4/19/13

The effects of Microwave radiation on Food


The title to this post may be a bit misleading, but if the transitive property holds true, than you will get my point. I am currently finishing a botany, plant “science”, class at my university. We used the semester to do an experiment of our choosing. Being a fan of paleo [pronounced pall-ee-o] and all things natural I wanted to choose a topic that would relate. My hypothesis was that if we increase microwave radiation to plant soil then we will strip it of micro nutrients and inhibit plant growth.
Look at that 'lil guy

I looked up a few sources and saw that microwave radiation was a highly argued topic. Groups are split between those who say that microwave radiation will only damage skin at high exposure, and others say that microwaves are of the devil [paraphrasing]. I’ll give you my research, and my experiment and then you can just decide for yourself.


Science & Sources & Stuff
I found five sources that supported my hypothesis indirectly. I say indirectly because I couldn’t find enough articles saying that microwaves would denature micronutrients. According to the FDA’s official website microwaves are comparable to x rays, but should not be mistaken for them. Essentially microwaves are baby x rays. In 1979 S. W. Jordan performed an experiment on microwaves and their effect upon the mice kidney. The more the mouse kidney was exposed to microwaves the more disfigured the canals became. Dr. John W Gofman’s current research suggests that increased exposure to micro waves results in Ischemic heart disease. In 2008, Evren Gölge used microwaves at different quantities on pine nuts to determine the immediate effects of radiation on nutritional values. The data showed that although the exterior and macronutrient values were unaffected, the micronutrient values were negatively impacted. In other words Evren blasted the nuts with intermittent bursts of microwaves and noticed no difference in appearance. He also tested them and found no significant calorie, fat, protein, or carb differences. However, when he tested the micronutrients, important nutrients that are required in lower quantities, he found that some had been altered drastically.  

Experiment & Conclusion
The experiment was performed using 5 plants. A control, a plant with soil micro waved for 1 min, a plant with soil micro waved for 2 min, a plant with soil micro waved for 3 min, and a plant with soil micro waved for 5 min. The plant species used was expected to reach maturity before 21 days, which would be our final day for measurements. At 21 days we found that our control plant had grown without any incident. The plant in soil that was micro waved for 1 minute had grown, developed primary leaves and reached maturity but died within days of flowering. The 2 and 3 minute plants had just germinated (started growing) and the 4 minute plant never sprouted. This showed me that the more I micro waved the soil the less apt it was to even retain enough nutrients for primary growth. This also showed that even 1 minute of microwaving could denature some of the micronutrients in the soil that the plant truly depends on.
This is less than 24 hours after the first flower bloomed

I’m People Not Plant
 I understand that we don’t eat dirt, but I promise that this relates to us. If my conclusion is correct, then we can now look at our foods. Any food that we microwave may be stripped of micronutrients that we assume we’re getting. If you do whole food challenges then you may want to avoid microwaving. If you take a multi-vitamin to make up for missing nutrients you can read my researched opinion here. I personally propose that we reduce our microwave use and begin getting the nutrients we pay for. You can agree with me, or not, either way just let me know what you think.
After 21 days and plenty of water, not one seed could sprout. Soil microwaved for 4 minutes.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.