According to statistics, around 56.1% of German households owned a microwave in 2000. In 2021 it was already 73.8% of German households who, in addition to countless microwave ovens in trains, airplanes, large kitchens, etc., heated their food super quickly and easily in the microwave oven. And the market is booming: worldwide sales in the microwave segment of around 7,998 million, i.e. almost 8 billion euros, were achieved in 2021. This shows us how widespread this technology is in our kitchens. This article will cover the following questions and beyond:
- How did the microwave oven get into our households?
- Is microwave food really as safe as is always claimed?
- What happens to food heated by microwaves at the molecular level?
- What happens in our body after consumption?
- Are there any studies that show a harmful effect?
- And if so, why are they hardly known?
How it all started
Officially, it is said that Percy Spenser (1894-1970), an American engineer who built magnetrons (vacuum time-of-flight tubes for generating electromagnetic waves) for radar systems at Raytheon, an armaments company and manufacturer of high-frequency technology, was the father of the microwave oven. He came up with the idea for a stove when he observed, rather by chance, that chocolate melted in his pocket while working on radar systems. This sparked his interest, which is why he experimented more specifically with artificially generated microwaves. These experiments, in which he burst eggs or let corn kernels fly through the room as popcorn, convinced him of the effectiveness and so the idea for a “radar stove” was born. But it would be some time before the microwave we know today came into existence.
The first official (microwave) radar cooker
- In 1946 one of the first stoves, which were quite bulky at 1.80 m in height and 340 kg in weight, had water cooling and around 3,000 W power, was proudly presented to the public in the Hotel Waldorf Astoria. (See Fig. 1)
Fig. 1: One of the first microwave ovens / radar ovens from 1946. Image source: https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/images/60c2d409-0001-0004-0000-000000799124_w920_r0.8868305826877737_fpx50.97_fpy46.99.jpg
- In 1954, according to official information, the first commercial microwave ovens with an output of around 1,600 W were manufactured for passenger aircraft and later also for large kitchens, costing around $ 2,000-3,000.
- In 1955, as part of a joint project, the Raytheon company and the US company Tappan brought a stove with more household friendly dimensions to the market, which can be seen in the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C..
- By 1964, about 1,396 copies of these had sold for $ 1,400.
- From 1970 onwards, prices fell, which led to its widespread use among the population. In 1970, around 40,000 households in the USA already had a microwave, in 1975 one million and in 1997 97% of the population, spreading quickly around the globe.
- According to statistical surveys, around 73.8% of all German households now have a microwave oven.
This is the official story can be found on Wikipedia.
Germany and the microwave
Wenn der Herd auch unbestreitbar durch die USA weltweite Verbreitung fand, so wurde das jedoch nicht zuerst in den USA entdeckt. Denn die Idee, Essen schnell, zeitsparend und unkompliziert durch hochfrequente Mikrowellen zu erhitzen, hatten nämlich schon einige Jahre vor den Amerikanern die deutschen Techniker und Ingenieure an der Berliner Humboldt-Universität noch während des 2. Weltkrieges. Doch ließ man dort diese krankmachende Idee schnell wieder los. Zitat:
“The morale of a troop calls for full stomachs and warm food. And so the microwave oven would have made the job of the field kitchens drastically easier. But the device was not accepted by the army command. If at all, the soldiers should only fall in enemy fire – and not at the ignorant hand of their own kitchen company. The doctors and engineers at Berlin’s Humboldt University, quickly recognized how harmful these time-saving “stoves” actually were, resulting with the idea to be buried again after it saw the light of day.”
But this unofficial, little-known story about the use of the microwave, which has been praised and celebrated as practical, does not end there.
Russia and the microwave
After Berlin was first captured and occupied by Russian forces, much of the secret or less secret research of the Germans fell into their hands, and so did the developments and ideas relating to the microwave. There, this plan was also abandoned. Quote:
“In the field of vibrational physics in particular, the Soviet researchers were decades ahead of their colleagues in the West, and it is therefore not surprising that the political leadership of the USSR pronounced a ban against microwave ovens in 1976. Russian scientists had already investigated the effects of microwave radiation with low power density on the central nervous system of animals and humans in the 1930s. The extremely strict safety standards derived from this were not taken seriously by Western researchers and were exceeded a thousand times over in the 1960s. “
After the collapse of the USSR, however, Russia began to orient itself back to the western lifestyle.This is why the microwave can be found in households again today.
