First, let me state that I don’t walk around with aluminum foil wrapped around my head in an effort to shield my thoughts from the aliens. And I’m not trying to spread fear or perpetuate a hoax. What I want to do here is present scientific facts explaining exactly why cooking in the microwave is worse than cooking over the traditional cave-man fire, or your GE stove at home.
I was instantly skeptical the first time I heard that microwaving your food was bad. I read about a study that measured nutrients in cooked broccoli , comparing it cooked on the stove vs. in the microwave oven. I figured there was something biased about the study, like only cooking on high. Or maybe they were using the same cook time for both the stove and the microwave oven. Or maybe the microwave oven was heating the food hotter than the stove. I was in disbelief. After all, a microwave oven shortens cooking times, and that’s good, right? http://www.naturalnews.com/022015.html
I thought that all a microwave oven did was heat the food by moving the molecules faster. I was ignoring one very important characteristic of radio waves. Eventually, I put two and two together and realized something important.
But first, I need to explain how a microwave oven works. A microwave oven creates radio waves at a frequency of about 2.45 GHz [2, 3]. All radio waves are electromagnetic radiation.
When a polar molecule is placed in an electric field, it lines up with that field. It is similar to how a compass needle lines up with a magnetic field. Depending on the strength of the electric field, it will even stretch the polar molecule. But it will spring back as soon as the electric field is removed. So, the way a microwave works is, the rapidly oscillating electric field causes the polar molecules to move back and forth, increasing their kinetic energy (or heat). When matter is heated, the atoms and molecules start to vibrate faster. So far, it sounds like the heat from microwaves is no different than the stove. But there is one major difference. Microwaves have a strong electric field.
Electromagnetic radiation is a self-propagating wave composed of two components: an electric field, and a magnetic field. The two fields expand and collapse as they propagate through space. As the electric field collapses, it produces an expanding magnetic field. Conversely, as the magnetic field collapses, it produces an expanding electric field . This is a simple explanation, and there are more details involved.
If the electric field is strong enough, not only will it stretch the molecule, it can also separate the charges enough so that an atom loses an electron. This is ionizing. Or it can separate a molecule. This is similar to electrolysis.
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