducted by the Berlin Foundation for Product Tests, it was found that all of the tested ovens emitted microwaves while in operation. According to some scientific research, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, etc., are not changed. Nevertheless, histological studies with microwaved carrots and broccoli have revealed that the molecular structures of nutrients are deformed by high frequency reversal of polarity, even up to the point of destroying the cell walls, whereas in conventional cooking the cell structures remain intact.
    {Journal of Food Science, 1975}

    The consumer is led to believe in the safety of these devices, which is based on threshold values and standards laid down by so-called experts. The research findings presented to support their issue do not withstand closer scrutiny and prove, more often than not, to be nothing but eyewash. In Germany, for example, the safety standards are laid down by the VDE Committee which is made up of 18 members, of which 15 are representatives of industry! They even stoop so low as to forge expert's opinions in their favor as well as indulging in other forms of fraud.

    One single meal heated in a microwave oven does not kill us, but after a prolonged intake such microwaved food will cause so many blockages in the body that it will start to rebel. One day the world will wake up to the fact that microwaves do cause cancer, and are even worse than cigarettes. Microwaved food causes a slow death. {"Are Microwaved Ovens A Source Of Danger?" by Marion Wild,, 2003}

    Microwaving - Bottle/Breast Milk

    The high temperatures can destroy the substances in human milk that help prevent infection and boost your baby's immune system. Frozen breast milk can be thawed slowly in the refrigerator or quickly in a bowl of warm water; if refrigerated, hold the container under warm running water.{"Microwave alert," McCall's, Mar. 1995}

    Microwave cooking uses an entirely different process than an external, non-electromagnetic heat source: the water molecules within food are vibrated in a field of intense electromagnetic energy. On theory alone we should be cautious about microwave cooking, but there haven't been many scientific studies on the subject. One that I know of, researchers discovered that microwaving infant formula for 10 minutes altered the structure of its component amino acids in ways that could possibly result in functional, structural and immunological abnormalities in infants consuming it. One of these altered amino acids has been proven to be toxic to the kidneys, liver and nervous system.
    {Lancet 189; 2:1}

    Microwaving destroys some of the critical disease fighting capabilities in human milk, eliminating a key reason people choose breast milk over formula. As with food, microwaving creates unpredictable hot spots that can burn a baby's mouth.{Health Sciences Institute e-Alert, Feb. 2003}

    Consequences of Uneven Cooking

    Microwaves do not cook evenly: For example, frozen hamburgers, fish, and warmed-up dishes all may have cool areas in them that could promote the growth of pathogens. Live unkilled microbes may remain to grow in an unrefrigerated dish.{Nicholas Fox, in the 1997 book, "Spoiled"}

    Although the FDA says EMF levels from new microwave ovens are safe, all microwaves leak EMF radiation. If you drop or overheat your oven, it may leak more, and a damaged or aging oven should be checked and repaired. When the oven is in use, stay back six feet or more.
    {Longevity magazine, Oct. 1989}

    According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, CDC in Atlanta, nuking leftover food is not as good as reheating it in an oven or a frying pan. An outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium in Juneau, Alaska, was traced to food taken home in ˜doggie bags.' While 30 people had taken home doggie bags only ten became sick. These ten had reheated their food in a microwave oven, while those who used a conventional oven or frying pan did not.
    {"Real Oven Better Than Microwave for Killing Germs," HealthScoutNews, - Apr. 2003}

    Micowave Cooking in Plastic Containers

    Do not heat food containing fat in a microwave using plastic containers because the combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxins and other toxins into the food and ultimately into your cells. Dioxins are carcinogens and highly toxic.

    After researchers studied several commercial plastic containers, compounds such as methylbenzene, ethylbenzene, 1-octene, xylene, styrene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene were found in all of them. Also, the increased output power of modern microwave ovens can cause overheating.