What did the German and Russian researchers recognize?
Now, of course, common sense raises the question of why German and Russian scientists put a ban on the microwave oven 70 to 80 years ago, instead of promoting cooking and grilling options, as do today’s Galileo broadcasts on YouTube or in network posts.
Were Germany’s and Russia’s developers, researchers, doctors and engineers all too ignorant and not as “up-to-date” as we are? Why did you reject the microwave for quick, time-saving heating of food shortly after its development?
Benjamin Seiler provides information on this in his article “Difficult survival in the global microwave oven” in Zeitenschrift (No. 44/2004) on page 49. Quote:
“In the archives of the Atlantis Educational Center in Portland, Oregon, there is the original document of a forensic (forensic) research report, summarizing the results of the German and Russian experiments with microwave ovens, which were carried out in the 1940s and 1950s. The impacts identified at the time were divided into the following categories:
- Carcinogenic effects of food irradiated with microwaves
- Destruction of the nutritional value of microwaved food
- Direct biological effects of microwave radiation on humans.“
The harmful effects of microwaves (ovens)
Fig. 2 Image source: From heb @Wikimedia Commons (mail) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1860088 found at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikrowellenherd#/media/Datei:MW_on_fire.jpg
We are now entering the area of the harmful effects of microwave ovens and the associated research and negative effects on health, which is highly controversial and heavily denied, and even banned, by industry and proponents.
1. Carcinogenic effects of food irradiated with microwaves
The German and Russian researchers recognized that elementary nutrients are changed by radiation with high frequency (microwave ovens work at around 2.5 GHz, similar to cell phone masts) in such a way that they lead to functional disorders in the digestive tract and lymphatic system. Protein compounds are molecularly destabilized and the development of carcinogenic substances in meat, milk and grain products is promoted. It doesn’t matter whether we just thaw the food in the microwave or cook it in it.
In other words, due to the unnaturally high vibrations of around 5 billion times per second, at a frequency of around 2.5 GHz, the food is molecularly shaken to such an extent that the natural structure of the cells and molecules in the food changes and the harmony of the food Molecules is destroyed. The body cannot do anything with unnaturally changed food, as this ultimately has a toxic (poisonous) effect.
Microwave food as fattening food
The body tries to get rid of toxic food or to keep it in solution in order to protect us from it. This is why it binds (dilutes) these in water, causing it to artificially float, as it stores these substances as waste products and poisons, which is why microwave food also acidifies the body.
An unhealthy acid-base balance in the body not only makes it fat, it also weakens the immune system and makes it susceptible to a whole range of civilization-related diseases such as obesity, rheumatism, heart disease and many more.
Measurements have shown that the blood count changes for the worse after eating microwave food, which in turn promotes the development of cancer.
2. Destruction of the nutritional value of microwaved food
The German and Russian research of the 1940s and 50s, but also later research in the 70s / 80s, e.g. from Switzerland, showed that food heated, cooked or thawed in microwave ovens leads to a significant decrease in the nutritional values resulting in:
- significantly reduced the bioavailability of nutrients and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients;
- the nutritional value of animal protein being destroyed;
- the vital energy of the food decreasing by 60-90%.
- significant reduction in hemoglobin content (red blood cells / important for oxygen supply) and folic acid level (important for blood formation)
- drastic increase in leukocyte count (white blood cells / see Fig. 3), the cholesterol level (stress level of the blood) and the acidity of the blood;
- disturbed protein stability.
- The blood count shows increased pathological changes as a result of regular consumption of microwave food.
- The structural breakdown of all food heated in the microwave oven accelerates.
Fig. 3: Increase in leukocytes (white blood cells) after irradiated microwave food. This always means an increased immune defense in the body, as in the case of infections or tumors. Image source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zeitenschrift.com%2Fartikel%2Fdie-mikrowelle-macht-dick&psig=AOvVaw19fbUPBlqyQ6ymvOxfFhjW&ust=16375858fe99824000&sig=AOvVaw19fbUPBlqyQ6ymvOxfFhjW&ust=16375858fe99824000
3. Biological effects of microwave radiation on humans
Interestingly, when we expose ourselves to direct microwave radiation, we get problems similar to those with cellular communications. This is how Benjamin Seiler writes in the article already mentioned on German and Russian research on the biological effects of microwaves. Quote:
“The (legally permitted) leakage radiation from a microwave oven leads to a significant loss of vital energy in humans. For a short time, the body is no longer able to properly utilize healthy nutrients. Inside the body cells there is a short circuit of the membrane potentials and thus a breakdown of the cell functions; this applies especially to blood and lymph.”
