I had a look at the description of the Hertel & Blanc study (here, enter a bogus gmail address if you do not want to subscribe) regarding the dangers of microwaves, and I have to admit that I am still sitting a bit on the fence, even though i have to admit I start leaning towards the “dangerous” side.
The set-up seems plausible: they fed the participants the following meals
- raw milk from a biofarm
- the same milk conventionally cooked
- pasteurized milk from Intermilk Berne
- the same raw milk cooked in a microwave oven
- raw vegetables from an organic farm
- the same vegetables cooked conventionally
- the same vegetables frozen and defrosted in the microwave oven
- the same vegetables cooked in the microwave oven
and they took blood samples at various intervals thereafter. The impact was reported as follows:
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 hemoglobin 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.
What makes me less confident about the results are some of the quotes in the article. There is a lot of confusion going on between the human body being exposed to oven-strength microwaves (which is obviously bad – it will essentially be boiled from the inside) and the body being exposed to microwaved food. Now it is difficult for me to distinguish what has been added by the author of the article, and what is indeed attributable to the scientists conducting the study.
Having said this – the denaturation of molecules innthe food has been clearly identified as one of the things happening. And to some extent I do not really care whether or not those scientists are able to properly explain why microwaves are bad – they are medical doctors after all, not physicists. What I care about is whether or not the study has shown that eating microwaved food is detrimental to the body – and on the balance of probabilities I would say it has shown this, even though I would want to ultimately reserve my judgement until I can get my hands on the study itself.