1. HappyMonday

    HappyMonday Moderator

    This is a perennial meme amongst my facebook crowd, and I just had to spend fourty minutes pulling together sources to debunk it -

    Microwaves.

    This image is currently being linked to the following article, which orbits close to the 'Dr Mercola' bloc of alternative nutrition advice - http://livelovefruit.com/2013/03/471/

    The article opens with the heavily debunked claim that microwaved water damages plant growth -

    Snopes has a good page on this claim, (which I can't cut and paste from right now, sadly) - http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp



    "Unnecessary daily exposure," is a carefully worded distortion, as far as I can tell. Put more specifically, it should be something like -

    "...unnecessary daily exposure to radiation IF you stand right next to your microwave every day when it's running, or if your microwave's internal shielding is broken,".

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/microwave-radiation-ovens-460709

    Further to this, the article relies on a 'study' for it's data on this by Lita Lee (Phd)...Who's website you can find here, selling you 'healing enzymes' - http://www.litalee.com/shopexd.asp?id=182

    Here's another source of info on that claim, for balance, and it destroys a number of the other studies cited in the article which are used to back the 'destroys the nutritional value of food' in the article / meme -

    http://ehealthmd.com/content/microwaved-food-dangerous-myths-and-facts#axzz2NhIw2KtC



    The memes 'baby' milk claim is based on this sole, short term study by Richard Quan -

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/89/4/667.abstract

    It refers to a small sample of frozen human (mothers) milk, rather than any baby milk as is implied by theclaim.

    It doesn't necessarily follow that this can be applied to all 'baby' milk, and how often do you microwave FROZEN milk anyway?

    Still, there is a fact in there at least, though it's disputed by more recent research -



    Read more:
    http://ehealthmd.com/content/microwaved-food-dangerous-myths-and-facts#ixzz2NhWducP5
     
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  2. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    I had a friend mention microwaves were bad, pretty much all those claims and they added that they are banned in Russia. I believe at one time they were and that it was mostly a political thing. It was on FB and me a couple other friends had to pull her back down to Earth.
     
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  3. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    It was common practice for midwives to advise against warming baby bottles in the microwave due to potential hot spots forming in the milk. I was astounded to find some parents would whack the bottle in the microwave, with teet on, and then zap it until dead, and then shove it straight in the babys mouth without shaking it or anything. I have never had one, a microwave that is, and think they are one of the most pointless of kitchen appliances.
     
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  4. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    It is not recommended to heat baby formula in a microwave, mostly due to the chance of uneven heating.
     
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  5. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron Banned Banned

    If anyone has a microwave lol... I challenge you.... cook a suet pudding in there... it will come out lovely... the lightest fluffiest suet pudding you have ever had.... but don't eat it.... leave it for an hour, maybe less, and it will set like concrete.

    Tell me if I'm right or if I'm wrong... after you have done it.
     
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think they have suet pudding in the US :)

    It's probably the microwave rendering the fat into tallow as it reaches a higher internal temperature. This will then set more solidly than regular suet which contains organic material.

    Debunked!
     
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  7. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member


    That reminds me of microwaving a bagel. Let it sit and it's like cement. I wouldn't want that in my stomach!

    However I do have a microwave and nuke just about everything EXCEPT bagels. I guess I'll stay away from suet pudding too, whatever that is. Sounds not yummy.
     
  8. eline65

    eline65 New Member

    I'm no avid debunker, or a perfectionist at quoting scientific data, but anyone who has nuked a cinnamon roll can tell you it's different than warming it in a toaster-oven without the need for bona fide scientific data. That doesn't mean the microwave bad for you!

    It's like cooking with steam vs. a conventional heat source. That roll just tastes like crap coming out of the microwave, at 100% power that is. I have however, lengthened the time, reduced the power to 40-50% with great success.

    Your example is like saying that because of the fact you can't toast bread in a microwave verifies the microwaves destructive power!

    btw, never heard of suet as a food item. And all this time my unlearned self thought it was just a staple of the hog calling contest! :p
     
  9. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron Banned Banned

    Live and learn :) I won't use one because I don't see the need for it, let alone whether it is bad for you or not.
     
  10. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Suet is not as popular in the UK as it used to be. For those that don't know suet is the hard fat found around the kidneys, especially beef. It is one if my kitchen cupboard essentials and there is not a week when I don't do either dumplings or a steamed pudding.
     
  11. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron Banned Banned

    Not microwaved then Dave?
     
  12. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Eff that. I refuse to have one. My eldest son has just moved back after finishing uni. He said I could have his microwave. It is in the shed gathering dust. Irrespective what you cook it turns out shite.
     
