The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking
Recent research shows that microwave oven-cooked
food suffers severe molecular damage. When eaten, it causes abnormal
changes in human blood and immune systems.
Not surprisingly, the public has been denied details on these
significant health dangers.
Extracted from NEXUS Magazine, Volume 2,
#25 (April-May '95).
PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia.
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From our web page at:
Originally printed from the April 1994 edition of Acres,
PO Box 8800, Metairie, Louisiana, 70011 USA
Telephone: (504) 889 2100; Fax: (504) 889 2777
Back in May of 1989, after Tom Valentine
first moved to St Paul, Minnesota, he heard on the car radio a short
announcement that bolted him upright in the driver's seat. The
announcement was sponsored by Young Families, the Minnesota Extension
Service of the University of Minnesota:
"Although microwaves heat food quickly, they are not recommended for
heating a baby's bottle," the announcement said. The bottle may seem
cool to the touch, but the liquid inside may become extremely hot and
could burn the baby's mouth and throat. Also, the buildup of steam in
a closed container such as a baby's bottle could cause it to explode.
"Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the
milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins. In
expressed breast milk, some protective properties may be destroyed."
The report went on. "Warming a bottle by holding it under tap water
or by setting it in a bowl of warm water, then testing it on your
wrist before feeding, may take a few minutes longer, but it is much
Valentine asked himself: If an established institution like the
University of Minnesota can warn about the loss of particular
nutrient qualities in microwaved baby formula or mother's milk, then
somebody must know something about microwaving they are not telling
In early 1991, word leaked out about a lawsuit in Oklahoma. A
woman named Norma Levitt had hip surgery, only to be killed by a
simple blood transfusion when a nurse "warmed the blood for the
transfusion in a microwave oven"!
Logic suggests that if heating or cooking is all there is to it, then
it doesn't matter what mode of heating technology one uses. However,
it is quite apparent that there is more to 'heating' with microwaves
than we've been led to believe.
Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed-but not in microwave
ovens! In the case of Mrs Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood
and it killed her.
Does it not therefore follow that this form of heating does, indeed,
do 'something different' to the substances being heated? Is it not
prudent to determine what that 'something different' might do?
A funny thing happened on the way to the bank with all that microwave
oven revenue: nobody thought about the obvious. Only 'health nuts'
who are constantly aware of the value of quality nutrition discerned
a problem with the widespread 'denaturing' of our food. Enter Hans
In the tiny town of Wattenwil, near Basel in Switzerland, there
lives a scientist who is alarmed at the lack of purity and
naturalness in the many pursuits of modern mankind. He worked as a
food scientist for several years with one of the many major Swiss
food companies that do business on a global scale. A few years ago,
he was fired from his job for questioning procedures in processing
food because they denatured it.
"The world needs our help," Hans Hertel told Tom Valentine as they
shared a fine meal at a resort hotel in Todtmoss, Germany.
"We, the scientists, carry the main responsibility for the present
unacceptable conditions. It is therefore our job to correct the
situation and bring the remedy to the world. I am striving to bring
man and techniques back into harmony with nature. We can have
wonderful technologies without violating nature."
Hans is an intense man, driven by personal knowledge of violations of
nature by corporate man and his state-supported monopolies in
science, technology and education. At the same time, as the two
talked, his intensity shattered into a warm smile and he spoke of the
way things could be if mankind's immense talent were to work with
nature and not against her.
Hans Hertel is the first scientist to conceive of and carry out a
quality study on the effects of microwaved nutrients on the blood and
physiology of human beings. This small but well-controlled study
pointed the firm finger at a degenerative force of microwave ovens
and the food produced in them. The conclusion was clear: microwave
cooking changed the nutrients so that changes took place in the
participants' blood; these were not healthy changes but were changes
that could cause deterioration in the human systems.
Working with Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry, Hertel not
only conceived of the study and carried it out, he was one of eight
"To control as many variables as possible, we selected eight
individuals who were strict macrobiotic diet participants from the
Macrobiotic Institute at Kientel, Switzerland," Hertel explained. "We
were all housed in the same hotel environment for eight weeks. There
was no smoking, no alcohol and no sex."