    Although cooking of raw foods in a microwave targets an acceptable end product for touch, taste and smell, the process does not address the microbiological safety of the cooked food. Microwave ovens from various commercial suppliers were used to cook naturally contaminated whole raw broiler and roaster chickens according to manufacturers' instructions. Many of the roasters yielded visible Listeria bacteria after microwave cooking.{Sources: Food Additive Contamination, June 2002; Emergency Medicine, (Fremantle) June 2001, Journal of Food Protection, Nov. 1998. "Nutrition Hints," from Betty Kamen, PhD and Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, MD, Hint #870, June 2002}

    One of the ways to decrease exposure to harmful chemicals, and all the scientists agree, is don't microwave in plastic.
    {Lindsey Berkson, author of the book "Hormone Deception, how everyday foods and products are disrupting your hormones, and how to protect yourself and your family," on "People's Pharmacy" PBS Radio program, September 27, 2003}

    Don't microwave food in plastic takeout cartons, as they may release chemicals into food when heated. Even plastic containers labeled "microwave safe" are best used only for reheating. For longer cooking, use a bowl or baking dish made of heatproof glass.
    {Consumer Reports on Health newsletter, June 2001}

    In Robert O. Becker's book "The Body Electric," he described Russian research on the health effects of microwave radiation, which they called, "microwave sickness." Microwave ovens not only cook food, but also the intense heat may also cook food containers. Thus, analysis of microwaved food sometimes reveals the presence of toxic chemicals, and one of these substances can even cause cancer. To protect yourself from this danger, never cook food or heat liquids in any packaging or plastic dish unless you know that it is microwavable. When in doubt, microwave food in glass ovenware or Corning ware instead. It would be safer not to keep old microwaved dishes since they might be safe for only one-time use only.
    {Source: FDA Consumer - vol. 29 #8:16, 1995. In Health Gazette newsletter, Nov./Dec. 1995}

    Some experts think using a plastic container that wasn't designed to be microwaved may hurt your health. Even if there is no perceptible change in the appearance of the container, certain molecules in the plastic may still gather enough energy during the heating process to migrate to the food inside. Among the migratory molecules at issue are plasticizers, chemicals added during the manufacturing process to make rigid plastic more pliable. Some scientists are concerned about plasticizers' unknown effects inside the body.

    Susan Brewster, PhD, Associate Professor of Food Chemistry at the University of Illinois, and others, worry about the possibility that certain plasticizers could act as endocrine disrupters, which means they can potentially mimic or compete with human hormones. If they do, then that could affect such things as fertility or someone's risk of getting cancer.

    Here are some tips for safer microwaving:

  • Remove food from its packaging before defrosting or cooking in a microwave.
    Plastic wrap, freezer cartons, and Styrofoam meat trays are not heat-stable. It is okay to microwave a container of food with a plastic wrap on top ™ just don't let the wrap touch the food.

  • Don't reheat leftovers in containers intended for cold foods like margarine, whipped topping, or soft cheese. Trays or containers that come with microwavable convenience foods, like frozen dinners, are intended for one use only. Do not reuse them. Glass, wax paper, parchment and oven cooking bags are generally safe to use in the microwave ™ check manufacturer's directions.

  • If you prefer to use plastic containers, make sure they are labeled as safe for microwave use. {"Are You Microwaving with Unsafe Food Containers," Food Safety Watch, Health & Nutrition Letter, Dec. 1998}


    Water can be "superheated" in a microwave without forming bubbles. However, when the cup is moved, then bubbles form and the liquid can "explode." To prevent this, put a wooden spoon or stick in the cup when boiling it, or let the cup sit in the microwave for at least 30 seconds before removing it. Never put your face or hand directly above the cup.{Advice from Ann Landers, The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Virginia, July 12, 2002}

    In the August 13, 1998 New England Journal of Medicine, doctors described two patients who had chest pain that turned out to be caused by a burned esophagus from drinking microwave-heated beverages and soup. The pain stopped when they stopped drinking the microwaved liquids and let the burns heal. If no cause is found for chest pain, tell your doctor if you regularly drink hot liquids.{HealthNews newsletter, Sept. 1998}
  • Original Post

    Add Reply

    Link copied to your clipboard.