We all love modern appliances. They take away the complexity of household chores. Smartphones, home automation systems, laptops, dish washers, microwave ovens, intelligent refrigerators, you name it. Their sole purpose is to diminish the effort that humans exert when attempting to lead a healthy and enjoyable life.
Are all of these technological appliances and devices harmless or are we paying with our health for the comfort modernity brings? Let’s take the microwave oven as an example. A lot has been said about the microwave oven health dangers. Chances are that you’ve come across an article or two. Figuring out if this information is reliable, however, is a completely different story.
Microwave ovens are present in nearly all households. These practical appliances heat meals and drinks in seconds and some people even use them for cooking. The principle used for the functioning of microwave ovens is quite simple. The appliance uses microwave radiation to heat substances. One of its biggest advantages is that the radiation is able to heat uniformly, said in simple words, both on the inside and the outside.
Makers of such appliances claim that the material of which the microwave oven is made of has the capacity to keep all of the radiation used inside the oven. Ads state that no cancer-related risk has been identified so far. Is this really the case? Are the microwave oven health dangers exaggerated?
The microwaves created by the oven affect food molecules during the heating process. Radiation practically ‘bombards’ the food and the vibrations formed this way result in the emission of heat. Because of the vibrations, food molecules are modified or torn apart.
Modifications of food molecules can turn something beneficial into something harmful. Milk is an example of this harmful transformation.
In specific cases, food molecules could become carcinogenic after microwave oven heating. When milk is being heated, some of its amino acids can turn into carcinogenic compounds. Similar modifications can turn the sugars in frozen fruits into dangerous substances.
A report published by the Atlantis Raising Educational Center in Portland proves the fact that the radiation used by microwave ovens in the process of heating food could turn harmless molecules in potentially carcinogenic substances.
Meat prepared in microwave ovens contains d-Nitrosodienthanolamine, a substance known to be carcinogenic. The same happens when raw and frozen vegetables are subjected to microwave oven heating.
In addition, microwaves significantly decrease the amount of useful nutrients and vitamins contained in food products. Research confirms that microwave radiation decreases the level of vitamins B, C and E in food. The heating process also destroys some of the useful substances in baby milk that is why parents are advised to refrain from heating a milk bottle in the microwave oven.
The hazards of microwave oven usage can be limited. Make sure that your microwave is intact, since damaged surfaces could lead to the leakage of radiation. Stick to medium-level heating and refrain from using the maximum heating potential of your microwave. Refrain from heating solid food pieces since some spots might remain undercooked and containing bacteria.