One can readily see that this protocol makes sense. After all, how
could you tell about subtle changes in a human's blood from eating
microwaved food if smoking, booze, junk food, pollution, pesticides,
hormones, antibiotics and everything else in the common environment
were also present?
"We had one American, one Canadian and six Europeans in the group. I
was the oldest at 64 years, the others were in their 20s and 30s,"
Valentine published the results of this study in Search for
Health in the Spring of 1992. But the follow-up information is
available only in a later edition, and also in Acres, USA.
In intervals of two to five days, the volunteers in the study
received one of the food variants on an empty stomach. The food
variants were: raw milk from a biofarm (no. 1); the same milk
conventionally cooked (no. 2); pasteurised milk from Intermilk Berne
(no. 3); the same raw milk cooked in a microwave oven (no. 4); raw
vegetables from an organic farm (no. 5); the same vegetables cooked
conventionally (no. 6); the same vegetables frozen and defrosted in
the microwave oven (no. 7); and the same vegetables cooked in the
microwave oven (no. 8). The overall experiment had some of the
earmarks of the Pottenger cat studies, except that now human beings
were test objects, the experiment's time-frame was shorter, and a new
heat form was tested.
Once the volunteers were isolated at the resort hotel, the test
began. Blood samples were taken from every volunteer immediately
before eating. Then blood samples were taken at defined intervals
after eating from the above-numbered milk or vegetable
Significant changes were discovered in the blood of the volunteers
who consumed foods cooked in the microwave oven. These changes
included a decrease in all haemoglobin values and cholesterol values,
especially the HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol)
values and ratio. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) showed a more
distinct short-term decrease following the intake of microwaved food
than after the intake of all the other variants. Each of these
indicators point in a direction away from robust health and toward
degeneration. Additionally, there was a highly significant
association between the amount of microwave energy in the test foods
and the luminous power of luminescent bacteria exposed to serum from
test persons who ate that food. This led Hertel to the conclusion
that such technically derived energies may, indeed, be passed along
to man inductively via consumption of microwaved food.
"This process is based on physical principles and has already been
confirmed in the literature," Hertel explained. The apparent
additional energy exhibited by the luminescent bacteria was merely
"There is extensive scientific literature concerning the hazardous
effects of direct microwave radiation on living systems," Hertel
continued. "It is astonishing, therefore, to realise how little
effort has been made to replace this detrimental technique of
microwaves with technology more in accordance with nature.
"Technically produced microwaves are based on the principle of
alternating current. Atoms, molecules and cells hit by this hard
electromagnetic radiation are forced to reverse polarity 1 to 100
billion times a second. There are no atoms, molecules or cells of any
organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power
for any extended period of time, not even in the low energy range of
"Of all the natural substances-which are polar-the oxygen of water
molecules reacts most sensitively. This is how microwave cooking heat
is generated-friction from this violence in water molecules.
Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully
deformed (called structural isomerism) and thus become impaired in
"This is contrary to conventional heating of food, in which heat
transfers convectionally from without to within. Cooking by
microwaves begins within the cells and molecules where water is
present and where the energy is transformed into frictional
The question naturally arises: What about microwaves from the sun?
Aren't they harmful?
Hertel responded: "The microwaves from the Sun are based on
principles of pulsed direct current. These rays create no frictional
heat in organic substance."
In addition to violent frictional heat effects (called thermic
effects), there are also athermic effects which have hardly ever been
taken into account, Hertel added.
"These athermic effects are not presently measurable, but they can
also deform the structures of molecules and have qualitative
consequences. For example, the weakening of cell membranes by
microwaves is used in the field of gene altering technology. Because
of the force involved, the cells are actually broken, thereby
neutralising the electrical potentials-the very life of the
cells-between the outer and inner sides of the cell membranes.
Impaired cells become easy prey for viruses, fungi and other
micro-organisms. The natural repair mechanisms are suppressed, and
cells are forced to adapt to a state of energy emergency: they switch
from aerobic to anaerobic respiration. Instead of water and carbon
dioxide, hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide are produced."
It has long been pointed out in the literature that any reversal of
healthy cell processes may occur because of a number of reasons, and
our cells then revert from a "robust oxidation" to an unhealthy
The same violent friction and athermic deformations that can occur in
our bodies when we are subjected to radar or microwaves, happens to
the molecules in the food cooked in a microwave oven. In fact, when
anyone microwaves food, the oven exerts a power input of about 1,000
watts or more. This radiation results in destruction and deformation
of molecules of food, and in the formation of new compounds (called
radiolytic compounds) unknown to man and nature.
