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Microwave Cooking, Microwave Convenience Food: Risk to Your Health

Microwave Plastics May Not Be As Safe As You Think

Bottom Line/Personal,February 1, 2009

Q: I read in Bottom Line that it is not safe to microwave plastic. Should I remove the plastic package from frozen meals and vegetables before microwaving?

A: For maximum safety, yes -- take the food out of the plastic before you microwave it. Even when plastics are labeled "microwave-safe," very small amounts of chemicals, such as Bisphenol-A (BPA), can leach out of them into food. Heat accelerates the process -- which means plastics heated in a microwave or washed in a dishwasher are more likely to transfer BPA to foods. More than 90% of people tested have very low but measurable amounts of BPA in their bodies. The effects of such low levels on humans are unknown -- but lab animals exposed to BPA have neurological and developmental damage.

Some plastics are considered safer than others, such as those with the number 1, 2 or 5 in the recycling symbol on the container -- but even these can transfer tiny amounts of chemicals to foods.

Source: Patricia Hunt, PhD, reproductive biologist and geneticist and Meyer Distinguished Professor in the School of Molecular BioSciences, Washington State University, Pullman.
UPDATE 30 Jan, 2010  The dangers of microwaves
From Post, Dec 18, 2009

Recently reported in Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition there seems to be a trend in ethnic and natural foods for conveience over health benefit.
Convenience and healthy eating trends are driving demand for microwave packaging in the US, which is forecast to climb seven per cent annually to $2.4bn in 2013, according to a report from US analysts, the Freedonia Group.

Read Complete Article: Health and convenience boosting microwave packaging, report
What I believe is important is to first understand more about the impact a microwave cooking and your health.

William Kopp who has written extensively on the impact of microwaving food and how this can effect health notes that

* Microwaved meats contain d-nitrosodiethanolamine, a well-known carcinogen.

* Cancer-causing agents are created in the protein-hydrolysate compounds in milk and grains.

* The molecular composition of proteins and natural sugars is unnaturally altered.

* Even brief exposures of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables to microwaves enhance the production of alkaloids (such as caffeine, morphine and strychnine) that are harmful to the human body. (MY NOTE/ x-ref: "Steamers")

* The availability of vitamin complexes A, B, C and E, and essential minerals is vastly reduced.

* The microwaves in the food bind with atmospheric radioactivity, creating additional harmful radiation.

People who consistently rely on microwaved food can suffer from:

1.) hormone imbalance

2.) damage to the electrical functioning of the nervous system

3.) a disruption in the cellular membrane electrical potentials

4.) significant loss of vital energy

5.) a higher-than-normal percentage of cancerous cells in their blood serum

6.) Researchers have even detected significant levels of disruption in alpha, delta, and theta brain waves. "Because of the disarranged brain waves," Kopp points out,

7.) "negative psychological effects also result. These include loss of memory and the ability to concentrate, suppressed emotional threshold, deceleration of intellective processes and interrupt[ed] sleep episodes."

Kopp concludes that in the short term, "microwave oven radiation disrupts the electrical field of the body, which in turn affects functioning on biological, chemical and physiological levels. Being within just a three foot range of a microwave oven will expose you to these dangers."

(MY NOTE/ N.B.: Applies also to cell phone, wi-fi et al)

Other health impact may include elevated cholesterol, obesity, increased whie blood cell count, decreased numbers of red blood cells, and creation of foreign compounds.
While you may think you need these convenience foods, studies showed that the difference in prepared meals v. microwave meals is about 5 minutes.
Isn't your health worth an extra five minutes?

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