Author Topic: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?  (Read 18126 times)

Offline WithLoveAndJoy

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2006, 05:40:43 AM »
I know....I am REALLY bummed out now.
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Offline Grace

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2006, 05:44:45 AM »
I read all this and thought "I don't use my microwave very much,m but I will try to stop using it at all". Then I went about my day and realized how MUCH I do use it. Warm up 2 year olds milk in sippy cup. Make hot drink. .......Wow. But thanks everyone for the info. I think I will talk to hubby about getting rid of it. One thing I can't figure out. I always microwave corn tortillas when we are having tacos. How can I do that, make them soft, another way???
DD's 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 and DS born 7/6/08!

Offline mexmarr

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2006, 05:54:43 AM »
On a griddle or in a frying panon medium heat.  Flip several times.  Remove before they crisp, and wrap in a kitchen towel whil you are finishing the others.  You don't need oil.  This is how the Mexicans do it.  We often did it on a griddle over a fire.

Offline a_new_creation

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2006, 06:03:35 AM »
It really is not a big deal to get rid of it.  We stopped using it just before dd was born and she is almost 2.  We do not miss it, but there are some things that help w/ the adjustment.  BTW, food tastes better when it is not microwaved (besides being healthier)!

1.  Store your leftovers (and food in general) in glass Pyrex containers, not plastic.  We have built up a large collection of glass "Tupperware" type containers w/ blue lids.  You can find these at Wal-mart.  When it is time to reheat leftovers or whatever, you can just pop it in the oven or the toaster oven.  Some things may need some foil over the top to keep it from drying out.  This is OK as long as the foil is not touching the food.  Even if you don't stop using the microwave, this is a good idea as you avoid that whole melting plastic into your food issue. :)
2.  Get a toaster oven.  We use ours at least twice a day.  To melt butter, measure it out into a small glass bowl (like the chefs use on the cooking shows for their ingredients -- it'll make you feel like a pro!) and then set it in the toaster oven for a couple minutes on 200.  Takes very little time at all.
3.  Reheat soups in a pot on the stove.  This is faster than a m/w.
4.  Use a tea kettle to boil water for hot drinks.
5.  A hot air popper for popcorn can be found for a buck or 2 at Goodwill usually.  My dc love to watch it!
6.  *Change your mindset* -- you can wait a few more minutes for healtheir food!  Though it is actually easier/faster to reheat larger quantities of food in the oven than 1 plate at a time in the m/w.

This is all I can think of for now.  YOU CAN DO IT!!! :)

P.S.  I put tortillas on a plate, cover w/ a slightly damp dish towel and put in a warm oven.  This is how I defrost/heat them as they are frozen.
Carla
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Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2006, 06:53:38 AM »
I have heard very negative things about microwaves.  I have heard that there is an experiment you can do that would convince even the biggest fan of the microwave to never use it again...

Get two identical plants.  Make everything equal, place them in the same area, etc.  Water one with tap water and the other with cooled microwaved water.  One will shortly die...can you guess which one?  You can do this with seeds also.

I have wanted to do this experiment for a long time just to see for myself, but I guess I'm just lazy.  One of these days...Anyone want to try? :)

My boys did this experiment with seeds and each one sprouted exactly the same. We tossed them out at that point, but maybe if we would have tried growing them and continued to water with microwaved water, there would have been a bigger difference. Anyone who tries it, let us know what happens!

Offline mrsroeser

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2006, 07:19:15 AM »
My mother used to microwave my breastmilk for my son when he was an infant.  I knew she shouldn't be doing it but I didn't want to start world war three because I knew she wouldn't understand what it means to change the molecular composition.  She continued to do it even after I asked her not to.. I just let it go... She watches my son while I work 4 days a week.  Do you think my son is harmed by this???  I can't stop  thinking about it!  :(

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2006, 09:04:33 AM »
I appreciate all the info that you ladies are giving on the microwaves.  I had read in the past that they were bad and that you should switch to a toaster oven, but have never used one before so I didn't want to bother.  I only use it sparingly for defrosting things here and there, for quick left over warm ups, and for the infamous butter melting.  But I have actually been doing a new butter melting technique that when you warm your oven up, my counter top on my stove gets hot, so I just leave it on the stove, in a bowl, and it melts within 10 min.  I suppose I will be donating my microwave to someone soon and looking into a toaster oven or just nothing at all.
Thanks for all the research everyone.