Today's established science and technology argues forcefully that
microwaved food and irradiated foods do not have any significantly
higher "radiolytic compounds" than do broiled, baked or other
conventionally cooked foods-but microwaving does produce more of
these critters. Curiously, neither established science nor our
ever-protective government has conducted tests-on the blood of the
eaters-of the effects of eating various kinds of cooked foods. Hertel
and his group did test it, and the indication is clear that something
is amiss and that larger studies should be funded. The apparently
toxic effects of microwave cooking is another in a long list of
unnatural additives in our daily diets. However, the establishment
has not taken kindly to this work.
"The first drawing of blood samples took place on an empty stomach at
7.45 each morning," Hertel explained. "The second drawing of blood
took place 15 minutes after the food intake. The third drawing was
two hours later."
From each sample, 50 millilitres of blood was used for the chemistry
and five millimetres for the haematology and the luminescence. The
haematological examinations took place immediately after drawing the
samples. Erythrocytes, haemoglobin, mean haemoglobin concentration,
mean haemoglobin content, leukocytes and lymphocytes were measured.
The chemical analysis consisted of iron, total cholesterol, HDL
cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
The results of erythrocyte, haemoglobin, haematocrit and leukocyte
determinations were at the "lower limits of normal" in those tested
following the eating of the microwaved samples.
"These results show anaemic tendencies. The situation became even
more pronounced during the second month of the study," Hertel added.
"And with those decreasing values, there was a corresponding increase
of cholesterol values."
Hertel admits that stress factors, from getting punctured for the
blood samples so often each day, for example, cannot be ruled out,
but the established baseline for each individual became the "zero
values" marker, and only changes from the zero values were
With only one round of test substances completed, the different
effects between conventionally prepared food and microwaved food were
marginal-although noticed as definite "tendencies". As the test
continued, the differences in the blood markers became "statistically
significant". The changes are generally considered to be signs of
stress on the body. For example, erythrocytes tended to increase
after eating vegetables from the microwave oven. Haemoglobin and both
of the mean concentration and content haemoglobin markers also tended
to decrease significantly after eating the microwaved substances.
"Leukocytosis," Hertel explained, "which cannot be accounted for
by normal daily deviations such as following the intake of food, is
taken seriously by haematologists. Leukocyte response is especially
sensitive to stress. They are often signs of pathogenic effects on
the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage. The increase of
leukocytes with the microwaved foods was more pronounced than with
all the other variants. It appears that these marked increases were
caused entirely by ingesting the microwaved substances."
The cholesterol markers were very interesting, Hertel stressed:
"Common scientific belief states that cholesterol values usually
alter slowly over longer periods of time. In this study, the markers
increased rapidly after the consumption of the microwaved vegetables.
However, with milk, the cholesterol values remained the same and even
decreased with the raw milk significantly."
Hertel believes his study tends to confirm newer scientific data that
suggest cholesterol may rapidly increase in the blood secondary to
acute stress. "Also," he added, "blood cholesterol levels are less
influenced by cholesterol content of food than by stress factors.
Such stress-causing factors can apparently consist of foods which
contain virtually no cholesterol-the microwaved vegetables."
It is plain to see that this individually financed and conducted
study has enough meat in it to make anyone with a modicum of common
sense sit up and take notice. Food from the microwave oven caused
abnormal changes, representing stress, to occur in the blood of all
the test individuals. Biological individuality, a key variable that
makes a mockery of many allegedly scientific studies, was well
accounted for by the established baselines.
So, how has the brilliant world of modern technology, medicine and
'protect the public' government reacted to this impressive effort?
A GAG ORDER
As soon as Hertel and Blanc announced their results, the hammer
of authority slammed down on them. A powerful trade organisation, the
Swiss Association of Dealers for Electroapparatuses for Households
and Industry, known simply as FEA, struck swiftly. They forced the
President of the Court of Seftigen, Kanton Bern, to issue a 'gag
order' against Hertel and Blanc. The attack was so ferocious that
Blanc quickly recanted his support-but it was too late. He had
already put into writing his views on the validity of the studies
where he concurred with the opinion that microwaved food caused the
Hertel stood his ground, and today is steadfastly demanding his
rights to a trial. Preliminary hearings on the matter have been
appealed to higher courts, and it's quite obvious the powers that be
do not want a 'show trial' to erupt on this issue.
