This was so entertaining I just had to hijack my wife's alias again (haven't done that since y'all asked about making wine)...And I figured you were mostly "Young" wives...
First I am compelled to give my credentials: (I honestly pray this does not come across as arrogant, as that is far from my intention)
I have a degree in physics (not English mind you as you read this) from a fine college.¬† I work for a company that makes the worlds most advanced electron microscope (<0.7 Angstroms resolution, a typical atom is about 2 angstroms in diameter).¬† We work with scientists all over the world on the leading frontiers of scientific discovery.
First of all, your microwave oven (MO) poses no greater threat to you or your food than any other form of heating and probably less in some cases
A MO exploits the magnetic dipole moment of water and fat molecules by using electromagnetic radiation to move the molecules around (kind of like the poles in an electric motor).¬† This motion is such that energy in the form of heat is absorbed by the food.¬† The bottom of your skillet does this by introducing your food to rapidly moving "fryingpan" atoms.¬† The electromagnetic waves do not change the water or fat molecules directly, although the heat generated may (more about this later) but this will be the case wherever the heat comes from (a heating element, propane, wood, etc.)
Let me address each of the concerns I encountered as I attempted to navigate the many tangential thoughts sprouted by this fruitful conversation (women are truely an amazing creation).Electromagnetic Radiation
EMR is nothing more than the propagation of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum at various frequencies and powers.¬ It can be quite dangerous in some cases (like a high powered laser on your skin) or perfectly harmless like the light from the ordinary light bulb in your house.¬ Microwaves in a MO are EMR with a frequency of about 2-3GHz and a power of about 1000 watts.¬ EMR follows a remarkable natural trait such that it can be contained or kept out by a simple faraday cage which is nothing more than a metal enclosure, solid or screen (which is why my cell phone never works in the bowels of Home Depot...).¬ Your MOs metal box (and screen on the door) keep the microwaves inside the oven.¬ It is not like there is a "radiation cloud" that can seep out a crack.¬ There is ZERO radiation (propigation of waves) present after the unit shuts off.¬ In fact, the microwaves from your MO are nearly undetectable outside the unit when it is running, let alone harmful.¬ They are much more detectable from your cell phone going right into your ear (also shown to be harmless so far).¬ Your are most likely safe even a few centimeters from the unit.¬ For more info visit http://rabi.phys.virginia.edu/HTW//page1.php?QNum=1516Molecular Modification
¬† As I mentioned earlier, the molecular changes that may take place are the result of the catalytic action of the heat introduced to your food.¬† This will take place no matter where the heat comes from.¬† The drawback of heat in food (regardless of the source) is harm done to vitamins and enzymes and the oxidation of fats (especially polyunsaturated fat).¬† Note that the saturated fat found in butter
is especially resilient to heat (although it is an art to soften the chocolate chip cookie butter in the microwave).¬† While a microwave oven (MO) is capable of generating high heat in the middle of food it is rarely enough heat to cause the kind of burning or charring found in say... a toaster oven
or grill.¬† This charring can sometimes cause the elements (especially carbon) in food to form some nasty substances which are carcinogens.¬† But before you toss your grill keep in mind that even molecules as essential to life as di-hydrogen oxide (AKA H20) can be harmful or fatal in excessive quantities¬† Heating Breastmilk (Other than yogurt and icecream forms)
¬† ¬†I would like to alleviate your worries
here.¬† "...Take no thought..." Matthew 6: 25-34...
The only potential dangers of heating breastmilk in a MO are hot spots that could burn the baby and nutritional degradation.¬† The hot spots can be avoided by careful stirring and testing, but a warm water bath (for the bottle!) is very effective and best for maintaining maximum nutrition in the milk.¬† There is no more danger here than any other form of heating.Enjoy the convenience of that microwave oven where you see fit and use all that saved time to enjoy your families!
For the full scoop on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on dipole molecules (including all the Greek) visit http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/microwave.html