i'm of the opinion that using a microwave destroys the whole point of buying good-quality healthy food, due to the major loss of nutrients. (a double whammy especially when our food is being grown in such nutrient-depleted soils already!) there are a host of other ways to cook that don't necessitate as much nutrient loss.
so whenever i hear of a paleo using a microwave, i'm baffled.
how do you justify using a microwave, despite the health concerns? Any thoughts? I'm open to hearing different perspectives. Maybe microwaves aren't nearly as bad as they're made out to be? Personally, i would use it to disinfect a dishcloth or heat up water for non-food related things, but never something that will go in my body. not even for tea.
There are many concerns with microwave ovens, among them:
* Carcinogenic toxins could be leached from plastic or paper plates or covers and mix with your food. * The food temperature may become extremely hot, at temperatures high enough to cause burns or steam buildup that could explode--this is especially problematic for baby bottles, and is one of the reasons why baby bottles should never be heated in the microwave (microwaving can also break down the disease-fighting ability of breast milk). * Vegetables and other food lose valuable, cancer-fighting nutrients when cooked in the microwave. * The chemical structure of foods changes when microwaved, with unknown consequences.
There have been very few studies done to determine what kinds of changes occur in foods that are microwaved, but rest assured the changes are significant.
Consider the 1991 lawsuit involving a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. Blood is routinely warmed before transfusions, but not by microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman.
Microwave cooking vibrates the molecules in your food to levels they were never designed to experience. This tends to damage the highly perishable nutrients so they are unable to nourish you the way they were designed to.
A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli "zapped" in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of the beneficial antioxidant chemicals it contains. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.
Besides the loss of nutrients, microwaving forms new compounds (radiolytic compounds) that are unknown to humans and nature. It‘s not yet known exactly what these compounds do in the human body. It will likely be a difficult thing to sort out, especially when there are previously unknown compounds being introduced to humans from a variety of sources such as new food products (i.e., olestra) and genetically modified foods.
Perhaps the most concrete evidence of the dangers of microwaves comes from Dr. Hans Hertel, a Swiss food scientist, who carried out a small but high-quality study on the effects of microwaved food on humans. His conclusions were clear and alarming: microwave cooking significantly altered the food‘s nutrients enough so that changes occurred in the particpants‘ blood--changes that suggested deterioration. The changes included:
* Increased cholesterol levels * More leukocytes, or white blood cells, which can suggest poisoning * Decreased numbers of red blood cells * Production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature) * Decreased hemoglobin levels, which could indicate anemic tendencies