In March 1993, the court handed down this decision based upon the
complaint of the FEA:
1. Request from the plaintiff (FEA) to prohibit the defendant (Dr
Ing. Hans Hertel) from declaring that food prepared in the microwave
oven shall be dangerous to health and lead to changes in the blood of
consumers, giving reference to pathologic troubles as also indicative
for the beginning of a cancerous process. The defendant shall be
prohibited from repeating such a statement in publications and in
public talks by punishment laid down in the law.
2. The jurisdiction of the judge is given according to law.
3. The active legitimacy of the plaintiff is given according to the
4. The passive legitimacy of the defendant is given by the fact that
he is the author of the polemic [published study] in question,
especially since the present new and revised law allows to exclude
the necessity of a competitive situation, therefore delinquents may
also be persons who are not co-competitors, but may damage the
competing position of others by mere declarations.
[Apparently, Swiss corporations have lobbied in a law that nails
"delinquents" who disparage products and might do damage to commerce
by such remarks. So far, the US Constitution still preserves freedom
of the press.]
5. Considering the relevant situation it is referred to three
publications: the public renunciation [sic] of the so-called
co-author Professor Bernard Blanc, the expertise of Professor Teuber
[expert witness from the FEA] about the above-mentioned publication,
the opinion of the public health authorities with regard to the
present stage of research with microwave ovens as well as to repeated
statements from the side of the defendant about the danger of such
6. It is not considered of importance whether or not the polemic of
the defendant meets the approval of the public, because all that is
necessary is that a possibility exists that such a statement could
find approval with people not being experts themselves. Also,
advertising involving fear is not allowed and is always disqualified
by the law. The necessity for a fast interference is in no case more
advised than in the processes of competition. Basically, the
defendant has the right to defend himself against such accusations.
This right, however, can be denied in cases of pressing danger with
regard to impairing the rights of the plaintiff when this is
On grounds of this pending request of the plaintiff, the court
arrives at the conclusion that because of special presuppositions as
in this case, a definite disadvantage for the plaintiff does exist,
which may not easily be repaired, and therefore must be considered to
be of immediate danger. The case thus warrants the request of the
plaintiff to be justified, even without hearing the defendant. Also,
because it is not known when the defendant will bring further
statements into the public.
The judge is also of the opinion that because the publications are
made up to appear as scientific, and therefore especially
reliable-looking, they may cause additional bad disadvantages. It
must be added that there does obviously not exist a just reason for
this publication because there is no public interest for
pseudo-scientific unproved declarations. Finally, these ordered
measures do not prove to be disproportionate.
The defendant is prohibited, under punishment of up to F5,000, or up
to one year in prison, to declare that food prepared in microwave
ovens is dangerous to health and leads to pathologic troubles as also
indicative for the beginning of a cancerous process.
The plaintiff pays the costs.
(Signed) President of the Court of Seftigen Kraemer."
If you cannot imagine this kind of decision coming from a court in
the United States, you have not been paying attention to the advances
of administrative law.
Hertel defied the court and has loudly demanded a fair hearing on the
truth of his claims. The court has continued to delay, dodge, appeal
and avoid any media-catching confrontation. As of this writing, Hans
is still waiting for a hearing with media coverage-and he's still
talking and publishing his findings.
"They have not been able to intimidate me into silence, and I will
not accept their conditions," Hertel declared. "I have appeared at
large seminars in Germany, and the study results have been
well-received. Also, I think the authorities are aware that
scientists at Ciba-Geigy [the world's largest pharmaceutical company,
headquartered in Switzerland] have vowed to support me in court."
As those powerful special interests in Switzerland who desire to sell
microwave ovens by the millions continued to suppress open debate on
this vital issue for modern civilisation, new microwave developments
blossomed in the United States.
