Microwave ovens

microwave oven‘Nothing will bring you to your knees faster than eating food cooked in a microwave oven.’

These words, spoken by William Spear at a workshop I attended many years ago, are etched in my memory. I rate him as one of the top feng shui teachers in the world, not just because of his immense knowledge and experience but because he also understands the energetic aspects of feng shui and applies them in his life.

I had never liked microwave food before I heard this comment but admit I sometimes turned a blind eye to it when travelling, knowing that a restaurant couldn’t possibly have turned out a meal so quickly by normal methods, but what the heck, you gotta eat. I then did some in-depth research and can honestly say, after what I found out, that I’ve never knowingly eaten microwaved food again. When we moved into our new home last year, one of the first things we did was to rip out the state-of-the-art microwave oven from the kitchen and throw it away.

According to some sources, microwave cooking was first developed by the Nazis during the Russian invasion of 1941 to cope with the huge logistical problem of feeding an army on the move. Other sources state that it was invented five years later in the US by a radar engineer conducting microwave radiation experiments who discovered that a candy bar had melted in his pocket and realized the technology could be used for heating food. Whatever the case, the first commercial microwave oven was eventually produced in 1954. Domestic models followed in 1967. Now 90% of American households own one.

There are a number of problems associated with using microwave ovens. One is that it changes the molecular structure of food and strips nutrients from it. So no matter how much food you eat, you don’t feel as nourished as you do from eating food cooked in conventional ways. It’s called microwave malnutrition. According to the US Food Research and Action Center, 69% of American adults and 32% of American children are overweight or obese. Although there are certainly other factors involved, such as the increase in processed food that is consumed, it seems unlikely to be just coincidence that the rise in obesity correlates so closely with the widespread adoption of microwave oven technology during that time.

Most people know that microwave ovens heat food not from the outside in, as conventional cooking does, but from the inside out. But few people realise how much the molecular structure of food is changed during the process. Until the economic reforms of Perestroika demanded change to keep pace with European policies, Soviet Russia banned the use of microwave ovens after extensive research showed that carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested.

Then there was the 1991 lawsuit in Oklahoma after a woman died from a blood transfusion because a nurse heated the blood in a microwave oven. The oxygen molecules of water, in particular, have been found to be very susceptible to the effects of microwave exposure. Water molecules are torn apart or deformed. What, then, happens to us when we drink drinks that have been heated in a microwave oven, or food that has been cooked in one (a high percentage of all food is water)? When I meet people who live primarily on microwaved foods I can usually tell they do so because they lack etheric vitality. There is a dullness in their eyes and skin that reflects the lifelessness of the food they consume.

There are other issues with microwave ovens too, such as the way they leak radiation over time (never stand next to one when it’s in use), the leaching from polyethylene terpthalate (PET) containers during heating (most ready meals are packed in these), and health concerns because of uneven cooking which means that listeria bacteria can survive.

My husband, Richard, was a 5-star chef for 17 years and has nothing good to say about microwave ovens. Never mind the health concerns – food just doesn’t taste as good when cooked in one. When his boss bought one for the kitchen of the gourmet restaurant he worked in, he put up with it for a week and then took matters into his own hands. It saved the kitchen staff some time and the owner some money, to be sure, but the chefs felt it was wrong to expect customers to continue to pay top dollar for food that no longer tasted as good as it should. He rolled a long strip of aluminium foil into a ball, put it in the oven, and turned it on full blast. Within a minute, the oven was dead. ‘Sorry, the microwave’s blown up,’ he explained, and that was the end of that. The boss got the message and never replaced the equipment.

Many people use microwave ovens in their home because they are so convenient. But convenience at what cost? Cooking in any form reduces the nutritional value of food to some degree, and we’ve all heard of the health hazards of frying or using Teflon-coated pans. But microwaving is much, much worse. Do yourself a favour if you still have one, and let yours go. In all integrity, after reading this, it won’t feel quite right to sell it to anyone, so just dispose of it at your local recycling centre. Perhaps some of its raw components may at least be salvaged and reused that way.

References
Microwave Oven and Microwave Cooking Overview
The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking
The Proven Dangers of Microwaves

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2013


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20 Responses to Microwave ovens

  1. Alley me Evans says:

    All cooking changes the molecular structure of food. Just like boiling water and converting it to steam changes its molecular structure — not it’s molecular components, just how they’re arranged together. Using “microwaves change the molecular structure of food” as an argument against them, unless you’re evangelizing a 100% no heat raw foods diet, is just scientifically empty rhetoric. You haven’t named a source for a single one of your contentions, haven’t linked to any peer reviewed science that substantiates any of what you claimed, you’ve got supposition and anecdote, at best, and a whole lot of scaremongering, at worst. And gullible people will buy it because it trades on common skepticism, but this? Wouldn’t even be accepted as a stub article on Wikipedia.

    • I thought this article might ruffle a few feathers.

      I’ve been researching this topic for over 15 years and there is a wealth of scientific evidence to support the issues I’ve listed. I mentioned some of my sources in the original article and have now added a few more.

  2. Melanie says:

    What is your take on convection ovens?

    • There are convection ovens, microwave ovens and convection microwave ovens. The first is fine, and I have one and use it often. The other types use microwave technology in whole or in part, and I do not recommend them.

