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Friday, April 25, 2008

To Microwave or NOT to Microwave

I'm back dating this post so that the most exciting (to me) information is available first.

So, I just had to respond to a comment in my blog about the post in which I shared my joy over finally being rid of the microwave I've felt iffy about for quite a while. I totally respect my dear friend, but just have to share more information about this issue because I think most people would not look for it themselves. And being the "teacher personality" I am, according to Myers-Briggs personality tests, I just HAVE to share what I know. Anyway....

Before I move to the information I'm sharing, I want to state that I acknowledge that toaster ovens must, certainly, be used with caution and care. I think that goes without saying, really, because it's like a contained fire on the counter. While there is potential for physical danger in using toaster ovens, I would, honestly, rather accept responsiblity for using my toaster oven responsibly than accept responsiblity for increasing or causing illness and perhaps, in the extreme, genetic changes in my children/family through use of microwave oven to prepare and/or reheat our food. Once again, I do not disagree that there is the potential for problems with toaster ovens. I accept, fully, that the information available on those problems is plentiful... but the information available regarding cow's milk and it's perported benefits is widely and readily available... but that doesn't mean that information is an accurate representation of reality! Iuse this change of subject as an example of widely available information versus information more difficult to come by. The article I found to share bits from was really easy to find, but when I first read about potential problems with microwave cooking I came across the subject through really obscure and unrelated research reading.

Okay, I'm drawing my information from an easy-to-find article about this subject by Anthony Wayne and Lawrence Newell called "The Hidden Hazards Of Microwave Cooking." You can find the complete article at http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm

(I finished this at 1230am on Sat. 4-26... I don't like misrepresenting my post by backdating, but I really didn't want it ahead of the other entry!)

Beyond this point, all info is QUOTED DIRECTLY from the above named article!

Microwaves unsafe for baby's milk
A number of warnings have been made public, but have been barely noticed. For example, Young Families, the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota, published the following in 1989:

"Although microwaves heat food quickly, they are not recommended for heating a baby's bottle. The bottle may seem cool to the touch, but the liquid inside may become extremely hot and could burn the baby's mouth and throat.

Also, the buildup of steam in a closed container, such as a baby bottle, could cause it to explode. Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins.

In expressed breast milk, some protective properties may be destroyed. Warming a bottle by holding it under tap water, or by setting it in a bowl of warm water, then testing it on your wrist before feeding may take a few minutes longer, but it is much safer."

Dr. Lita Lee of Hawaii reported in the December 9, 1989 Lancet:
"Microwaving baby formulas converted certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic cis-isomers. Synthetic isomers, whether cis-amino acids or trans-fatty acids, are not biologically active.

Further, one of the amino acids, L-proline, was converted to its d-isomer, which is known to be neurotoxic (poisonous to the nervous system) and nephrotoxic (poisonous to the kidneys). It's bad enough that many babies are not nursed, but now they are given fake milk (baby formula) made even more toxic via microwaving."

Microwaved blood kills patient
In 1991, there was a lawsuit in Oklahoma concerning the hospital use of a microwave oven to warm blood needed in a transfusion. The case involved a hip surgery patient, Norma Levitt, who died from a simple blood transfusion.

It seems the nurse had warmed the blood in a microwave oven. This tragedy makes it very apparent that there's much more to "heating" with microwaves than we've been led to believe. Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed, but not in microwave ovens. In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood and it killed her.

It's very obvious that this form of microwave radiation "heating" does something to the substances it heats. It's also becoming quite apparent that people who process food in a microwave oven are also ingesting these "unknowns".

Because the body is electrochemical in nature, any force that disrupts or changes human electrochemical events will affect the physiology of the body. This is further described in Robert O. Becker's book, The Body Electric, and in Ellen Sugarman's book, Warning, the Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health.

Carcinogens in microwaved food
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.

Further research summarized in this article reveal that microwave ovens are far more harmful than previously imagined.

The following is a summary of the Russian investigations published by the Atlantis Raising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon. Carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested.
No test food was subjected to more microwaving than necessary to accomplish the purpose, i.e., cooking, thawing, or heating to insure sanitary ingestion. Here's a summary of some of the results:

Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to insure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen. Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens. Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances. Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens. Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables. Decrease in nutritional value Russian researchers also reported a marked acceleration of structural degradation leading to a decreased food value of 60 to 90% in all foods tested. Among the changes observed were: Deceased bio-availability of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics factors in all food tested. Various kinds of damaged to many plant substances, such as alkaloids, glucosides, galactosides and nitrilosides. The degradation of nucleo-proteins in meats.

Microwave sickness is discovered
The Russians did research on thousands of workers who had been exposed to microwaves during the development of radar in the 1950's. Their research showed health problems so serious that the Russians set strict limits of 10 microwatts exposure for workers and one microwatt for civilians.

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." On page 314, Becker states:

"It's [Microwave sickness] first signs are low blood pressure and slow pulse. The later and most common manifestations are chronic excitation of the sympathetic nervous system [stress syndrome] and high blood pressure.

This phase also often includes headache, dizziness, eye pain, sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, stomach pain, nervous tension, inability to concentrate, hair loss, plus an increased incidence of appendicitis, cataracts, reproductive problems, and cancer.

The chronic symptoms are eventually succeeded by crisis of adrenal exhaustion and ischemic heart disease [the blockage of coronary arteries and heart attacks]."

According to Dr. Lee, changes are observed in the blood chemistries and the rates of certain diseases among consumers of microwaved foods. The symptoms above can easily be caused by the observations shown below. The following is a sample of these changes:

Lymphatic disorders were observed, leading to decreased ability to prevent certain types of cancers.

An increased rate of cancer cell formation was observed in the blood. Increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers were observed. Higher rates of digestive disorders and a gradual breakdown of the systems of elimination were observed.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

I'm sorry that you thought my comment was meant to keep you microwaving! I was mearly concerned with your use of the toaster oven and wanted to warn you of the dangers. I've probably told you before that one of my biggest fears is a house fire so I just worry about these things. I'm sure it is fine to use as long as you unplug it when you are done.

As for the debate, I do use my microwave for some things but I do most of my reheating on the stove or in the oven. Anything you could do with a microwave, you could do with your stove and oven and plus it usually tastes better too. I never use the microwave to heat up formula and I don't microwave things on or in plastic. I use glass or stone. I use my microwave with these precautions and choose not to worry about it beyond that. This life is all about making the choices YOU think are best for YOUR family! We make hundreds if not thousands of choices everyday and all of them carry some kind of risk. We have to constantly weigh the risks and do what we feel is best for ourselves and our families. I believe articles and "research" can often be misleading. How else do you explain that you can find numerous articles and "research results" supporting two completely opposite view points? This is confusing for me so I always fall back on my motherly instincts. I learn about things and then make the call.

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