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2006, 09:08:06 AM »
Been living happily without a microwave for 10 years.  I hate them.  Won't even stand near one if it's on, even though my father (an engineer) assures me that I am being ridiculous and that it is not harmful.  

Mostly, it's a texture thing for me.  I like crunchy (toasted) and not soggy soft. Ewww!  Plus the fact that it renders your food nutritionless (is that a word?) and tasteless and the uneven heating... the "cons" definitely outweight the "pros" for me.
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Offline kamom

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2006, 09:55:39 AM »
  We also got the alarming email about the article where one plant died from microwaved water.....SO.....my SIL tried it and both plants are doing well after about 5 wks,if anything she says the microwaved water one is doing better :-\ ;D.....  So lets not get carried away..... ;D ;D

Offline musicmommy

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2006, 10:01:00 AM »
Just a little tidbit...In my attempt NOT to use my microwave, I started just sticking it on the burner or in the oven.  I blew up two heat sensitive glass containers recently.  Scared me and my husband so much!

Live and learn, though. My Lesson: always make sure the bowl, pitcher, plate can take heat and cold. :)  Just thought I'd pass it on. ;D

Offline WithLoveAndJoy

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2006, 10:02:04 AM »
An excellent glass dish that is heat tempered is Pyrex....they make all sorts of sizes of glass bakeware.
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Offline mishy

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2006, 12:04:59 PM »
My mother used to microwave my breastmilk for my son when he was an infant.  I knew she shouldn't be doing it but I didn't want to start world war three because I knew she wouldn't understand what it means to change the molecular composition.  She continued to do it even after I asked her not to.. I just let it go... She watches my son while I work 4 days a week.  Do you think my son is harmed by this???  I can't stop  thinking about it!  :(

I would worry about it. 

Offline mama star

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2006, 12:08:24 PM »
An excellent glass dish that is heat tempered is Pyrex....they make all sorts of sizes of glass bakeware.

We got rid of our microwave a few months back and hardly miss it at all! I just started using those pirex glass containers with the blue lids. :)
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Offline rustysmaus

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2006, 03:24:48 PM »


This just proves you're eating virtually dead food.  I already knew that and I'm trying to make the switch, but sometimes leftovers aren't that easy to reheat without one.  Hubby won't let me just throw it out so we HAVE to figure out another way, but I'm working on it.


Have the kids bake their own baked potatos in the microwave. One of them is bound to put a tiny potato in for 25 minutes. That's what happened to ours. Never could get the nasty smoke smell out, and after all we had read about the bad effects of microwaves, we had no desire to replace it. It did take a LOT of getting used to. DH was especially frustrated with reheating leftovers, but even he wouldn't go back to microwaving now. He even has a hot plate at work to warm his lunch when he takes it.
~Laurie
« Last Edit: September 20, 2006, 03:26:51 PM by rustysmaus »

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2006, 03:59:11 PM »
Anyone have a recommendation for a  good brand of toaster oven?  I looked at some at Big Lots tonight and they averaged about $25.00 

Offline Amey

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2006, 05:15:10 PM »
Anyone have a recommendation for a  good brand of toaster oven?  I looked at some at Big Lots tonight and they averaged about $25.00 

Here is a link to the toaster oven we bought last year:
http://www.ekitchengadgets.com/de11cuftcoov.html

It is not cheap, but it does cost less now than when we bought it. We looked for a long time at toaster ovens, and we decided on this one for the following reasons:
1. It's big enough to put one of our regular dinner plates in for rewarming
2. I liked that it had a dehydrate function, in case I ever get my rear in gear and do some of our own dried fruit.  ::)
3. It has two racks, so you can actually reheat A LOT of stuff at one time.
4. You can also rotisserie roast a chicken in this, which my husband liked the idea of doing; however, we have not done that yet.