In the journal Pediatrics (vol. 89, no. 4, April 1992),
there appeared an article titled, "Effects of Microwave Radiation on
Anti-infective Factors in Human Milk". Richard Quan, M.D. from
Dallas, Texas, was the lead name of the study team. John A. Kerner,
M.D., from Stanford University, was also on the research team, and he
was quoted in a summary article on the research that appeared in the
25 April 1992 issue of Science News. To get the full flavour
of what may lie ahead for microwaving, here is that summary
"Women who work outside the home can express and store breast milk
for feedings when they are away. But parents and caregivers should be
careful how they warm this milk. A new study shows that microwaving
human milk-even at a low setting-can destroy some of its important
"Breast milk can be refrigerated safely for a few days or frozen for
up to a month; however, studies have shown that heating the milk well
above body temperature-37°ree;C-can break down not only its
antibodies to infectious agents, but also its lysozymes or
bacteria-digesting enzymes. So, when paediatrician John A. Kerner,
Jr, witnessed neonatal nurses routinely thawing or reheating breast
milk with the microwave oven in their lounge, he became
"In the April 1992 issue of Pediatrics (Part I), he and his
Stanford University co-workers reported finding that unheated breast
milk that was microwaved lost lysozyme activity, antibodies and
fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria. Milk
heated at a high setting (72 degrees Celsius to 98 degrees C) lost 96
per cent of its immunoglobulin-A antibodies, agents that fend off
"What really surprised him, Kerner said, was finding some loss of
anti-infective properties in the milk microwaved at a low setting-and
to a mean of just 33.5 degrees C. Adverse changes at such low
temperatures suggest 'microwaving itself may in fact cause some
injury to the milk above and beyond the heating'.
"But Randall M. Goldblum of the University of Texas Medical Branch in
Galveston disagrees, saying: 'I don't see any compelling evidence
that the microwaves did any harm. It was the heating.' Lysozyme
and antibody degradation in the coolest samples may simply reflect
the development of small hot spots-potentially 60 degrees C or
above-during microwaving, noted Madeleine Sigman-Grant of
Pennsylvania State University, University Park. And that's to be
expected, she said, because microwave heating is inherently
uneven-and quite unpredictable when volumes less than four
millilitres are involved, as was the case in the Kerner's study.
"Goldblum considers use of a microwave to thaw milk an especially
bad idea, since it is likely to boil some of the milk before all has
even liquefied. Stanford University Medical Center no longer
microwaves breast milk, Kerner notes. And that's appropriate,
Sigman-Grant believes, because of the small volumes of milk that
hospitals typically serve newborns-especially premature infants."
CHASING A STORY
Journalist Tom Valentine, after chasing this story, found it
interesting that 'scientists' have so many 'beliefs' to express
rather than prove fact. Yet facts eventually snuff out
Researcher Quan, in a phone interview, said that he believed the
results of research so far warranted further detailed study of the
effects of microwave cooking on nutrients. The summary sentence in an
abstract of the research paper is very clear:
"Microwaving appears to be contra-indicated at high temperatures, and
questions regarding its safety exist even at low temperatures."
The final statement of the study conclusion reads:
"This preliminary study suggests that microwaving human milk could be
detrimental. Further studies are needed to determine whether and how
microwaving could safely be done." Unfortunately, further studies are
not scheduled at this time.
If there are so many indications that the effects of microwaves on
foods can degrade the foods far above the known breakdowns of
standard cooking, is it not reasonable to conduct exhaustive studies
on living, breathing human beings to determine if it's possible that
eating microwaved foods continuously, as many people do, can be
significantly detrimental to individual health?
If you wanted to introduce a herbal supplement into the American
mainstream and make any health claims for it, you would be subjected
to exhaustive documentation and costly research. Yet the
microwave-oven industry had only to prove that the dangerous
microwaves could, indeed, be contained within the oven and not escape
into the surrounding area where the radiation could do damage to
people. The industry must admit that some microwaves escape even in
the best-made ovens. So far, not one thought has been given by the
industry to the possibility that the nutrients could be so altered as
to be deleterious to health.
Well, this makes sense in a land that encourages farmers to poison
crops and soils with massive amounts of synthesised chemicals, and
encourages food processors to use additives that enhance shelf-life
of foods regardless of the potential for degrading the health of the
How many hundreds of pounds of microwaved food per capita is consumed
in America each year?
Are we going to continue to take it from established authority,
without question, on the premise that they know best?
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