“The circuits of electrical nerve impulses in the cerebrum and in the centers of the central and autonomic nervous systems break down. The function of the waking consciousness is disturbed as well as the hormone production and the hormonal balance. Alpha, beta and delta brain waves have significantly higher interference frequencies, which can lead to the following complaints:
– Loss of memory, poor concentration, suppressed emotional threshold, slowing down of thought processes and sleep disorders.”
Leak radiation and electrosmog
It is well known that microwave ovens are actually constantly emitting leakage radiation, and that we are therefore exposed to electrosmog. What is taken seriously or played down depends on the perspective, as we can read at the Federal Ministry for Radiation Protection (BfS). Quote:
“High-frequency electromagnetic fields with a frequency of 2.45 GHz are used in microwave ovens to quickly heat food […] Shielding measures ensure that very little radiation gets out during operation. Despite good shielding, there is little leakage radiation in the vicinity of the screen and the doors.”
E-smog contamination of the living area
As a result, the kitchen and the living area are actually constantly contaminated with electrosmog. According to the BfS, the amount of leakage radiation should only be 1% and thus be absolutely manageable. But experts with many years of experience in the field of electrosmog, such as Dr. Joseph Mercola, strongly advise against getting a microwave. Quote:
“A microwave is one of the strongest producers of radio wave radiation in your household and also emits a strong magnetic field far into the kitchen. A microwave should be kept 30 meters away from a running microwave, so it’s best to throw it out of the house. But don’t forget: in the long run, your cell phones and routers are the devices that cause the greatest EMF exposure.”
Measure instead of guessing and trusting blindly
If you play it safe and don’t want to give up your beloved microwave, you shouldn’t trust your older or newly purchased stove with modern measuring devices (e.g. microwave leak detector PMD74 Pyle Audio and microwave indicator “BR15“) check again. Because older, still functional devices emit more leakage radiation and the limit values are quickly exceeded many times over at points that are no longer properly sealed. As the editors of Mysteries magazine quickly discovered in a practical self-test of their old, “still working” microwave. Whereupon they immediately threw away the still fully functional device. (see more in Mysteries issue 6/2015; Microwave ovens can endanger our health)
Death from microwave leakage radiation?
An article by Benjamin Seiler and Siegfried Zwerenz in an older magazine edition from 1999 under the title “The great cell phone report / The Sword of Damocles over our heads” reports that microwave leakage radiation can even be fatal, which says:
“A few years ago (before 1999! / Author’s note) an English doctor autopsied an allegedly healthy cook who suddenly fell dead while at work. Cardiac arrest. When the doctor opened the body of the deceased, he experienced the shock of his life: in the words of the doctor, the cook’s heart was even cooked like a piece of meat on the lunch table. The doctor could not explain this phenomenon – until he discovered that this cook had worked in front of a microwave oven. Due to some defect or malfunction, the full microwave radiation had escaped and killed the cook within a few moments.”
David versus Goliath
Two researchers who publicly pointed out these negative effects and thus opposed a powerful industrial lobby were the agricultural engineer Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertl and Professor Bernand Blanc from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Around 1989 they applied to the Swiss National Fund for funding of 150,000 francs, but this was rejected on the grounds that there was no public interest in investigating microwaves. They financed their independent investigations out of their own pocket and were able to prove in the 1990s that microwave food increases the number of pathological changes in the blood count as we have already considered. As a result, Hertl and Blanc began to publicly publish their reports and research results using microwave oven images with skulls. (See Fig. 4)
But the professional association “Electrical appliances for household and business Switzerland” (FEA) did not find this funny at all and accused Hertl of behavior that was damaging to business and obtained in costly litigation that Hertl was no longer allowed to publicly display this behavior that was damaging to business. Hertl did not give up, although he lost the first judicial instance and then had to pay 60,000 francs in legal costs, and ultimately won on 08/25/1998 at the European Court of Human Rights. He in turn condemned Switzerland for having muzzled Hertl. He was then given back his freedom to publish the research results, and was also awarded a claim for damages of around 40,000 francs.
