Why I Don’t Use A Microwave

by lydia on June 28, 2011

For years I had been intrigued, yet slightly horrified at the same time, about the concept of ditching my microwave. I had run across a few families that did not use one, they had their reasons. At the time I really wasn’t ready to hear them, because I didn’t want to be convinced I should ditch mine. Yet deep down something resonated with me that it was probably a good idea to not use one. So last year after some reading and gut instinct, I took my microwave out of the kitchen and never looked back. It took some slight adjustment, but now life without a microwave is old hat and I honestly can’t even remember what it was like to have one at all. I had only really used it to heat liquid, defrost things and maybe heat up some leftovers once in a while. Now I just plan ahead a bit more, use a small pan on the stove and get a ton of use out of my awesome toaster oven. (oh, and by the way, I think my food tastes much better!)

So what made me finally embrace the decision to 86 my microwave? I found out that basically, a microwave oven decays and changes the molecular structure of the food by the process of radiation. I was radiating my food!!  Some of you will baulk at this and disagree, but go do some research for yourself, don’t just accept what you want to believe so you don’t have to inconvenience yourself and get rid of your microwave too.

I remember being told with my first child not to heat his bottles in the microwave, as it was dangerous to do so. It would alter the breast milk and make it harmful for my baby. Okay, great to know, but what about everything else I put in my microwave, wouldn’t that be altered as well?? Did you know that the Soviet Union banned the use of microwaves in 1976? (yeah, I was 2 and my parents didn’t even get a microwave until I was in the double digits) Unfortunately, that ban was lifted, however they had done so much research and testing to see that they were indeed a hazard, enough to officially ban them for 20 some years. (photo credit)

In Sally Fallon’s book, ‘Nourishing Traditions’ a microwave oven is listed as equipment that should NOT be used or found in the kitchen of conscientious cooks. She states; ‘Unfortunately, the microwave achieved instant popularity without much prior research to study the effects of eating microwaved food. In consequence, one large experiment involving an unwitting populace is now in progress. The small amount of research done on the effects of eating microwaved food has shown that the microwave may have unfavorable effects on fats and proteins, making them more difficult to assimilate. More recent studies carried out in Switzerland revealed that the microwave caused changes in vitamin content and availability. Eating microwaved food results in abnormal blood profiles, similar to those that occur in the early stages of cancer. An especially dangerous practice is using the microwave for heating baby’s bottle. Altered amino acids in microwaved milk can be toxic to the liver and nervous system, especially for infants. We recommend that you resist using the microwave at all costs.

Additional quotes throughout the book ‘Nourishing Traditions’, also disdain the use of the microwave oven to cook or heat food;

‘John Ott, of time-lapse-photography fame… tested three young athletes who ate hamburgers, with all the trimmings, that were prepared in a fast-food restaurant. The first group of the hamburgers were cooked in the restaurant’s microwave oven while another was prepared conventionally in an iron frying pan. This latter group and even the raw hamburgers held in hand resulted in strong muscle test results, while the same athletes who tested muscularly weak with the microwave cooked food. Ott also reported most food prepared in these appliances and especially meat was less tasty. This opinion seems to be shared by most who use this form of cooking.’ (George Meinig, DDS ” Nutritionally Speaking” Ojai Valley News )

‘There is extensive scientific literature concerning the hazardous effects of direct microwave radiation of living systems….It is astonishing therefore to realize how little effort has been taken to replace this detrimental technique of microwave cooking with technology more in accordance with nature…..Of all natural substances – which are polar – the oxygen of water molecules reacts most sensitively. This is how microwave cooking heat is generated – friction from this violence in water molecules. Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully deformed, called structural isomerism, and thus become impaired in quality. This is contrary to conventional heating of food where heat transfers convectionally from without to within. Cooking by microwaves begins with the cells and molecules where water is present and where the energy is transformed into frictional heat.’ (Dr. Hans Hertel quoted in Search for Health)