  3. Linda Nozicka says:

    I read an article in a health magazine a few decades ago about a test a scientist did with human volunteers. First he took blood samples from each of them. Then they ate microwaved food and more blood samples were taken. There was a change between blood samples. The microwave heats by bouncing the molecules around and eating the food was doing the same thing to the blood. I owned one for a short time (received it as a gift) and I realized it was making me a lazy eater. Why prepare a meal that might take 30 minutes when I could pop something the in microwave and eat in 20. Or I could save an entire minute to heat water for my tea! Thankfully I came to my senses and dumped it.

    Thanks for a great article.

  4. Fredrik says:

    What about other methods of cooking? No matter how abundant the evidence is that microwave cooking damages the food, other forms of cooking could be just as harmful or even more harmful. While microwave cooking destroys one kind of nutrients, boiling destroys another kind of nutrients, and frying creates toxins, so all three methods seem to be harmful. Which one is the most harmful I don’t know.

    • As I understand it, all forms of cooking cause some loss of nutrients and some possibility of carcinogens being formed. If you look into this topic in depth, a raw food diet really is best. But this is not the main point I am making in the article. My area of expertise is energy, and what I have consistently observed over many years is that consuming food cooked in a microwave oven has a far more damaging effect than food cooked in other ways. It causes a weakening of etheric vitality, which is essential for health and well being.

  5. Alicja says:

    Dear Karen,

    I wrote about you and your books on my blog to let Polish people know about you. Just want you to know.

    Do you know when your books will be printed in Poland again?

    Thank you for everything, you are my inspiration!

    Hugs from Warsaw,
    Alicja

    • Hi Alicja

      I just received news that the Polish publisher, Zwierciadlo, has purchased the rights to the new 2103 edition of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, so it will be available in Poland in both paperback and ebook later this year or next year. I’ll make an announcement on my blog when it’s available.

  6. Victoria says:

    Does this apply to food cooked on a hob and then re-heated in the microwave?

    Generally not having much time to cook other than at weekends I tend to cook a couple of batches of things like soup and chilli and then reheat them in the microwave during the week.

    Also, having just read an article on Teflon-coated pans and having two pet birds (I didn’t know there were issues until I read this article) I shall be getting rid of all my Teflon pans right now. Bonus – less clutter! :)

    However, I shall need at least two to cook with, so what would you recommend using?

    • Yes, this definitely applies to food that is reheated in a microwave oven too.

      As to Teflon pans, that’s a whole new topic. I’ll write about it soon, explaining the problems and offering some solutions.

  7. Helena says:

    Dear Karen

    I use my microwave only to heat my cherry stone to take with me to bed. Could that have any negative effects too ?

    • A similar question came up in one of the comments about my England is hot water bottle heaven blog. I don’t own a microwave oven or a cherry stone heating pad so am not able to put this to the test, but our bodies are 70% water, so we have a natural affinity with that element. Microwave radiation by its very nature is harsh. I would be very surprised if the warmth of something heated in a microwave oven is as energetically soothing and nurturing as a hot water bottle, but I wouldn’t think there there are any health concerns. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has tried both methods about how different they feel.

  8. Lauren D'Silva says:

    Hi Karen

    My husband Steve used to cook a lot in a microwave in his bachelor days. He couldn’t believe that I didn’t own one when he met me- I refuse to use one for all the reasons you cite. Having spent a few years with me Steve’s sensitivity to energy fields has become finely tuned. He visited a friend who put the microwave on in his workshop to reheat coffee. Immediately it was switched on Steve was struck by a strange feeling in his solar plexus. He said, “Mate, there’s something wrong with that machine, switch it off.” His friend did so and said, “We’ll use the one in my kitchen.” There he had a bright shiny new microwave. He switched it on and immediately my husband experienced the same weird sensation. Now Steve won’t even be in the same room as a microwave that’s operating!

  9. Julia Sinclair says:

    I don’t like microwaves particularly but I am on my own now a lot of the time and I have to cut down my electricity consumption due to the high cost.

    Are microwaves cheaper to use, that was my perception?

    I may plug in my electricity consumption calculator plug thing to try and find out. I have a gas hob so maybe I should revert to my pressure cooker and live on stews!

  10. Kathy Clarke says:

    Just wanted to know your opinion of Halogen ovens? We got one recently as our main oven died and I preferred the idea of it to just using a microwave.

    • Hi Kathy

      Halogen ovens have completely different technology to microwave ovens. I’ve never owned or tested a one but my best guess is that the effect is similar to conventional cooking, and my only concern would be that they may emit high electromagnetic fields (EMFs). A wise precaution would be not to stand near yours when it is operating. If you want to know for sure, you will need to test it with an EMF meter.

  11. Kathryn says:

    I am a big fan of yours, Karen, and not a fan of microwave ovens and do not own one myself. However I do not think your statement about microwave ovens being invented by Nazis is at all accurate. A quick google search yields many sites which explain the invention of this device, which was created by Percy Spencer after WW2 using radar technology developed by US scientists to track the Nazis. Early microwave ovens were not small and easily portable, but huge and heavy, and traveling with them in an army caravan would have created more problems than it would have solved (assuming the technology had been invented, which it hadn’t). It would have been more practical for the Nazis to simply build a fire using wood from the houses they destroyed.

    • When researching this article, I found many claims that microwave ovens had been invented in Nazi Germany five years before the technology was discovered in the US, but on further investigation there seems to be no conclusive evidence for this, so I have reworded my article accordingly. I guess we’ll never know.

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