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Why I quit my microwave
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A few months ago, I quit my microwave (well, it quit me really). I had previously heard about the dangers of microwaves, mainly the fact that it emits radiation. I became increasingly worried about using my microwave. Finally, one day I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted a microwave in my home. I no longer wanted my family exposed to unnecessary radiation or other toxins (I was unaware of all the dangers at this point).
Not long after I made that decision, my microwave stopped working, ha! It continued to ‘work’, but it no longer did the job it was designed to do – it ceased heating my food.
I thought this was kind of funny (the timing) and I was also relieved. I had been thinking that I didn’t want to throw out a ‘perfectly good’ microwave but I also didn’t want to give it away or sell it either (knowing some of the associated dangers).
After some research, I discovered more potential dangers of microwaves. Although, it has been suggested that more research must be done in order to confirm the dangers of microwaves. Here is what I found:
Microwaves alter nutrients in our food
I think most people are aware (and have been aware for some time) that it is not safe to heat breast milk or formula in the microwave. However, there are additional concerns that many people may not be aware of.
In 1989, the University of Minnesota announced that if breast milk is heated in the microwave that some protective properties of the breast milk may be destroyed. This finding just about defeats the purpose of giving your child breast milk (besides the other obvious advantages of bonding and saving money). In 1992, the journal Pediatrics published a study that concluded the above findings and, in addition, found that heating breast milk in the microwave can produce harmful bacteria. Furthermore, they concluded that when infant formula is heated in the microwave, it may lose some of its vitamins (source).
Microwaves alter our blood
In 1991, a woman named Norma Levitt from Oklahoma died after having surgery and receiving a blood transfusion using blood that was heated in a microwave (source).
Furthermore, Hans Hertel, a scientist from Switzerland, conducted a study (unsure of the year) and found that participant’s blood samples, taken after they ate food that was heated in a microwave, showed a decrease in white blood cells.
Other dangers of microwaves
- Microwaves can weaken cell membranes. Consequently, the natural repair mechanisms are repressed and the cells become more prone to viruses, fungi and other micro-organisms (source).
- In addition, microwave radiation destroys the molecules in our food and forms new compounds that are unnatural and unknown to man (source).
- Lastly, radiation can produce free radicals in the body. Free radicals are known for triggering cancer.
What other sources produce electromagnetic radiation?
Unfortunately these days, it is impossible to escape electromagnetic radiation. It is everywhere! Sources of low-frequency radiation include microwaves, cell phones, cordless telephones, computers, power lines, fitness tracking devices to name a few, as well as med-high frequency radiation sources such as ultraviolet waves, x-rays, and gamma rays (source).
Low-frequency radiation comes from non-iodized sources and is thought to be generally safe. Nick Tumminello of skepticink.com concluded that properly working microwaves do not emit harmful levels of radiation and claims that they cause cancer, damage human reproductive, nervous or immune system are unsubstantiated. He further concludes there is no evidence to support that microwave cooking changes the structure of food (source).
Make up your own mind
I feel that any potential exposure to radiation, or possibility of altering our food in any way (any further than it is already), or possibility of triggering cancer is of concern to me – any amount or any chance at all. Moreover, contrary evidence (as discussed above) is influenced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Personally, I don’t trust the FDA because the FDA is backed by large corporations who sell the very things that the FDA is meant to evaluate (the safety of) and regulate. However, I urge you to do your own research, read Nick Tumminello’s account of the dangers of microwaves and decide for yourself.
What about cellphone and computers?
I know, right? It’s impossible to get away from electronics these days and, well most of us don’t want to, or we can’t because our livelihood depends on it. You have three options here:
- One option is to minimize the amount of radiation that you are exposed to (by eliminating unnecessary conveniences such as microwaves).
- Another option is to try and keep your electronic devices as far away from your body as possible, i.e. use your speakerphone and use a mouse with your laptop.
- Finally, you could get a defendershield. Now, frankly I don’t know own one of these and I don’t know a lot about them (or their effectiveness) except that they are meant to shield you from electromagnetic radiation (cell phones, computers).
Living without a microwave
Now, maybe you’ve already decided that you don’t want your microwave but you wonder how you are going to get by without it. I’m sure you are wondering how you are going to manage without the convenience of heating your food in a few minutes, especially when you are already so busy.
Trust me, I get it. I wondered the same thing. But don’t worry, it’s easier than you think and you won’t miss it much once you get used to going without it.
Quick and cost-efficient methods for re-heating food
Consider placing your food in a pot and heating it on your stovetop (you know, like old times ;)). Alternatively, you can purchase (or you might already have one) a toaster oven to re-heat your food (I love my toaster oven); this option is much less costly than turning on your oven.
Both methods only take 5-10 minutes. The stovetop method takes about 5-10 minutes, while the toaster oven method only takes 5 minutes. Five to ten minutes is not a lot of time to spare for the health of you and your family. It’s a decision I don’t regret at all.
Please share if you know someone who would find this useful. Thanks! 🙂
Do you know of any other dangers of microwaves? What are your thoughts about this? Share your comments below.
Be happy, stay healthy! 🙂