MOMMY, PLEASE STOP MICROWAVING MY FOOD!
by Gary Wade 12/30/01
The microwave oven has become a common appliance in our homes, restaurants, and work place. It is a fast and convenient way to warm up and cook foods and heat liquids. However, of all the tens of millions of people who regularly use the microwave ovens in the U.S. probably far less than one percent have any understanding of what is being done to their food and their long-term health by the regular use of microwave ovens. Being a physicist, I would like to clue you in on some of the things microwave cooking and heating up is really doing to your food and why it is so potentially dangerous to you and particularly infants.
Microwave heating of food is fundamentally different then flame or electric element heating. With flame or electric element cooking on a stove, random ultra high frequency mechanical vibrations and ultra high frequency electromagnetic energy (infrared light) are imparted to the food, raising the food vibratory energy content (heating it up). This type of heating is essentially a diffusion type of process whereby the ultra high frequency random vibrations slowly diffuse their way from the food surface into the interior. Of coarse this cooking process degrades and or destroys many of the essential chemical structures found in food, which we need in adequate amounts to live and be healthy. This is why raw foods are obviously best for you. However, I doubt we are going to give up our favorite cooked foods. Are we? We are the only animal on the planet that cooks its food and this probably is one of the main reasons we do not live out our full, apparently genetically programmed life span of approximately 120 years.
In microwave heating, the heating takes place in a more simultaneous fashion throughout the volume of the food. It is not strictly a diffusion of heat from the surface into the interior process. Instead the heat (ultra high frequency random mechanical vibrations) is generated by the ultra high frequency electric fields of the microwaves exerting forces on charged particle structures in the food. These charged particle structures being driven back and forth by the ultra high frequency electric fields of the microwaves, collide with adjacent molecules and heat the food. The dominate charged particle structure in most foods is the water molecule. The water molecule has effectively a dipole charge structure (two poles, one positive and one negative) which interacts strongly with the electric fields of the microwaves. The water-microwave electric field interaction does the great bulk of the heating of the food. The end result of heating food by this water-microwave interaction is essentially equivalent to regular flame heating.
However, there is another particular charged particle structure in many foods, which reacts strongly with microwaves. This structure is the hydrogen bond. The hydrogen bonds are weak in comparison to regular chemical bonds and are easily disrupted and destroyed by the normal method of prolonged heating called cooking. However, hydrogen bonds can be disrupted and or destroyed relatively quickly in a microwave field of adequate intensity, such as a microwave oven. This is do to the physical structure of the hydrogen bond, which is a hydrogen atom placed between two non hydrogen atoms where the hydrogen atom shares its single electron with the two other atoms and thereby bonds all three atoms together. A hydrogen atom consists of a single positively charged proton with a single negatively charged electron orbiting that proton. In the hydrogen bond configuration the proton is poorly shielded by its electron from the microwave electric fields and is relatively easily dislodged, breaking the hydrogen bond.
The significance of this is that all chemical compound structures in your food that contain hydrogen bonds can have these bonds damaged by microwave ovens. Furthermore, this disrupted hydrogen bond can reform into another hydrogen bond between another two atoms which is undesirable. Many of these hydrogen bond containing chemical structures would normally, in the coarse of normal digestion be absorbed into the body and incorporated hydrogen bonds and all into our living biochemical Ė electrical system. Many of these hydrogen bond containing chemical structures are essential for the proper functioning of our bodies. We must either obtain them from food or make them ourselves. However, sometimes we can not make them our self or not in adequate amounts and we must therefor obtain them from our food. An excellent example is the anti bodies in motherís breast milk. These anti bodies are protein structures each held in its particular shape or form by hydrogen bonding. If these hydrogen bonds are rearranged or broken by mom warming up her breast milk in the microwave oven, the anti bodies are useless. These anti bodies from motherís milk protect the infant from all the diseases that mom has immunity from and adds general strength to the infants immune system. Pity the poor infant that is not feed breast milk and has the vastly inferior industrial manufactured baby formula warmed up in the microwave oven by mommy.
There are also oxidative reactions, which are accelerated by the use of microwave ovens, which significantly degrade your food. In my opinion, if you love yourself and your children, I advise you to use your microwave oven only to heat up pure water or as land fill.
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