We have had this oven since June or July 2005 and I still really like it. I use it every day. The only thing about it that bothers me is that the top rack occasionally slips out of its "track" (I guess the rack is slightly too small). I just have to be careful if I'm heating something heavy in it. We decided to spend the extra $ on this item because it was replacing a major kitchen appliance, and we felt it was important to get something that would be fairly "convenient" for heating up leftovers, which is why we wanted one big enough to hold a dinner plate.

Offline sonia

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2006, 05:49:47 PM »
That deal about the microwaved water killing plants is apparently an urban rumor. See:
http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp

If anyone can provide real data about the change in molecular structure of microwaved foods, I would be very interested.

Sonia

Offline miff aka Missi

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2006, 06:07:53 PM »
I asked my husband about the safety of using microwaves at dinner tonight.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  He said they are safer than being around the high-voltage lines hanging on the lines outside.  I am not sure about them though.  I would like more info too.

Missi

Offline rustysmaus

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2006, 07:24:30 PM »
The reason I have been given for the danger of microwaves is that they super-heat the fats and proteins in foods, causing damage to them and creating free radicals. I think I read about it on the Weton A. Price website.
~Laurie

Offline cjanderin

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2006, 07:39:18 PM »
My DH also had an opinion on the microwave debate.  He says for the plant experiment to be credible you would also have to compare the microwaved water with cooled boiled water (from a jug or over a fire) and give it to another plant.  That way you are comparing boiled water (from a microwave) to boiled water (from a jug or fire).

quote author=miff link=topic=2344.msg21001#msg21001 date=1158811673]
I asked my husband about the safety of using microwaves at dinner tonight. He looked at me like I was crazy. He said they are safer than being around the high-voltage lines hanging on the lines outside. I am not sure about them though. I would like more info too.

High voltage lines nearby are MUCH more dangerous for your health than microwaves.  DH also says that if you are concerned about radiation from microwaves you should also be looking at how close you are to power outlets in your house ... ie.  sleeping with your head next to an alarm clock or powerpoint.  AND ... cellphones - keeping them in your pocket, sleeping with them near your head etc etc :(

I am really pedantic about not letting hubby or the kids stand in front of the microwave - you are supposed to be at least a metre away from it when it's on.

ps - metre = meter   NZ vs US   ;D
Erin :)  Wifey to Chris and mummy to Marcail (10), Alex (8), Joel (6), Timothy (4), Zipporah (3) and Jeremiah (8months).

Offline OneMaster

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2006, 10:14:00 PM »
WOW! 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... ;D

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=1516

Molecular 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  ;D

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
"I am your sunny day, Mama!" Joey, age 2.

Offline miff aka Missi

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2006, 02:45:43 AM »
WOW! 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... ;D
First of all, so glad we could entertain you.  :D ;D

Secondly, thank you for the information.  This is the kind of info I was looking for. 

Missi

Offline Amey

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2006, 04:52:24 AM »
Here are the links to the technical information that my husband and I used when we decided to ditch the microwave.

http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards2.htm
http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm

You can see they are both from Dr. Mercola's website, which we have found is a very good source of information. I'm not sure what to make of his "Emotional Freedom Technique" (sounds a little hokey to me), though.  :)  As far as the convenience of a microwave - when I plan ahead even a little bit, I'm really not inconvenienced at all to not have one. If it somehow made things more difficult for me, I might be more willing to rethink this one. But it's such an easy thing to live without.

