Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Microwaves and Freezer Burns

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Recently a friend of mine said something about microwaving food and freezer burn as causing a molecular change in the food itself, thus making the food harmful to those who eat it. I decided to do some research to verify if this information is accurate.

Research is a loose term, mainly trying to discover based on data and studies done whether or not these things hold any water, not doing any actual experiments myself.

Freezer Burn
According the FDA, freezer burn is a quality, not a safety issue. This is a process whereby food loses moisture in some parts, which cause those parts to dry out, and may cause them to discolor. So, there is nothing dangerous about freezer burn. In fact, it can be prevented by removing as much air as possible before putting something in the freezer.

The Dangers of Microwave Ovens
This was a bit more challenging. When I did a search on the web regarding this theory, I found a number of links to articles related to the dangers of microwave ovens. However, I did not find these types of links that contained any data or were backed up by studies. In fact, the only commonality among the articles was that 1. the articles all indicated that there were dangerous carcinogens coming out of microwave oven cookery and 2. most of the sites were some part of a homeopathic/herbal/hocus pocus site.

That being said, I changed the wording of what I was looking for and found that microwaving food is safe. The dangers of using the microwave include 1. burns or over-heating may occur when using containers that are not microwave safe, 2. that the food doesn’t always cook evenly, which could open the door to increasing bacteria in the food, and 3. that microwaves should not be used to sterilize anything. There is no molecular change to the food. However, it is interesting to note that the study in Australia concluded that plastics, even those labeled as microwave safe, may allow chemical migration to occur into the food. It recommends to not allow the food to touch the plastic, and indicates that higher-fat foods tend to increase the amount of chemical migration of particles. The FDA concluded that the amount of chemical migration is well below what would be deemed as harmful.

It also indicated that aluminum foil may be used in the microwave, as long as it doesn’t touch the sides of the microwave itself.

An interesting side-note was that, according to studies, microwaves actually help food retain more of their vitamins, minerals, and nutrition than boiling. This contradicts what the anti-microwaving sites were pointing out.

So, all-in-all, I think the people who think microwaving is bad are a bit off-kilter. Food is cooked by the agitation of water molecules inherint in the food. That is all that happens. The agitation is due to the polarity of water being manipulated by the microwaves, causing two different types of heating: dielectric and ionic.

Abortion Ban Passes House in South Dakota

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

An interesting story showed up on Drudge Report for only a few hours last night. I was fortunate enough to not have a life to see the headline and read the article.

The jist of it is that the South Dakota House has approved a bill to ban abortion in all cases, with an exception if the mother is dying. According to the story, this ‘loophole’ prevents Doctors from being prosecuted in these instances.

According to my roommate, this is how it was across the nation prior to Roe vs. Wade. So, this is probably a good sign. Of course, the bill still needs to go to the state Senate, so we shall see if it passes. Makes me think I should move to South Dakota because its so very progressive….

Hopefully this will be just the first of many to pass anti-abortion laws that look to the protection of the mother and the child, rather than just the mother’s rights to have an abortion. I think now would be a great time to pray for the people who are looking at these bills.

Gillette: The Worst a Man Can Get

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Apparently there’s a toxic overload going on in the bathrooms of the world.


What they claim: 12-hour fresh breath and antibacterial protection.

But watch out: Conventional toothpastes often contain irritating detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate, which can cause sore gums and mouth ulcers, and abrasives like hydrated silica, which can erode tooth enamel. Total contains a glue-like substance, PVM/MA copolymer, that sticks the active ingredients to teeth. Saccharin, a known carcinogen in animals, is also found. The colouring CI 42090 (banned in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden) causes cancer in animals. Total contains Triclosan, an antibacterial agent that can in certain circumstances combine with chlorine in tap water to produce chloroform gas, which is easily absorbed into the skin or inhaled and can cause depression, liver problems and cancer.


What they claim: The best a man can get.

But watch out: Helped by a global advertising campaign featuring David Beckham, Gillette shaving products have carved their way into the male psyche. If he thought about the ingredients, would the “epitome of the well groomed man” be so keen to promote the product? Mach 3 gel contains skin irritants such as triethanolamine, palmitic acid glyceryl oleate, three potential carcinogens (polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon), BHT, CI 42090) and three central nervous system toxins or pollutants (isopentane, parfum and isobutane).


What they claim: Kills the germs that cause plaque and bad breath.

But watch out: This mouthwash is 21.6 per cent alcohol. Alcohol dries and changes the pH of the mouth and throat and long-term use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes increases the risk of mouth and throat cancers. Listerine also contains a mild detergent, poloxamer 407, that is soluble in liquids at low temperatures but turns to a gel at higher temperatures (ie, body temperature). That makes it a film-former, “glueing” other ingredients on to the surfaces of the mouth for longer. Fluoride in quantity is poisonous if swallowed, and the sweetener saccharin causes bladder cancer in animals. Finally, synthetic colours, aromas and flavours are made from volatile solvents that can alter the basic flora of the mouth and may cause dermatitis.

Wow! So a case can be made its better to be ugly and alive rather than dead, but beautiful. Glad I never bought into half of that hygenic junk out there.