Are Microwaves Killing You And Your Food?

Microwaves are the devil

Not only do microwaves destroy all the nutrients in your food they also give you cancer.  Before you jump on the Bobby Boucher advice train, lets ask science…..


How Do They Work?

Why does our food go in cold and come out hot? The answer is a multi-faceted one, involving both physics and engineering.  Microwave ovens take advantage of the behavior of water molecules when subjected to electromagnetic waves. Waves in this frequency range have an interesting property: they’re absorbed by water, fats and sugars. Water molecules have one side that is positively charged and one that is negative (dipole).  An electromagnetic wave is made up of alternating electric fields when a charge is exposed to it, it will experience forces regularly changing in direction which will force the molecules into rotation. The agitated water molecules would then possess heat energy that can rub off  to nearby molecules. If the water molecules are well distributed in the body subjected to the microwave, then the entire body can heat up quickly and uniformly.  So basically the waves spin the water molecules which creates heat and the heat spreads, making your hot pocket warm and delicious.


Who Invented Microwaves?

It 1945 Percy Spencer, an American engineer was working on an active radar set when he noticed that the Mr. Goodbar he had in his pocket started to melt: the radar had melted his chocolate bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked with Spencer’s microwave was popcorn, and the second was an egg, which exploded.  In 1947, Raytheon built the “Radarange”, the first commercially available microwave oven.  It was almost 6 feet tall, weighed 750 lb. and cost about $52,809 in today’s dollars.


Do Microwaves Harm Our Body And Cause Cancer?

The microwave is designed with a metal screen embedded in the glass of the door. The holes of the screen are smaller than the wavelength of the microwaves so it acts like a solid metal mirror. Microwaves also use non-ionizing radiofrequency. This low frequency radiation doesn’t have enough energy to directly damage your DNA and form a pre-cancerous cell. Other sources of non-ionizing radiation include the infrared lamps that keep food warm in restaurants, radios, televisions, and the computer screen you are staring at right now. You should be aware, however, that your oven could leak microwave radiation, if it gets damaged, is dirty, or is improperly operated or maintained. You can minimize these chances by making sure that your oven door closes properly and that your door’s safety devices (that prevent microwaves from being produced when the door is open) work correctly. Also, you should make sure that the seals to your door and oven are clean and intact. 


 Do Microwaves Destroy Nutrients In Food?

Several years ago nutritionists raised concerns that microwaves depleted nutrients in food. If anything, studies have shown the opposite. All cooking methods can destroy vitamins; the extent of the damage depends on the temperature and the length of cooking time. The best cooking method for retaining nutrients is one that cooks quickly, exposes food to heat for the smallest amount of time and uses only a minimal amount of liquid.  Most research indicates that microwave ovens result in less extreme temperatures, require less time for cooking and need less water than stove-top or oven methods. Microwaves heat food, but do not make any changes to it that aren’t made in any other cooking method.


2  More Microwave Knowledge Bombs.


The whooshing sound a microwave oven makes has nothing to do with the magnetron, which resonates at a frequency far too high for human hearing. The noise is from the fan that blows air across the magnetron to keep it cool. Microwave ovens also produce a hum. It comes from the transformer, diode and capacitor, which vibrate as they step up the 60-hertz electric power from a wall outlet.


Despite common wisdom, metal does not necessarily cause sparking inside a microwave. Sparks are caused by a buildup of charged particles that suddenly arc when they are pushed by a voltage that changes dramatically over a short distance. A flat, round, metal platter will spread charge around it, preventing buildup.  The “crisper” tray that lies underneath some microwaveable pizzas and the sleeve that envelops certain foods (Hot Pockets) have a metal coating that gets very hot and browns the food yet does not spark. Sharper points, such as fork tines or the many tiny edges in aluminum foil, concentrate charge and also cause localized drops in voltages, which together create a corona discharge(spark).




Microwave ovens are among the most energy efficient cooking appliances in any home. Using microwave ovens is a valuable energy conservation and emissions reduction technique, especially when compared to electric stoves or ovens.  People should be more concerned with the health risk of what they are putting in the microwave(Hot Pockets, Tacitos etc.) as opposed to the microwave itself.  On a side note reheating coffee by any means is usually a bad idea as it will end up burning it.











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