Microwave Ovens: Good or Bad?
Every once in a while I get asked about microwave ovens and whether they’re good or bad. My short answer, microwaves are bad news. I shun them because of the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) they emit.
The FDA has regulated the manufacture of these ovens since 1971 and says they’re safe to use. A federal standard limits the amount of microwave energy that can leak out of an oven and the FDA says the limit is far below the level known to be harmful and that your level of exposure to microwave energy drops dramatically as you move away from the oven. That hasn't been my experience.
On numerous occasions over the years, I’ve checked other people’s microwaves for leaks by using an inexpensive, handheld radiation meter. I get the same result every time: the meter goes wild. That's why no matter what the FDA says, it’s impossible for me to watch the meter and believe we're safe.
Here’s another reason I avoid microwave ovens: If you microwave water—or your coffee or tea—you create “dead liquid.” Informal experiments have shown that if you take two plants of the same age and species and, over a 7- to 10-day period, feed stove-boiled (and then cooled) water to one plant and microwaved (and then cooled) water to the other plant, the plant getting the microwaved water will die. To me, that’s not a good recommendation for using a microwave.
Other studies on microwaving tend to be equally discouraging. They have found that microwaving food—
- Breaks down vitamin B12 into inactive substances.
- Releases potentially toxic compounds from food packaging.
- Results in a loss of antioxidant compounds in vegetables and nutritional value in protein.
- Creates a high number of radiolytic compounds during the cooking process (these compounds are unnatural substances we know little about).
From all I’ve read, little is known about what possible effects may result from “officially” low levels of microwave exposure. I also know of no long-term studies that have been done because of the difficulty in simulating the conditions under which consumers use microwave ovens.
People have had alleged radiation injury from microwave ovens over the years, but the only injuries acknowledged by the FDA involved burns from hot food, splattering grease, or steam. I’d rather forego the convenience of a microwave oven for the satisfaction and taste of traditional cooking. Frankly, I value my food too much. Passing on the microwave is a no-brainer for me.
Now it’s your turn: What are your thoughts about microwave ovens?
You May Also Be Interested In:
Enjoy What You've Just Read?
Get it delivered to your inbox! Signup for E-News and you'll get great content like you've just read along with other great tips and guides for Dr. Sinatra!
Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra's Favorites
Doctor-recommended support for healthy cholesterol ratios, blood pressure & overall heart health
Refuel your cellular engines for efficient heart function
Strength, energy, endurance--get the targeted nutrient support a man needs most
Stay youthful, healthy, vibrant and balanced with nutrient support designed to meet a woman's needs