As we move through our daily lives in the modern, high tech world we inhabit today, we are being exposed to electromagnetic fields from many different sources. The number of sources are increasing all the time, as we and those around us decide to incorporate new technologies into our lives for the sake of function, efficiency and convenience.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can vary widely in their structure, intensity and frequency, depending on the technology used. The type of EMFs that cell phones, Wifi, smart meters, Bluetooth and other “smart” devices utilize is called radio-frequency radiation. This type of radiation is in the radio wave and microwave spectrum of hundreds of megahertz up to hundreds of gigahertz, and consists of wireless information packets being sent from a transmitting device to a receiving device, or back and forth between devices (like between cell towers and cell phones). Wireless radio-frequency radiation fills the ambient space that exists between the two communicating devices, and all life forms in that space can perceive these fields, and are affected by them.
Another type of EMF is the localized electric and/or magnetic fields produced by appliances that plug into the power mains of your home, office, school, or anywhere that utilizes electricity to power anything. This includes your TV, computer, refrigerator, washer and dryer, and even the home wiring itself. It includes space heaters, air conditioners, toasters, ovens, fans, and even your electric stove top.
These electric fields are highly localized to the device itself (and the power cord and wall power outlet), and do not travel very far into the ambient space like radio-frequency radiation does, because this EMF is just a byproduct of the device utilizing electricity, not a means to transmit information. The localized electric and magnetic fields from standard appliances in most cases drop down to almost zero when you move just 2 to 3 feet from the device. However, if you’re standing very close to the appliance, your body will be affected by this field to some extent.
High powered home devices can reach well beyond 1,000 volts per meter (abbreviated v/m) for electric fields, and well past 1,000 milligauss (mG) for magnetic fields. The strength of these fields is subject to the inverse square law, which basically means that as you move further away from a source of radiation, the intensity of the field drops exponentially. This is why they say “distance is your friend” when it comes to EMF exposure!
Although every powered appliance is going to have some degree of an electromagnetic field, there are some pretty vast differences when it comes to the intensity of the field, and the structure and makeup of it. Different EMF sources are going to affect your body in different ways. Some may only have minor effects on you under certain circumstances, and some can cause much more significant harm.
Let’s talk about all the wonderful appliances we use to cook our food! This is something we all have in common as humans – our kitchens are important to us, and many of us spend a lot of time there every day.
Did you know there are some cooking methods that pose little to no threat to our health and the quality of our food, while others literally derange the molecules and destroy nutrients in your food, all while exposing you and your family to harmful levels of radiation?
The health risks of microwave ovens
Let’s start with the most well established danger in most people’s kitchens: microwave ovens. Fortunately, these devices have been studied extensively for their effects on the quality, nutrient density and toxicity of the food cooked in them, as well as on life forms that consume that food, and even the effects of being in close proximity to these high powered devices.
Microwave ovens operate in the microwave segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, around 2.45 gigahertz – around the same frequency as Wifi. 2.45 gigahertz is 2.45 billion hertz, or 2.45 billion cycles per second. This means the frequency oscillation occurs over 2 billion times in one second, for every second your microwave is operating! This is happening inside of any food item you place in a microwave to cook or heat up.
The microwave itself is basically a Faraday cage that does not allow (most) of the radiation to leave the inside of the device, and concentrates on the inside. When you turn it on to heat up some food, this extremely intense level of radiation goes into the food, exciting the molecules in the food itself, over two billion times per second. Agitating the molecules of the food so intensely produces heat as a side effect, thereby “cooking” the food. It also tears the molecules apart and deforms them, and can even separate the charge of the atoms, causing them to lose electrons (ionize).
Ionizing atoms can produce free radicals, which are displaced electrons that aggressively seek out new atoms to attach to. They are unstable and highly reactive. In the body of living organisms, excess free radicals cause oxidative stress, which can lead to DNA damage and even cell mutation into malignant forms. If you’re consuming food that contains higher than usual amounts of free radicals, over a long period of time, this will not fare well for long term health.
The radiation from microwave ovens can cause a massive (as much as 60-90%) reduction of bioavailable nutrients in the food, including the B complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and essential minerals. One study showed that microwaved broccoli lost 97% of its beneficial antioxidants, which makes sense considering antioxidants are neutralizers of free radicals. Broccoli that was steamed on a stove top only lost 11% of its antioxidants.
Microwaved milk loses most of its beneficial bacteria that normally keeps harmful bacteria in check, and that milk was found to be 18 times more susceptible to E.coli contamination than unheated raw milk. Microwaving meat causes the formation of well known carcinogens called d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, and microwaving vegetables turns many of their natural alkaloids into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances.
Several studies have been done showing live plants that were watered with microwaved (then cooled) water have stunted growth and poor health compared to plants that are watered using the same type of water that wasn’t microwaved – even if it was heated (then cooled) on a stove top first. Many people have reproduced the results of these studies in home based experiments, which have been widely shared on internet forums.
