Our home came with a microwave oven, but we never – and I repeat – NEVER use it.
If we have to heat something up, it goes in a pan or in the oven. In my opinion, it is unnatural and unsafe to heat food up using microwaves. Some studies have shown that microwaving destroys nutrients, breaks apart vital enzymes, and changes the chemical structure of the food. (Now, it is true that traditional cooking does this, to some extent, as well. Researchers are especially concerned because microwaves quickly and thoroughly degrade the food into non-bioavailable matter and turns the food into carcinogenic compounds. Read this article to find several international studies regarding the dangers of microwave cooking.) With that said, I would never – and I repeat – NEVER heat up anything in the microwave in a plastic container. I do not like the idea of radiating my food with microwaves, which are related to gamma and X-rays, nor the idea of those waves causing plastic containers to release deadly chemicals into my food.
In my opinion, the food that manufacturers make to put into microwaves are barely “food” to begin with, let alone as a finished, microwaved product that has been destroyed by radiation. Michelle’s sister works at a day care, and the majority of the kids are sent to school with nothing but microwaveable meals everyday – breakfast, lunch and snack: Chef Boy Ar Dee mini meals, TV dinners, Hot Pockets, you name it. They’re all laden with preservatives, Genetically Engineered products, added synthetic vitamins (to make it healthier!), MSG, sodium and over-processed ingredients. I saw it as a grocery manager: more and more people are relying more and more upon microwaved foods. Gross. And we wonder why we get sick, feel fatigued, need to eat more, and suffer from a host of symptoms, all known to result from toxic chemical exposure.
In case you need one more reason NOT to use microwaves, it turns out that the estrogen-copycat Bisphenol-A leeches from plastic bottles when placed in a microwave – even those labeled as “microwave safe”. Think of the poor infants who are being fed this way several times a day. The age of convenience and technology is poisoning our future. Read the following article for more:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger
Published November 17, 2008
Products marketed for infants or billed as “microwave safe” release toxic doses of the chemical bisphenol A when heated, an analysis by the Journal Sentinel has found.
The newspaper had the containers of 10 items tested in a lab – products that were heated in a microwave or conventional oven. Bisphenol A, or BPA, was found to be leaching from all of them.
The amounts detected were at levels that scientists have found cause neurological and developmental damage in laboratory animals. The problems include genital defects, behavioral changes and abnormal development of mammary glands. The changes to the mammary glands were identical to those observed in women at higher risk for breast cancer.
The newspaper’s test results raise new questions about the chemical and the safety of an entire inventory of plastic products labeled as “microwave safe.” BPA is a key ingredient in common household plastics, including baby bottles and storage containers. It has been found in 93% of Americans tested.
The newspaper tests also revealed that BPA, commonly thought to be found only in hard, clear plastic and in the lining of metal food cans, is present in frozen food trays, microwaveable soup containers and plastic baby food packaging.
Food companies advise parents worried about BPA to avoid microwaving food in plastic containers, especially those with the recycling No.&ensp7 stamped on the bottom.
But the Journal Sentinel’s testing found BPA leaching from containers with different recycling numbers, including Nos.&ensp1, 2 and 5.
“There is no such thing as safe microwaveable plastic,” said Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri researcher who oversaw the newspaper’s testing [emphasis mine].
The American Chemistry Council disputed the findings, saying publishing the results amounts to a “serious disservice by drawing a conclusion about product safety that simply cannot be drawn from either this study or the overall body of scientific research.”
Food company officials say the doses detected in the tests are so low that they are insignificant to human health.
“These levels are EXTREMELY low,” wrote John Faulkner, director of brand communications for Campbell Soup Co. Tests of the company’s Just Heat & Enjoy tomato soup showed its container leached some of the lowest levels of BPA found. “In fact, you might just be able to find similar levels in plain old tap water due to ‘background’ levels. We are talking 40 to 60 parts per trillion (ppt). What is 40 to 60 ppt? 40 to 60 seconds in 32,000 years!”
But the Journal Sentinel identified several peer-reviewed studies that found harm to animals at levels similar to those detected in the newspaper’s tests – in some cases, as low as 25 parts per trillion. Scientists with an expertise in BPA say the findings are cause for concern, especially considering how vulnerable a baby’s development is and how even tiny amounts of BPA can trigger cell damage.
Harm done during this critical window of development is irreparable and can be devastating, they say.
“This is stuff that shouldn’t be in our babies’ and infants’ bodies,” said Patricia Hunt, a professor at Washington State University who pioneered studies linking BPA to cancer.
Scientists say BPA and other chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system do not act like other toxins that become more potent as their doses increase. BPA behaves like a hormone. It mimics estrogen with effects that are ultra-potent. Even tiny amounts can trigger cell change.
[please read the entire posting at ewg.org]
Other posts re: BPA by Withonebreath:
“Microwave Water Kills Plants” For what it is worth, this is an experiment conducted by a child. Her finding was that the microwaved water killed her plant. This was only one plant and was not a double-blind experiment, so anything could have gone wrong. It’s likely that this was a fluke, but it is, nevertheless, an interesting experiment.