Is Your Microwave Cooking More Than Your Food?

This information below comes from Tom Valentine, an author, and Dr. Joseph Mercola. Unfortunately, only Dr. Mercola’s website is still in existence.

According to Tom Valentine, in May of 1989 there was a radio announcement sponsored by Young Families, the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota that said: “Although microwaves heat food quickly, they are not recommended for heating a baby’s bottle…. 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.”

Valentine goes on to report that in 1991, word leaked out about a lawsuit in Oklahoma. A woman named Norma Levitt had hip surgery, only to be killed by a simple blood transfusion when a nurse “warmed the blood for the transfusion in a microwave oven.” (Journal of Natural Science, 1998; Vol. 1 pages 2-7) Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed, but not in microwave ovens! In the case of Mrs. Levitt, the micro-waving altered the blood and it killed her.

In the Journal Pediatrics (Vol. 89, No. 4, April 1992), there appeared an article entitled “Effects of Microwave Radiation on Anti-infective Factors in Human Milk” by Richard Quan MD from Dallas, Texas and John A. Kerner MD, from Stanford. Dr. Kerner was quoted in an article summarizing that research, which appeared in the April 25, 1992 issue of Science News.

“Women who work outside the home can express and store breast milk for feedings when they are away. But parents and caregivers should be careful how they warm this milk. A new study shows that microwaving human milk — even at a low setting — can destroy some of its important disease-fighting capabilities

“Breast milk can be refrigerated safely for a few days or frozen for up to a month; however, studies have shown that heating the milk well above body temperature can break down not only its antibodies to infectious agents, but also the bacteria-digesting enzymes. So, when pediatrician John A. Kerner Jr. witnessed neonatal nurses routinely thawing or reheating breast milk with the microwave oven in their lounge, he became concerned.

“In the April journal, Pediatrics (Part I), he and his Stanford University co-workers reported finding that compared to unheated breast milk, microwaved milk lost bacteria-digesting activity, lost antibodies and encouraged the growth of more potentially disease-causing bacteria. Milk heated at a high setting lost nearly all of its antibodies, the agents that fend off invading germs.

“What really surprised him, Kerner says, was finding some loss of anti-infective properties in the milk microwaved at a low setting. Adverse changes at such low temperatures suggest ‘microwaving itself may in fact cause some injury to the milk above and beyond the heating,’ he said.”

The most significant study on microwaved food was done in Switzerland in 1992 by Dr. Hans Hertel, a Swiss food scientist. He was also a participant in the study, which included 7 others. All of whom stayed within the same hotel on the same macrobiotic diet for 8 weeks with no smoking, drinking or other consumption of food. The blood of the participants was tested before consuming anything and after consuming each type of food tested: raw food, cooked food and microwaved food.

Food from the microwave oven caused abnormal changes, representing stress, to occur in the blood of all the test individuals. But the same foods cooked conventionally did not generate abnormal changes. Hertel pointed out that these changes were typical of the beginnings of such chronic metabolic diseases as cancer and heart disease. In particular, Hertel discovered that microwaving food:

* Increased bad cholesterol levels,
* Decreased the numbers of red blood cells carrying oxygen,
* Decreased the amount of hemoglobin, the substance in the blood that carried oxygen, and
* Produced compounds created by radiation unknown in nature.

Hertel believes his study suggests that cholesterol may rapidly increase in the blood due to stress. He added, “Blood cholesterol levels are less influenced by the cholesterol content of food than by stress factors. Such stress-causing factors can occur in foods which contain no cholesterol — the microwaved vegetables.” In other words, eating good raw butter may not raise cholesterol levels in a healthy person as much as eating organic vegetables cooked in a microwave.

Test results were consistently on the lower range of normal in those who were tested following the eating of the microwaved samples showing anemic tendencies. The situation became even more pronounced during the second month of the study. And along with the decreasing blood values was an increase in bad cholesterol. “We can only imagine the pronounced negative changes that might occur in the blood streams of people who consume various microwaved foods day in and day out,” Hertel said.

This is not so surprising considering that the way microwaves heat food. Electromagnetic force is used to alternate the magnetic orientation of the water molecules one billion times per second or more. It is this furious action that causes the water to heat up. It also changes the nature of the substances involved.

In an October 1994 letter about the ill effects of microwaving food, Hertel said:

“I always marvel at people who know that microwaves are hazardous to life, but still use them. That goes for you, too. So why do you ask this question [about whether your illness was created or worsened by microwaved food]? Is it because you are still looking for arguments to continue using the microwave? [The study results on microwaved food] are hard facts, aren’t they? But I have already answered dozens of such letters from mothers using microwave ovens to heat baby food for their babies, which had already contracted leukemia, but the mothers were still not prepared to refrain from using these deadly ovens because they are so practical and convenient, as they claim.

“If you, dear friend, love your body and your life, then stop it….”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

ken March 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

but try and convince even your own wife who insists on using a microwave oven because it is CONVENIENT and the ” rest of the herd ” also uses them ! —- Lots of luck !


Peter Glickman March 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Have her read the article. Perhaps she’ll give up using it to boil water, but keep using it for popcorn. Don’t just give up.


Christina Banko March 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Thank you so much for this article. I have known for a long time that microwaving food was bad, killing nutrients. But, I had no idea to what extent the damage that could be done. I will be sharing this information with many people, hoping we can all make more necessary changes in our lifestyle.


Bennie Summers March 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for this article. While i have been concerned only in the containers I use when
microwaving food such as styrofoam, plastic saran wrap, etc., I had no idea that my
cholesterol level may be effected by microwaving my food,(even occasionally). This may
be what I need to control my colesterol. I have already changed my food selection and
exercising. I will stop using the microwave and use the old trusted oven.


Colette Cazabon March 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks for justifying and strengthning my belief. I have know this for a long time and I still use the microwave on occasions. I think I’ll just get rid of it completely… this way I won’t be tempted to use it. The hardest times will be at work when we only have a short time for lunch.
Keep up your good work… I really like your articles.


Claudia Perez Silva May 2, 2012 at 6:59 am

I always have known this, and yet I have been too busy to give up the quick melting of butter for baking and heating the occasional old left overs, etc. I should be ashamed. I can “taste” the difference and I feel horrible after I eat microwaved food. And I use it very OCCASIONALLY. I pride myself on cooking with fresh ingredients. I can’t imagine children of school age, being left to fend for themselves and cooking a large percentage of microwaved food! No wonder we have high obesity rate in the USA. This coupled with the fact people already choose unhealthy foods to begin with, high carb and high sugar diets! Etc! :(


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