Offline Pennie

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2006, 05:17:17 AM »
 source of information. I'm not sure what to make of his "Emotional Freedom Technique" (sounds a little hokey to me), though. 
Quote
Sounds like voodoo to me.   :)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2006, 05:52:44 AM »
I've read the forumla story and the blood story too.  In both of these instances, there is obviously a problem, but I don't think it's radiation (correct me if I'm wrong).  It actually sounds more like heat to me.  Warm tap water isn't even boiling and when you warm the forumla (breastmilk) in the microwave, you get "hot spots" or boiling temps in some parts of the milk.  If you boiled this same milk on the stove, it would accomplish the same thing - dead milk.  When you heat something slowly, you have better control over the rise of the temp.  I'm guessing here, but I'd bet the same principal could have been applied to the blood.


My point ?  Well, my point is this, the microwave probably does kill your food, but not with radiation necessarily, but with uncontrolled high temperatures - but I'm only theorizing based on Miff's hubby's post and what I've read in the anti-microwave articles. 


« Last Edit: September 21, 2006, 05:54:30 AM by healthybratt »
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2006, 06:00:16 AM »
source of information. I'm not sure what to make of his "Emotional Freedom Technique" (sounds a little hokey to me), though. 
Quote
Sounds like voodoo to me.   :)
There's a lady in my coop who offers this in her clinic.   It's a repition behavior that includes tapping certain points on the body and chanting some key phrase.  It seemed very interesting but not something I found very substantial, of course I'm not convinced that acupuncture works either, but some people sware by it, so what do I know ???
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Offline seekingtruth

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2006, 06:37:04 AM »
Some one asked about convection ovens-

Convection ovens heat the same way a regular oven does, it just uses a fan to move the air and thus heat the food quicker and more evenly.  My standard oven has a convection feature and I am looking into getting a new, larger toaster oven and plan on getting one with a convection feature.  I does speed things up a little and you can often use a lower temperature. 

Hope that helps, Tammy

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2006, 12:48:35 PM »
My friends from Germany all use microwaves here, and there.

Offline petrimama

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2006, 03:37:30 PM »
WOW!
 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. 

First let me list my credentials:  NONE!   ;D  So, you don't have to take offense to my disagreeing with this because I am hardly qualified.  But, i'm a woman so of course I have an opinion. ;)  All I know is that when I used to use my microwave in the kitchen, the radio in the living room (through walls) would turn to static.  I tested it by starting/stopping, using different stations, etc.  Any explainations?      ~L

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Microwave Cooking: Toxic or Not?
« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2006, 04:00:00 PM »
All I know is that when I used to use my microwave in the kitchen, the radio in the living room (through walls) would turn to static.  I tested it by starting/stopping, using different stations, etc.  Any explainations?      ~L

My husband, who is an extremely intelligent and very good-looking electrician, says that electricity is not only very unpredictable, but is still an element that is not completely understood by science.  So, it is very understandable that you have one scientist-Dr. Mercola who has an opinion, which sounds to be true, and you have another scientist-Mr. One Master from above, which sounds like it is true. :)
He also says that inside a microwave is a frequency and a voltage that could be interfering with another appliance that is on or running. 

As for a Microwave being bad for your health, it is still scientifically up in the air.  Let me share a few examples:  The test that Mercola has on the one website listed above is kind of misleading.  It states that they tested the nutritional value of raw veggies vs. veggies cooked in a microwave, raw milk vs. milk in a microwave, etc.  Turns out that the food cooked in the microwave was not as healthy as the food in the raw.  Well, duh!!  We all know that food in the raw is superior to that which is cooked.  So, it technically does not prove that the food is bad because it is microwaved, but because it is cooked.  If they really wanted to prove microwaves were bad, they should have tested three subjects:  raw food, cooked on a stove, then cooked in a microwave.

You get much more radiation/ electromagnetic exposure from a cell phone or an airplane ride than from your microwave.
I suppose that each person could be deemed "correct" on their personal belief for a microwave, since there is not a lot of scientific evidence to back it up.  Even Mercola states this on his sight.  He is only guessing like the rest of us.
So those that have rid themselves of it have done their family justice.  Those of us who have one and do not have any desire to rid themselves of theirs have done the same.  Until science can prove without a shadow of a doubt, we will keep ours for occasional use.