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  13. eline65

    eline65 New Member

    Not even sure if the microwave qualifies as cooking per se, but it has it's uses. I have a fairly nice one I bought used, and it's a quick and easy way to prepare my non-eco-friendly cup of highly processed noodles! ;)
     
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  14. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    I mostly use the MW for defrosting food. I did use it to make some instant mashed potatoes the other night. It was 106 and I didn't want to use stove --no AC.
     
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  15. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member

    We use it for potatoes also and for corn.
     
  16. eline65

    eline65 New Member

    Sounds like my hometown. Phoenix baby! At 106, one could just put it outside to defrost
     
  17. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I find it very useful for making cold food hot. Empanada from Costco are frequently nuked in Casa West.
     
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  18. I've always wanted to try the plant water thing. I have a minor in chemistry, majored in physics. I can't for the life of me imagine how a few electromagnetic waves could so radically alter the chemical structure of water that it would kill plants. There's only so much you can do with two hydrogens and an oxygen, and most of them produce gases that would be evaporate out of the liquid. It's not like fats and sugars which have complex chemical structures that can change form from the excitation...

    Claim #1 in the meme is bogus. You're exposed to more radiation standing in the sun for two minutes than you'll probably receive in your lifetime from microwaves. Diddo for cell phones and power lines, btw.

    However, I am inclined to believe claim #3. Amino acids are really sensitive. They get destroyed by nearly all cooking methods. Why should microwaves be exempt?

    In regards to #5, it's hard to imagine that someone did a controlled study of that. Did they give two groups of people identical freezers full of pre-made food and ask one group to reheat in the microwave, the other using stoves and ovens?
     
  19. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    Oh--as a bachelor--I can most definitely assure you that it does qualify as "cooking"...borderline 'gourmet,' even... :)

    Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 5.29.30 PM.
     
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  20. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    When I was about...at about, oh, 13 or 14 years old? My father was one of an early adopters of new technology. About the same time included the introduction of this new-fangled thing called a Micro-wave oven. Made by Amana at the time (my father could never pronounce it...he always said "Armana"....just as, at the time, he also referred to radial tires as "radio"tires....oh, well....).

    The device looked a bit like this:
    http://www.radar58.com/radarange/fullsize/4.jpg

    (Sorry about the "no-click" policy...didn't want to 'embed' it).

    (NOT entirely sure if accurate...it WAS a long time ago, after all...)...BUT? The advertising phrase "Radar Range" suddenly rang a memory bell. (Same as the thing would "ding" a bell when at the end of its cooking cycle....)...

    A neighbor and boyhood friend across the street had a father who was an electrical engineer...and HE was adamant, back then, about the so-called dangers of an MW oven. This neighbor was a GOOD engineer...built a sailboat in his backyard, refurbished a player piano....etc, etc...he was no slouch.

    Needless to say....I've been in the proximity of MW ovens ever since....too often to recount the number of occasions.

    I doubt I've suffered any ill effects.

    (Please insert "joke" here: ____________________). :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
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  21. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    upload_2015-2-25_16-27-47. upload_2015-2-25_16-30-29.
     
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  22. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I have cook everyone of my meals with my cheap little microwave for over 15 years straight as a personal act of diffidence against all those who claim they are dangerous and are harmful to your health. I can now claim that after my personal experiment that there are no ill effects at all of consuming thousands of meals prepared this way.
     
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  23. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    As far as I can ascertain, the "microwave ovens were banned in Russia" myth is just that, a myth. Some discussion here: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/17126/did-the-soviet-union-ban-microwave-ovens-in-1976

    BTW I've always used the microwave to warm up infant milk when needed (the real stuff, not formula, and later cow's milk). I don't see any reason not to. I just shake the bottle to make sure it's thoroughly mixed before checking the temperature.
     
  24. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

    Yes, this is bunk. I lived there at the time, the microwave ovens were not banned in Soviet Union. On the contrary, their local production started in early 80s, or, according to some sources, late 70s. They were quite pricy (about two month salaries) and there was little demand for them at home at the time, but there was a microwave oven of Soviet production in the lab where I did my PhD in early 80's. It looked like this:
    [​IMG]
    http://rychkoff.livejournal.com/171446.html?thread=6952886
     
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  25. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    I bet it's still going too
     
  26. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    When I moved into my current flat 15 years ago I went from a fully furnished place to an unfurnished place that didn't have a cooker. Over the first year I was here I had buy everything, chairs, beds, the lot and a cooker was my last purchase, I did nearly two years just using a microwave to cook everything, and had no ill effects. I still use it as an extra cooking tool, hand to quickly warm up tins of beans, or to defrost stuff before it goes into the oven etc, and would be lost with out it.

    I also have and still regularly use a Breville sandwich Toaster...
    [​IMG]
    ...the greatest kitchen gadget ever in my opinion!!
     
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  27. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Pretty sure you shouldn't do that.
     