There have even been blood tests done on animals and humans fed microwaved food versus food cooked using other methods, and the blood of those who consumed microwaved food consistently showed a considerable reduction in blood hemoglobin, lower red blood cell count, and far more susceptibility to bacterial contamination. Studies where rats were fed microwaved food showed damage to the pancreas, and a drastic reduction of antioxidant enzyme activity in the brain and liver.
Another unacknowledged danger is the fact that the rubber seals on the doors of microwaves degrade over time, leaking larger amounts of microwave radiation as the device ages. If a person is standing near their microwave when it’s turned on, they may be exposed to levels of radiation thousands of times stronger than their cell phone or Wifi router, and well past even the conventionally accepted safety levels!
Sadly, all of this is still not common knowledge in the mainstream, and many people still use microwaves without any awareness of the potential dangers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 90% of American households own a microwave. The information regarding its dangers has been available for decades now, but unfortunately is not being reported by governments or mainstream news outlets, and there haven’t been product recalls based on this information, so the majority of Americans still have no clue.
Safer cooking methods without sacrificing convenience
Although nothing is more convenient than popping a dish into a microwave oven and coming back to a fully cooked meal 2-10 minutes later, I think you would agree after considering all the above information about the dangers, this slight increase in convenience is not even remotely worth it!
If you’re used to using a microwave, it may take some initial effort to change your habits, but there are other methods you can use to accomplish the same goals without too much compromise to your time and energy.
Conventional electric stove tops do produce heat using electricity, but this will just show up as a localized electric field operating at the 60 hertz frequency of mains power. The ambient electric field will occupy the space that your food is being heated in, but only passively, and does not directly manipulate the food itself. Also, it is millions of times slower/lower of a frequency than what microwaves produce. Underneath your electric stove top is a coil that receives electrical power to heat up, and then the pot/pan and food is heated by the infrared heat emanating from the hot coil, not from the electromagnetic field itself. Infrared heat is the same energy that burning wood emits, as well as the heat that comes from the sun. As humans, we are much more adapted to this kind of ancient, primordial radiation than the artificial radiation sources of modern times.
This ambient, passive EMF exposure is not the case for a different type of stove called an induction cooktop. Besides microwave ovens, induction stoves are one of the few other cooking methods we would caution against, because of how they work to channel electrical energy directly into your cooking pot or pan, and the high (kilohertz) frequencies that are used. Conventional electric stoves emit heat as a byproduct of the electric field, whereas induction stoves include your metal pot or pan as an essential part of the electromagnetic circuit itself, channeling the EMFs directly into the pot, which then heats up and cooks your food. Because the pot/pan is part of the electric circuit in this case, you can only use cookware made of ferromagnetic (iron based) materials on induction stoves, whereas you can use any material cookware (including ceramic, clay and tempered glass) on regular stoves.
An extra risk to using induction cooktops is if you touch the handle of your pot while it’s on the stove, your body also becomes part of the electromagnetic circuit that’s heating the pot! Although it won’t noticeably shock you like touching a high voltage circuit, it will channel these kilohertz frequencies through your body, exposing you to the full EMF load the appliance is producing.
Back to electric stoves: if you’re used to heating up cold coffee in your microwave, it should be fairly easy to get into the habit of reheating your beverage in a small pot or teapot on your stove. You can also keep beverages warm for long periods of time in a thermos or insulated mug.
It’s equally simple to cook packaged soups, canned beans, and other healthy prepared foods on your stove instead of in your microwave. The “instant” microwaveable meals that are on the market are usually packaged in plastic, and that plastic leaches into your food as you cook it in your high powered microwave, contaminating your food with toxic, hormone disrupting chemicals… just another reason to give up that microwave for good!
Other convenient, moderate EMF quick cooking options include toaster ovens, air fryers and electric tea kettles. Air fryers utilize a unique cooking method of convection (moving and circulating) heat that creates a crispy and flavorful end product fairly quickly, whereas microwave ovens detrimentally affect both the flavor and texture of food.
Do we really need “smart” cooking appliances?
The biggest modern craze in mainstream homes is a “smart” everything: smart beds, smart doorbells, baby monitors, and even smart refrigerators, ovens, toasters and coffee makers! While some of these can have pretty major benefits (like wireless security cameras that are connected to your doorbell, which you can access anytime from your phone), most just seem like curiosities that may save a few minutes here and there, possibly at the expense of your long term health and well being.
Do you really need a coffee maker that will brew you a cup while you’re laying in bed playing with your coffee maker phone app, sending a Wifi signal through your house just so you don’t have to get up and do it yourself? Or a stove you can preheat from a wireless phone app while you’re on your way home from work? These things may not seem like a big deal, but every single “smart” appliance in your home produces its own little radio-frequency field, increasing the overall EMF pollution in your home. Your home is supposed to be a sanctuary of relaxation and recovery, but if your body is under constant low level stress from ambient EMFs from dozens of sources, it will be anything but that.
If you do have smart appliances, you could always just keep the Wifi setting disabled (or never set up the Wifi capabilities and app in the first place), and you should be safe from unwanted RF radiation.
The materials you cook with matter!