‘….The same violent friction and athermic deformations that can occur in our bodies when we are subjected to radar or microwaves happens to the molecules in the food cooked in a microwave oven. In fact, when anyone microwaves food the oven exerts a power of input of about 1000 watts or more. This radiation results in destruction and deformation of molecules of food and in the formation of new compounds (called radiolytic compounds) unknown to man and nature. Today’s established science and technology argues forcefully that microwaved food, and irradiated foods, do not have any significantly high “radiolytic compounds” than do broiled, baked or other conventionally cooked foods – but microwaving does produce more of these critters. Curiously, neither established science nor our ever protective government has conducted any tests of the effects of eating the various kinds of cooked foods on the blood of eaters. Dr. Hans Hertel did test it, and the indication is clear that something is amiss and larger studies should be funded.’ (Tom Valentine Search for Health)

‘The second reason I dislike microwave ovens is the more serious situation. What about the quality of the food that comes out of the oven and is immediately consumed – free radicals and all. With the depressed immune system of the average affluent American, the last thing we need is another increase in our free radicals. It is well documented that microwaves are powerful enough to rupture cell walls of the food matrix, and this is undoubtedly why protein molecules are altered from microwave cooking. (Warren Clough PPNF Health Journal)

Pretty eye opening and thought provoking isn’t it? I sure thought so. So tell me, what is more convenient, continuing to use a microwave to heat your food and save a few minutes, or avoiding the damages done to your food and body over the long haul by not using a microwave?  The choice is yours. For further research and reading check out the following links;

Microwave News (Research Information and news concerning the effects of EMFs.)

The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking

Microwave Cooking Is Killing You! (if you only read one article, read this one!)

The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking (American Association of Integrative Medicine)

The Dangers of Microwave Cooking (The Healthy Home Economist)

Back Away From the Microwave

The Dangerous Truths Behind Microwaves

The Proven Dangers of Microwaves

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave June 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Lydia ! We had to throw out our OLD microwave because the door was being melted off BECAUSE of the radiation!! It looked like a huge brown box from the ” dark ages ” !! :) And yes, our food DOES taste better now that we just re-heat it on the stove in a frying pan with a lid on the top ( if we want the process to go faster )…:)

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Carin June 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

We have not missed our microwave a bit! And, like you – we use our toaster oven a ton! The food definitely tastes more “real”, I think, unmicrowaved.

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Andy June 29, 2011 at 9:38 am

This is unsubstantiated nonsense. Which is a shame because most of your blog is not. The “studies” you cite are of dubious quality.

First, understand how a microwave works. A microwave does not irradiate foods. It heats the liquid water molecules in the food, causing the surrounding food to increase in temperature. This is very similar to what happens if you were to boil or steam a food.

“microwaves are powerful enough to rupture cell walls of the food matrix”
Yes, so is a stove. That’s why we cook foods.

http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4080
http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/Microwave.htm

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julie June 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

I don’t care what studies say or don’t say, food that has been microwaved tastes different and not in a good way. There will always be studies to prove either side and usually there will be far more studies saying a product, food, drug or whatever is safe because studies cost money and big companies who get rich by selling us their products have the money. It’s a favorite tactic to say ” studies have not proved conclusively” this or that all the while it may be perfectly obvious to anyone on the street that something is not beneficial. So glad to hear these kinds of statements in the news as big natural gas comapanies are trying to get into my backyard with a little harmless fracking. Wow, I feel better, the guys in the suits with 4 or 5 mansions and a private jet say it’s ok for them to rape and pillage my land and poison my drinking water.

Um, back to the microwave… In the end, I prefer not to have a radiation hazard in my home. Simple enough.

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Dave June 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm

@Julie at 11:47 A.M – wait to go…awesome comments ( especially about the ” fracking ” for natural gas ) ! :) I recommend seeing the documentary ” Gasland ” if you haven’t yet. Also, ” inside job” is another doc that talks about those lovely guys in the suits that took OUR money and still are….

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Connie June 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I also want to add that a lot of what you are quoting for reasons not to have a microwave have been dis-proven. The fact that there will “be studies to prove either side” doesn’t mean that those studies that have no merit mean they are right because you want them to be. The one about cancer – no science behind that.

