The Case Against Microwaves

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid the Russians ban microwave ovens following extensive research into their health hazards? Read about that and a host of other reasons why you might want to stop nuking your food at Live Free Live Natural (challenge to disinfonauts: can you find corroborative sources? According to The International Microwave Power Institute it ain’t so.):

The Nazis are credited with inventing the first microwave-cooking device to provide mobile food support to their troops during their invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II. These first microwave ovens were experimental. After the war, the US War Department was assigned the task of researching the safety of microwave ovens.

But it was the Russians who really took the bull by the horns.

After the war, the Russians had retrieved some of these microwave ovens and conducted thorough research on their biological effects. Alarmed by what they learned, the Russians banned microwave ovens in 1976, later lifting the ban during Perestroika.

Twenty years of Russian research (and German studies as far back as 1942 in Berlin) make a strong argument against the safety of microwave cooking.

Their findings led the Russian government to issue an international warning about possible biological and environmental damage associated with the use of microwave ovens and other similar frequency electronic devices (e.g. mobile phones).

I was not able to personally evaluate any of these older bodies of research, since those documents are now difficult to track down, so I can’t attest to their methodology or conclusions. All you can do is weigh their findings appropriately, as best you can.

The Powerwatch article cited above summarizes the Russian research quite well, which I will duplicate below.

  • Russian investigators found that carcinogens were formed from the microwaving of nearly all foods tested.
  • The microwaving of milk and grains converted some of the amino acids into carcinogenic substances.
  • Microwaving prepared meats caused the formation of the cancer-causing agents d-Nitrosodienthanolamines.
  • Thawing frozen fruits by microwave converted their glucoside and galactoside fractions into carcinogenic substances.
  • Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.
  • Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants – especially root vegetables.
  • Structural degradation leading to decreased food value was found to be 60 to 90 percent overall for all foods tested, with significant decreases in bioavailability of B complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, essential minerals, and lipotropics (substances that prevent abnormal accumulation of fat).

I might add that this finding is supported by the 1998 Japanese study by Watanabe about vitamin B12 in milk, cited above…

[continues at at Live Free Live Natural]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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19 Comments on "The Case Against Microwaves"

  1. Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Oct 17, 2013 at 9:14 am |

    The human body comes equipped with an amazing array of analytic devices to determine the potential benefit or hazard of substances. How does microwaved food look, feel and taste? I rest my case.

    • Ted Heistman | Oct 17, 2013 at 10:10 am |

      I dunno. Most think like hot pockets, intended for the microwave, taste like shit no matter how you cook them. I heated up some homemade baked ziti the other day in a micro-wave and it tasted pretty god damned good!

      • Joe E Dangerously | Oct 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

        You have a very good point there. Even if I heated a Hot Pocket in my toaster oven it would still be shit. But no matter how I heat my ziti it’s still good. (I make ziti too.) I don’t really notice a difference in taste. Texture? Okay. Yeah. All I see when I see that comment is ignorance and arrogance.

        Besides, how does medicine taste? Well, you don’t want to forgo medicine in favor of pie do you? Pie tastes much better, yeah. But it sure as hell won’t cure cancer. Not even pumpkin, the king of all pies.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Oct 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm |

          You might be surprised how good a natural medicine can taste, if that’s what your body needs. There’s a grazing specialist out West who suggests that ruminants regularly self medicate with (normally) unpalatable herbs. They avoid that stuff all day everyday, until they have a need for it, then try and keep them away from it. Fredrick Provenza is dude’s name. Really nice guy to boot.

      • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Oct 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm |

        I bet if you had baked a portion of that in the oven and did a side by side you would lean one way. Hot pockets are not food.

    • DeepCough | Oct 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm |

      That which looks, tastes, and even feels good isn’t always necessarily good.
      Like Hot Pockets for instance.


  2. This NEVER happened. There are zero newspapers, etc. that discuss this ever happening and if you happen to ask any Russians who were alive at the time they’ll tell you the same thing.

    • Fred Derf | Oct 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm |

      As if EVERY Russian(you said ask ANY) would have a basic understanding of science and also know everything that ever happened in Russia at that time. Please never dream of doing anything more than waiting tables or pumping gas.

  3. Joseph Mayfield | Oct 17, 2013 at 9:27 am |

    Lots of intense claims with no links to sources.

  4. The Well Dressed Man | Oct 17, 2013 at 10:26 am |

    There are plenty of health risks in the modern kitchen. BPA in plastic packaging/containers and crappy additives to industrial food are just a couple that need to be heeded. Microwaves are radiation in the same sense that light and heat are radiation, except even further in the direction of longer safer wavelengths. Very safe.

  5. Whatever, I use it to reheat leftovers that I have cooked myself. It’s quite handy for that and the reheated food tastes fine to me.

  6. hotandbothered | Oct 17, 2013 at 11:22 am |

    Seriously thinking of ditching this site. If you are going to publish historical, sensationalist articles, you have an obligation to reference the source material. Sloppy journalism and facts plucked from nowhere do not a good article make. Fucking wise up.

    • atlanticus | Oct 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

      I don’t think you understand what this site is…did you see the article below entitled “Sirius Business: Denver International Airport”?

  7. Earthstar | Oct 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

    Although the article is wrong about Russia’s banning microwave ovens, what it failed to mention is that in 1974 they set emission limits 1/10th of what they are currently in the US. Fact is that this is not the safest shit to have in our homes, especially by our standards.

  8. BuzzCoastin | Oct 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |

    I used to sell microwave powered devices
    they were used to generate radiation using magnetrons & klystrons
    the average microwave oven uses a small magnetron
    which fires microwaves at food targets

    sensitive people can feel the microwaves
    people with pacemakers should never stand near one

  9. The sad part is the pathetic person standing in front of the count down to inproperly cooked food. Fast enough for you? Satisfied?

  10. DeepCough | Oct 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm |

    Unfortunately for this article, it is ripped entirely out of its original context on the hosting website Live Free Live Natural.
    This same article appears on the website of Joseph Mercola ( and is aggregated by Huffington Post with links and citations intact.

    I will grant this article could be bullshit (it is written by a medical doctor after all),
    but I’ve always known deep down that microwaving food isn’t safe or healthy,
    and the only reason I still do it (albeit sparingly) is because, like a lot of Americans, I’ve grown accustomed to “nuking” my food.

    Also, Mercola’s website hosts another article related to this topic, which was excerpted from NEXUS magazine.

  11. Scatterlogical | Oct 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm |

    Completely uncited, over-dramatized and sensationalist. My BS detector is pinging off the chart. Even if there is an element of truth in your claims (and I’m not suggesting there actually is) your propensity for hype discredits the facts.

    Bullshit poisons everything.

  12. Taan Maat | Oct 22, 2013 at 9:22 am |

    microwaving boils the water inside of things. This rips the structural integrity of the food and compounds within the food apart.

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