The materials of your cookware may not seem EMF related, but it’s important to understand that many EMF sensitive folks are also sensitive to other toxic environmental stressors, including chemicals that are commonly found in homes. Experts on the subject have found that if someone has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), they are also very likely to be EMF hypersensitive. Reducing chemical exposure in the home as much as possible will take a large burden off these peoples’ extra sensitive systems, making it easier for them to deal with the stress from EMFs that they can’t control nearly as easily.
Avoiding any cookware that’s promoted as “non-stick”, as well as aluminum cookware, is a good start. Many pans, rice cookers, crock pots and other ceramic cookware are coated with a non-stick surface, which is usually a polymer coating called PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). When heated to high temperatures, this coating can break down and release toxic fumes, and become infused into the food you eat. It’s better to create a natural non-stick surface on your pans by cooking with healthy oils. You can replace aluminum baking dishes with stainless steel or glass.
A wonderful alternative to chemical glazed crock pots and rice cookers is a high tech, powerful product on the market called VitaClay, which cooks food in a non-toxic, unglazed clay pot. Instead of chemical glazing, the clay is sealed using a very high temperature water glazing process. The clay cooking pot can improve the quality, texture and flavor of your food, and can cook using a wide range of methods and types of meals. It preserves nutrients much better than a pressure cooker, and cooks food about four times faster than a crock pot or slow cooker.
Zero EMF cooking methods
In the modern, convenience-focused homes most of us live in, being exposed to a certain level of EMFs from our cooking appliances is almost inevitable. However, there are a few cooking methods that are good to know about, if you live a less conventional and more earth-based lifestyle, or strive to in the future! These technologies can even be implemented in a modern home, with the right planning and expertise. If you are highly EMF sensitive and want to remove EMFs from your life as much as possible, these are options to seriously consider.
One zero EMF cooking appliance that’s still fairly prevalent is the gas powered stove. Many older houses still use gas ranges, which produce no electromagnetic fields, as the food is heated by the infrared heat byproduct of the gas fueled flame. Propane stoves are another option, and are generally safer to use than gas stoves. Propane also heats faster and uses less fuel than gas.
Moving closer to an earth-based lifestyle, there are wood stoves and rocket stoves, which are heated using firewood. There are some very smart and strategic designs out there that maximize function, efficiency and aesthetics. Well designed rocket stoves, in particular, are extremely efficient in combusting almost all the fuel from the wood with the absolute minimum production of smoke and soot. They can serve multiple vital functions in a home – acting as an efficient cooking surface that uses locally sourced renewable materials (firewood), as well as a powerfully effective way to heat your home in the colder seasons that can replace electric and gas heating in the right circumstances, even in the coldest of climates!
The radiation from wood fires is a full spectrum light and heat source (especially infrared) that’s very healthy for the body, as long as exposure to smoke (from incomplete combustion) is avoided.
Considering how much time most of us spend in the kitchen, especially those who value wholesome, home cooked meals, we think it’s important to have an understanding of the electromagnetic exposure levels and types we are getting from the various ways we prepare our food, so we can cook more consciously.
Although most types of cooking methods will expose us to some ambient electric and magnetic fields, there are definitely ways to minimize exposure, especially by reducing or eliminating radiofrequency/microwave radiation from our kitchens. Those who are EMF sensitive will appreciate knowing about ways to keep their food as nutrient dense, healthy and low EMF as possible.
You are what you eat – if you’re eating food that’s exposed to intense EMFs, that will definitely affect and alter the digestibility, nutrient density and toxicity of that food.
You will almost definitely still have exposure to some localized electric and magnetic fields in your kitchen. If you consider your overall EMF exposure, and choose a Blushield home model that’s the appropriate strength for your living situation, these low frequency, localized exposures can become a non-issue for most people.
We want to help you make your home into the sanctuary it is supposed to be!
Report: “The Hidden Hazards Of Microwave Cooking” – https://healthfulbalanceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/HazardsOfMicrowaveCooking.pdf
Study: “Phenolic compound contents in edible parts of broccoli inflorescences after domestic cooking” – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.1585
Study: “Effects of Microwave Radiation on Anti-infective Factors in Human Milk” – https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/89/4/667/58140/Effects-of-Microwave-Radiation-on-Anti-infective
Study: “Consumption of Microwaved Food induces Oxidative Stress in the Liver and Brain of Sprague-Dawley Rats” – https://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ajayi-2014.pdf
Study: “Investigation of the Effects of Radio Frequency Water Treatment on Some Characteristics of Growth in Pepper (Capsicum annuum) Plants” – https://www.scirp.org/pdf/abb_2020021716134094.pdf
Study: “Effects of Microwave Radiations on the Morphological and Biochemical Aspects of Some Economically Important Herbs” – https://asrjetsjournal.org/index.php/American_Scientific_Journal/article/view/4624
Study: “Effects of the Ingestion of Microwaved Food Items on Some Haematological Parameters in Albino Wistar Rats” – https://journalcjast.com/index.php/CJAST/article/view/6472