I fully support your decision to not have one, and if that works for you – great! but for someone so informed and with the great information I have gotten from your other posts, I’m a little saddened that you would just copy and paste “evidence” why you aren’t using one, and basically saying ‘See! Microwaves are bad’ with nothing *real* to back it up.

you would think if microwaves were really that bad, there would be funding all over the place to prove it. If not the government, then the makers of ovens and toaster ovens who would want you to buy their products instead – but there just isn’t. Just some pseudoscience and conjecture.

If you want to pursue this and dig a little deeper and find some real science to back it up, I’d love to read it. I’ve tried to find more then conjecture and speculation when I first read how the “real food movement’ is against microwaves and I really couldn’t find anything but the links Andy shared above. all of the anti microwave people quote one article (J. Nat. Sci, 1998; 1:42-3) but none link to it. None explain where this article came from. When I google it, all I get are anti microwave articles. even when I take out the specific reference of 1:42-3; which means to me that there are NO other references in this … I’m assuming Journal. I’m also assuming “Journal Natural Science” and googling that and 1998 also only bring up references to the article, but not the article itself. Googling Journal Natural Science brings up so many different references to journals from different locations that it is too vague a title to find anything of importance.

well anyway, I’m getting a little long winded here for a comment on a post that I’m sure wasn’t really looking for an open discussion of facts.

You don’t use a microwave. I get that. I’m not trying to convince you otherwise, I’d just like a little more information.

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Cyndi Martin June 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I didn’t have a microwave and didn’t miss it until a man eating dinner at my house noticed there wasn’t one. He bought me one. The outlet that it is closest to hasn’t worked for three years. I haven’t missed it. I don’t think they are healthy or necessarily safe and I don’t want one. I graduate culinary school next month so now I can act all snotty about the quality of cooking and people understand that when they won’t hear that it’s my long-term health that I am concerned about. They don’t want to know. They want to eat what is most convenient and cheapest and don’t want to know what it does to them–same with processed foods, fast foods, GMOs, factory-farmed animals, chemicals in their foods and in plastics that it is stored in. They don’t want to care or to have to work harder for their food.

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Linda Altamirano June 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

we go rid of our microwave a while ago, but my husband came with home with one not long ago. He gets very impatient when I start heating up our leftovers. ARGHH! I try not to use it, but it is there and the only thing i heat up most of the time is coffee.

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Chris July 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm

A microwave is not a radiation disaster zone. They are not portable nuclear reactors. Microwave ovens have a built-in faraday cage (that lattice you see on the door of your microwave) to shield the user against stray microwaves. If you were to stand next to a microwave without this cage, you would surely be cooked alive, from the inside out, as you stood within a few feet of it. There are less powerful microwaves passing through you everywhere in the modern world – TV, radio and wireless network signals are bounced off the atmosphere or beamed to satellites every minute of every day. If you use a cell phone, you are transceiving a low-power microwave signal. It would be just as dangerous to stand in front of the magnetometer (the part of a microwave oven that produces microwave radiation) attached to a satellite dish for TV broadcast as it would be to stand next to an unshielded microwave oven. Fortunately, unshielded microwave ovens are not available in stores anywhere.

Cooking your food in any way will introduce free radicals, which are one of many causes of cancerous cell division. It is the same reason that smoking is bad for you.

The reason I don’t own a microwave is because it seems like an extraneous appliance. My stove and oven already do what a microwave can do, so why do I need one more thing taking up space and electricity in my home?

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Brooke August 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I have been without a microwave (by choice) for two months. I’m so happy to be without. I use my rice cooker (slow cooker) extensively and my new toaster oven. As it is just myself, it makes it much easier no doubt. I’m doing Weight Watchers and it has led me to stay away from frozen entrees etc. That helps cut down on salt etc. I am happy to be without.

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Dunkin Well May 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Proof? Here’s a test: microwave a pot of water. Then, get a plant + water it using the microwaved water. At the same time use water (microwave free) and water an identical plant. Come back and post in 2 weeks.

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