Originally posted by anhinga
That's something not really worth arguing. . . .
No, because the next thing I'll bring up is that correlation is not causation, and that there are too many other factors to even correlate it
Also, I'll have to disagree w/ you - "heat is heat"?? I won't accept or ever agree w/ that statement -- this seems a little different then fire
Sorry - heat is heat. Let's look at what you posted, although I don't know if I'll have time to hit it all before we hit the lunch trail here. If
not, I'll come back this evening and make another pass at it.
Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy, like light waves or radio waves, and occupy a part of the electromagnetic spectrum of power, or
energy. Microwaves are very short waves of electromagnetic energy that travel at the speed of light (186,282 miles per second). In our modern
technological age, microwaves are used to relay long distance telephone signals, television programs, and computer information across the earth or to
a satellite in space. But the microwave is most familiar to us as an energy source for cooking food.
Every microwave oven contains a magnetron, a tube in which electrons are affected by magnetic and electric fields in such a way as to produce micro
wavelength radiation at about 2450 Mega Hertz (MHz) or 2.45 Giga Hertz (GHz). This microwave radiation interacts with the molecules in food. All wave
energy changes polarity from positive to negative with each cycle of the wave. In microwaves, these polarity changes happen millions of times every
second. Food molecules - especially the molecules of water - have a positive and negative end in the same way a magnet has a north and a south
Ok. This is all "bees smell fear" stuff. None of it's particularly germane - it's a technical sounding description of the process, albeit not
particularly enlightening or entirely accurate. This is the part of the con job that's supposed to convince you that the author knows what he/she is
talking about. From an engineering pov, it's the sort of thing a bright grade schooler could write, though.
Scientific evidence and facts
In Comparative Study of Food Prepared Conventionally and in the Microwave Oven, published by Raum & Zelt in 1992, at 3(2): 43, it states...
Ok - first off, this has apparently been misquoted forever. "Raum und Zeit
" (not '& Zelt') is an "alternative science" magazine, sort of
like "Infinite Energy" but with pretentions of accuracy. It has a lot of articles on things like "Climate Killer Cows" (this month's lead
article) and their mission statement, if my horribly rusty German is still trustworthy, is something like "We document the actions of the ruthless
(cruel?) corporations who profit at the expense of both man and nature, and expose the actions of the politicians who [count on public
misunderstanding of] key technologies and science"
They're not exactly "Annalen der Physik."
It's not peer-reviewed, it's not a scientific publication. It's like Popular Science meets Weekly World News as interpreted by Greenpeace, you get
them at the magazine rack in the train station along with Stern. So the fact that the author of your external is quoting them (this is an old old cut
and paste that everyone passes around) as if they were a scientific reference is a big laugh right off the bat.
See, I bet you didn't bother to check. That's not a knock on you personally, but a lot of people see this sort of quote and assume it's a
legitimate source of information. Hell, no one's ever even gotten the magazine title right as far as I could find.
"A basic hypothesis of natural medicine states that the introduction into the human body of molecules and energies, to which it is not accustomed, is
much more likely to cause harm than good.
Ok. Right off the bat, you'll notice the warning sign: "natural medicine". You won't see that in a scientific publication. This tells you where
the author is coming from. It's going to be all homeopathy and roots, with not much in the science department.
You'll note they don't say what sort of energy. They actually got it almost right in the first part which probably means they stole it from
wikipedia or something. Microwaves are electromagnetic energy like light. It doesn't "get in the food" and hang around. So "energies to which it
is not accustomed" is bogus right off the bat. What energies? It's nothing but heat at that point. Oh, and I hate to tell you this - when you hold
your hand up near the food and feel the warmth? GASP that's electromagnetic waves!!11! Only they're primarily in the IR band.
YOU emit these evil waves all the time
. And worse, you also emit low levels of microwaves
- it's how microwave radiometers measure
So, there being no residual energy from the microwave oven, again, what different energies is the author talking about? There's nothing there but
heat. It shows you they don't know crap about the subject, sadly, but from R&Z you'd expect this sort of slop.
Next - what molecules? I assume they'll explain that at some point.
Microwaved food contains both molecules and energies not present in food cooked in the way humans have been cooking food since the discovery of fire.
A restatement of the last sentence. And it's still crap for the same reasons.
Microwave energy from the sun and other stars is direct current based. Artificially produced microwaves, including those in ovens, are produced from
alternating current and force a billion or more polarity reversals per second in every food molecule they hit. Production of unnatural molecules is
Ok, now this is just amazing. I wish I could lend you some understanding of radio theory and physics like on Matrix so you could see how stupid this
sounds. A microwave is a radio wave. Period. You can't tell how it was made.
It's a bone stock radio wave, with the usual E and H fields oscillating at right angles to each other.
Now - this paragraph tries to tell you that "natural microwave energy", whatever THAT might be - is DC. WHAT? This is pure crap. The
"microwavyness" of it IS that it has a certain wavelength/frequency. If it's DC, it's not a radio wave, and it's surely not a microwave.
I can't even come up with a good analogy of how amazingly wrong this paragraph is, so I'll just say - There is no such thing as a DC microwave. The
two words are contradictions. Seeing the guy try to say there are DC microwaves and AC microwaves, you should walk away laughing.
The rest of the statement is just as inaccurate. What happens is that water molecules (not "every food molecule" ...and what's a food molecule
btw?) have a quantum spin coupling at 2.45GHz. That means that they're both polar, and have a quantum of momentum that absorbs the radio waves at
that wavelength with a fair amount of efficiency, causing them to rotate. And that's it. If you don't have a polar molecule, and if it's not got a
mechanical quantum coupling of some sort in that frequency range, then the only heating you'll get from the microwave is by Maxwellian dissipation
Other "food molecules", in other words, are pretty much transparent to the microwaves in your oven, although they may be heated by the Maxwellian
losses that will happen if the food's conductive due to having salt or some other electrolyte in it.
And if you remember your grade school science, motion is heat. The energy that the water molecules absorb is transferred to the other molecules in the
food by various mechanisms, probably most of it by elastic collision.
This "polarity reversal" stuff is meant to sound eerie and demented. It's also wrong, like the final sentence "production of unnatural molecules
is inevitable". What's an "unnatural molecule"? If it exists in nature, it's natural.
But at any rate, the only molecules are the ones there to begin with, plus the ones that are altered normally by heat of that temperature range. But
you'd get that same set of changes with ANY heat source.
I'm off to lunch. I'll slice the rest of this into julienne strips this evening.