My own experience informed me that heating water and tea and coffee was quite acceptable. This easily extended to starches as well and particularly to making rice with the right equipment. I would like to see feedback on any changes there.
It all falls apart when dealing with complex biologicals such as meat and vegetables. Our own senses told us as much and the science here really spells out just how bad it happens to be. This is no minor problem.
I have actually stopped using it at all except for the odd item at restaurants. Back to making my own starches with boiling water.
What is described here is a serious loss of nutrient integrity.
- Three recent studies of historical food composition have shown 5-40% declines in some of the minerals in fresh produce, and another study found a similar decline in our protein sources (1)
- A 1999 Scandinavian study of the cooking of asparagus spears found that microwaving caused a reduction in vitamins (3)
- In a study of garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allinase, garlic’s principle active ingredient against cancer (5)
- A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97% of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11% or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact (6).
- A recent Australian study showed that micro- waves cause a higher degree of “protein unfolding” than conventional heating (2)
- Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In 1992, Quan found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria (4).
- 1. Davis D R. (February 1, 2009). Declining fruit and vegetable nutrient composition: What is the evidence? American Society of Horticultural Science.
- 2. George D F, Bilek M M, and McKenzie D R. Non-thermal effects in the microwave induced unfolding of proteins observed by chaperone binding. Bioelectromagnetics 2008 May;29(4). 324-330.
- 3. Kidmose U and Kaack K. Acta. Agriculturae Scandinavica B1999:49(2).110-117.
- 4. Quan R (et al). Effects of microwave radiation on anti- infective factors in human milk. Pediatrics 89(4 part I). 667-669.
- 5. Song K and Milner J A. The influence of heating on the anticancer properties of garlic. Journal of Nutrition 2001;131(3S).1054S-1057S.
- 6. Vallejo F, Tomas-Barberan F A, and Garcia-Viguera C. Phenolic compound contents in edible parts of broccoli inflorescences after domestic cooking. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (15 Oct ©2009 BAUMAN COLLEGE Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts 800-987-7530 • www.baumancollege.org