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  28. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    damn, no wonder I'm too big an insurance risk to get a policy :D
     
  29. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Well, OBVIOUSLY you don't put metal containers NOR utensils INTO a MicroWave oven!!!!!

    I mean....who doesn't know this, by now....in 2015??? (Those guys, apparently...so sad...).
     
  30. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    I don't. Well I do really but I nearly did it the other day.
    Put a jar in the microwave, shut the door. thought whoops and opened it again and took the metal lid off before I started it.
    I really use my microwave for heating rather than actual cooking.
    Say I made a huge batch of bolognese and froze several portions, next time I have it, while the pasta is cooking I will heat the sauce from the freezer. It's just important to make sure things are evenly heated, so you have to stop and stir occasionally, JUST like you have to when it;s on the stove if you don't want it all burnt on the bottom of the pan.
     
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  31. eline65

    eline65 New Member

    True true! Maybe I need to reword my comment.

    Microwave, and baking are those two words that shouldn't be associated together
     
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  32. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    Snob! :p

    I'm pretty sure microwave "Easy Cake" mix is Ramsay's secret weapon
    at Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea

    Gordon Ramsay. EasyCakeChocoBig.
     
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  33. eline65

    eline65 New Member

    Well I'll be a monkey's uncle....o_O
     
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  34. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    Oh now you are going to make me dig out the pictures of that time I made a packet mix cake at University.
    even if I hadn't had to use an odd shaped bowl and then had to cut off the strange bit that spouted in the middle, it would NEVER have looked like it did on the packet. It was a totally different colour.
     
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  35. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    If you wanna have fun? Put an uncracked egg into a MW. (Just don't do it in one that you expect to clean up afterwards).

    Metal in the MW? Sparks are assured. Again....you can destroy the magnetron that powers ...and is the "heart"... of the actual device.

    (excerpt):
    ( I don't understand the science, either....but it sounds all "sciencey", so I accept it.... :cool: )
     
  36. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Microwave's are important scientific research equipment with a wide range of uses, nearly all of them involving explosions and sparks.
     
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  37. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member


    LOL!!! YouTube is often a swamp-filled morass of nonsense...but you've found a "gem" in that pile of shiite!! (the "pile" that we know as the 'youtube'...)....

    Extra 'points' for you, sir...."Mister" Tar!

    ('Kids'? Do NOT try this at home....an extra disclaimer!!).
     
  38. Rick M.

    Rick M. New Member

    Re: the bagel thing, I find most people vastly overdo nuking pastry or bread. It will always turn hard after it cools if you do. The simple solution is to use restraint. I bring leftover pizza to above room temperature in the microwave, then a 400 degree oven for a few minutes. Crust is soggy with just the microwave. This crisps it up without over browning. I've never seen anything that is scientifically valid that indicates microwaves are damaging. They're a tool. Use them correctly, and for the right purpose, and they're great. Know their weaknesses and their strengths.
     
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  39. Jaded

    Jaded New Member

    It still amazes me every time someone posts a comment on Facebook about how dangerous microwave's are. Inevitably people reply to the post stating that they don't own a microwave and won't use one because they leak radiation, destroy the nutrients, and mutate your food so that it is carcinogenic. I try to tell them that science doesn't support those beliefs, but they don't listen. No amount of supporting articles will convince them otherwise. So I guess it's their loss...

    I've used a microwave almost daily since the first one was given to me in the late '80's. I didn't understand how to cook in a microwave yet and one of the first things I tried to cook was a pot roast. Needless to say, that experiment was a disaster! I haven't tried making suet pudding, but a microwave isn't meant to replace your stove and oven. Suet pudding might also not come out too good if you tried to bake it in a regular oven. Different tools for different jobs!

    Mostly what I use the microwave for is reheating coffee and food. It is my source of fast food. I rarely eat out due to food allergies and gluten intolerance, but I don't like cooking every day just for myself. So once every week or two I bake a large tray of chicken, a lamb or beef roast, a tray of sliced potatoes and onions, winter squash, yams, and/or cook up a big pot of brown rice. I eat some of whatever I've cooked for dinner, and then I freeze the rest in portion sized freezer bags. Then when I want a meal, I just go to the freezer and pull out what I want, put it on a plate, and reheat it in the microwave. It tastes just as good as it did the first day and it saves me from having to cook every day (except for maybe some fresh steamed greens). About the only things I actually cook (rather than reheating) in the microwave are whole potatoes, corn on the cob, and broccoli.

    Conclusion: I'll give up my microwave when you pry it from my cold dead hands!
     
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  40. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    I wouldn't say the stuff I cook in batches like this tastes AS good as the first day, but it is certainly perfectly very nice, much nicer than any ready meal you would buy, and cheaper to boot.