Old research not recognized today
These old researches are now generally regarded as outdated or refuted and are accordingly disputed. Although the technology has basically not changed since it was invented and spread around the world.
This leads to the conclusion that research and results on the harmful effects of microwaves have been around for a long time. At the same time, this scientific criticism – as it is almost conspicuous in the case of mobile telephony or the spreading electrosensitivity – is not taken seriously, is disputed and even suppressed by lawsuits.
It is only for the inexperienced layperson to take a closer look at it, to listen to all sides of the story in order to then carefully consider the benefits vs risks before using a microwave.The high frequencies in the form of microwaves in the household harbor much more dangers than we are sometimes lead to believe.
Compact assembly oven as an alternative
Maintaining a comfortable and time-saving way of life and warming up food as quickly as possible would also be possible with a compact ready-made oven. It doesn’t cost much more and is available on the market as a multifunctional and energy-saving alternative without dangerous microwaves.
Bon appetit after this mentally difficult food and hopefully also some thought-provoking lines! I wish you all a peaceful Christmas season and a good, healthy, successful and conscious year 2022.
Author, human and nature lover
- Federal Office for Radiation Protection: Microwave ovens. Salzgitter 2021. https://www.bfs.de/DE/themen/emf/hff/quellen/mikrowelle/mikrowelle.html
- DER SPIEGEL GmbH & Co. KG: Bacon in 90 seconds. Hamburg 2015. https://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/mikrowelle-percy-spencers-zufalls-entdeckung-im-us-militaer-labor-fotostrecke-122998.html
- ever-growing GmbH: Numbers, data and facts about the microwave. Burghausen 2018. https://www.expertentesten.de/zahlen-daten-und-fakten-zur-mikrowelle/
- Galileo; YouTube: 5 things that definitely belong in a microwave | Galileo | ProSieben. 2017. https://youtu.be/X7YPoDCmr68
- Krautstein, Hans; bio verlag gmbH: Microwave ovens in the twilight. Aschaffenburg 1999. https://schrotundkorn.de/umwelt/mikrowellengeraete-im-zwielicht
- Krautstein, Hans; bio verlag gmbH: Microwave ovens in the twilight. Gelsenkirchen 2021. https://www.richtig-schoen-kochen.de/utensilien/konvektionsofen/
- Seiler, Benjamin: Difficult survival in the global microwave oven. Magazine. No. 44/2004. https://www.zeitenschrift.com/artikel/erschwertes-ueberleben-im-globalen-mikrowellenherd
- Seiler, Benjamin; Zwerenz, Siegfried: Der große Mobilfunkreport. Das Damakles-Schwert über unseren Köpfen. Zeitenschrift. Nr. 24/1999. https://www.zeitenschrift.com/artikel/das-damoklesschwert-ueber-unseren-koepfen
- Seiler, Benjamin: The microwave makes you fat! Magazine. No. 68/2011. https://www.zeitenschrift.com/artikel/die-mikrowelle-macht-dick
- Statista GmbH: Share of private households in Germany with a microwave device from 2000 to 2021. Hamburg 2021. https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/516843/umfrage/private-haushalte-in-deutschland-mit-mikrowellengeraet/
- Statista GmbH: Microwaves. Hamburg 2021. https://de.statista.com/outlook/cmo/haushaltsgeraete/haushaltskleingeraete/mikrowellen/weltweit
- The World Foundation for Natural Science: Cancer from microwave ovens. Switzerland 2008. https://www.naturalscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/wfns_brochure_microwaves-oven_05-08_german.pdf
- The World Foundation for Natural Science: Microwave Cooking? The kiss of death! Switzerland 2002. https://www.naturalscience.org/de/publikationen/kochen-mit-mikrowellen-der-kuss-des-todes/
- The World Foundation for Natural Science: Microwave food not only creates cancer, it also makes you fat! Switzerland 2011. https://www.naturalscience.org/de/publikationen/mikrowellennahrung-erzeugt-nicht-nur-krebs-sie-macht-auch-dick/
- Wikipedia: microwave oven. San Francisco 2021. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikrowellenherd
- Wikipedia: National Museum of American History. San Francisco 2020. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_American_History
- Mercola, Dr. Joseph: EMF Electromagnetic Fields. KOPP Verlag 2020. P. 220f
- Mysteries: Microwave ovens can endanger our health. Edition 6/2015
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