Cooked by William Thomas

These drastic devices are everywhere. From restaurant and home kitchens to hospitals and hotel rooms, microwave ovens have infiltrated our lives until most contestants racing to keep up with runaway technologies cannot imagine having ever lived without them. 

But electricity and magnetism infuse our electro-chemical cells with the pulsating energies of life. It’s not wise to repeatedly zap such subtle yet powerful forces.

Placed or built-in on top of stoves, the invisible emissions from a microwave oven often radiate at head level. Aging door seals leak microwaves, while electromagnetic fields (EMF) bypass built-in shielding to irradiate rooms. EMF radiation specialist Chris Anderson has measured emissions from the microwave oven in his kitchen in a bedroom 10 meters away.

Unlike conventional convection cooking, which heats food from the outside in, microwave ovens function by heating dinner from the inside out. High-frequency microwaves starting at around 500 megahertz and extending up in the infrared frequencies permeate provisions, forcing  water molecules to heat up by bending them rapidly back-and-forth. This frenetic friction rips food apart at the molecular level, rearranging its chemical composition - and the blood chemistry of anyone who munches microwaved meals.

The higher the frequency of electromagnetic fields, the more damage results. Microwaves are near the top of the frequency spectrum.

Yet many hospitals continue to collect and freeze mothers’ milk before reheating it in microwave ovens. 

Maybe their administrators missed the April, 1992 issue of Pediatrics Journal, which reported a Stanford study showing that microwaved breast milk loses important vitamins and antibodies that fend off malevolent microbes. 

The Stanford sleuths further found that microwaving milk increases its acidity, damages proteins, enlarges fat cells and wipes out the folic acid that has been found to lower the rate of spina-bifida birth defects. Milk heated in a microwave oven and then doused with E. coli bacteria also grew 18-times more bacteria than milk heated in a pan.

Even if you don’t drink microwaved moo-juice, Salmonella bacteria may survive in a microwave’s uneven “cold spots” that do not fully cook. 

In a culture addicted to convenience, such unpalatable findings may hard to swallow. But in a little town just outside Basel, Switzerland, food scientists Hans Hertel and Bernard Blanc were also looking into microwaved food at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry. After taking blood samples from volunteers over a two-month period in 1992, the two researchers found that the nutrients in  all the milk and veggies heated in a microwave oven were degraded, causing significant changes in the blood chemistry of consumers. 

These abrupt changes included a decrease in HDL (good cholesterol) and a sharp rise in LDL (bad cholesterol) levels following the consumption of microwaved food

Hertel and Blanc also found marked decreases in red hemoglobin blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and remove carbon dioxide, and in white blood cells that fight infections. Such significant symptoms of bodily stress “are often signs of pathogenic effects on the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage,” the health investigators noted.

The Swiss scientists discovered that atoms and cells bombarded by microwave ovens are forced to reverse their life-giving electrical polarity or “charge” up to 100 billion times a second. “There are no atoms, molecules or cells of any organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power for any extended period of time, not even in the low energy range of milliwatts,” Hertel hectored. “Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully deformed and thus becomes impaired in quality.”

Hertel and Blanc were dismayed to find cholesterol counts up sharply after the consumption of microwaved vegetables. As Hertel explained: “Blood cholesterol levels are less influenced by cholesterol content of the food than by stress factors” that “can apparently exist in [microwaved] foods which contain virtually no cholesterol.”

The microwave investigators also deduced that glowing bacteria indicated that high amounts of energy were being transferred to food - and to consumers of microwaved food. 

“There is extensive scientific literature concerning the hazardous effects of direct microwave radiation on living systems,” Hertel wrote. Noting how gene-splicing geneticists used microwaves to weaken cell membranes, the food detective explained how cells’ life-giving electrical charge is neutralized by microwaves, suppressing natural repair mechanisms and making cells “easy prey for viruses, fungi and other micro-organisms.” 

Instead of excreting water, microwaved cells give off cancer-enhancing carbon dioxide, hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide. Hertel blew his warning whistle when he saw that alternations in blood chemistry caused by consuming microwaved food mirrored the beginning stages of some cancers.

Hertel’s findings appeared in an article published in issue number 19 of the Journal Franz Weber.  Citing his accompanying research paper, he noted that the consumption of food cooked in microwave ovens caused cancer-type effects in the blood.

In August, 1992 the Swiss Association of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Household Appliances brought a civil action against the researchers, demanding that Hertel and Blanc be legally hog-tied and gagged. Faced with a ferocious attack by this powerful trade lobby, Blanc recanted. 

But his colleague stuck by his findings. In an ironically confirming commentary on his findings, Hertel was forbidden by a Swiss court from publicly “declaring that food prepared in microwave ovens shall be dangerous to health and lead to changes in the blood of consumers, giving reference to pathologic troubles as also indicative for the beginning of a cancerous process.”

The unrepentant Hertel continued giving seminars in Germany, where he says his study results “have been well-received.” In August, 1998, the court decision was reversed when the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg ruled that the earlier Swiss “gag order” forbidding the Bernese scientist from declaring that microwave ovens pose human health risks contravened Hertel’s right to freedom of expression. The Euro court ordered Switzerland was ordered to F-40,000 in compensation for Hertel’s legal costs in a decision hailed by Nexus magazine as “an end to judicial censorship of persons drawing attention to the health hazards of certain products.”

Is this homegrown spin-off of advanced Star Wars weapons technology really safe? You bet your life. If you must use a microwave oven, treat it like an uncaged Anaconda. Poke the start button with a broom handle and run away. Don’t let children near it. And don’t eat the food!

Published in Alive magazine