We frequently receive questions regarding information gleaned from the internet. Often the information is false and has no substance. Just because a phrase is repeated many times over and over, or someone in authority makes a claim, does not mean the information is true. This seems to be a growing problem as anyone can write anything and claim it is the truth. In the current era of free-flowing information, I see problems developing. Where is the evidence?

    I also have noted that many people say something that is true and exaggerate that truth. For instance, pesticides are not good, but the dangers of pesticides do not equate to the dangers of not eating fruits and vegetables. Not everyone can afford organic. I also see the benefits of certain medications exaggerated while the side effects are sometimes minimized. Be careful to look at the big picture. Take time to research what you hear or read. Also look at the reason why the claim is being made. Take time to evaluate unbiased evidence.

    Not long ago I received a question regarding microwaves. There was great angst that microwaving food was dangerous to our health. This person read something that claimed microwaving food was dangerous removing nutrients and contributing to cancer.

    Ionizing radiation which includes medical X-rays, nuclear radiation, ultraviolet rays from tanning booths, and gamma rays are high energy. This means the waves have enough energy to vibrate atoms in a molecule to remove electrons, a process called ionization which changes the nucleus, damaging DNA and contributing to cancer. Non-ionizing radiation which includes microwaves, sound waves, and visible light, does not have the energy to remove electrons. In theory, releasing energy is referred to as radiation. Human bodies release heat, radiation. This energy is low energy. This is the case for microwave energy which warms our food.

    The studies show that microwave cooking is comparable to other cooking. There is some nutrient loss in all cooking. Some studies show microwave warming might be better because of lower cooking temperatures and shorter cooking times.

    Another false claim is that microwaved foods contain more cancer-causing chemicals than conventionally cooked foods. Not true. High heating of foods such as grilling, barbecuing, pan-frying cause the production of heterocyclic amines (HCA’s), polyaromatic hydrocarbons and nitrosamines all know to be carcinogenic. Less energy used in heating means less problems. Remember this, more heating, more energy, more chemical changes, more damage. This can be illustrated by going to the beach. Look around. Those exposed to more energy from the sun, more radiation, more heat, have the potential to have more damage.

    The point I am trying to make, is look at the evidence and use common sense. Think for yourself. Do not be one that passes on unfounded information that may be damaging at some level to others. Evidence is important. I did not cite my sources for a reason. I want you to look it up yourself and use some common sense. Now if you trust the source, you might avoid some research.