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This Revolting FDA Report Will Change the Way You Look at Airplane Food

This Revolting FDA Report Will Change the Way You Look at Airplane Food

Gate Gourmet is the world's largest airline catering company—you're eating their products on United, American, and Delta Airlines.

If the thought of unsanitary commercial kitchens is enough to make you squeamish, the Food and Drug Administration's investigation into the largest airline food service provider across the world is straight out of a nightmare.

The national safety agency issued a formal warning letter to Gate Gourmet after discovering a string of infractions and health issues at one of the company's main production kitchens in Kentucky. The company began providing meals in 1992 for passengers traveling in over 60 countries, working with many airlines both domestically and internationally, including United, American, Delta, British Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Emirates Airlines, among others.

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It all started after Listeria bacteria had been discovered in Gate Gourmet's Los Angeles production facility in November 2017. American, Delta, and Virgin Airlines immediately stopped using the service at the time, Food Safety News reports. In December, the FDA stepped in to inspect one of the company's catering facility located in Erlanger, Kentucky and stumbled on a trove of health infractions that caused the agency to send Gate Gourmet a formal warning letter this month. Gate Gourmet is currently on a type of probation and the FDA is considering stripping the company of their approval altogether.

The letter, dated March 29, outlines the numerous violations to the FDA's safety policies, including live and dead cockroaches "too numerous to count" throughout the premises, broken and filthy equipment lined with grease deposits in the food prep area, widespread food residue and filth, as well as dirty cooking equipment used on a daily basis, including ovens and deep fryers.

The horrifyingly specific details highlight how inspectors discovered cockroach "fecal markings" on the kitchen's floor and within walls, suggesting a widespread infestation. Cockroaches were found within dishwashing equipment, under appliances and freestanding kitchen equipment, and even inside of one of the kitchen's in-use ovens.

Getty: Gareth Fuller - PA Images / Contributor

In fact, the FDA found that nearly everything in the facility was not sanitary—even utensils used to cook and package food were not cleaned regularly. The report includes details of food residue caked onto metal can openers in the kitchen prep area, and grease build ups on cutting boards and gas grills in the area that Gate Gourmet employees regularly cook in. You can read the full letter right here.

The airline food provider had 15 days to respond to the agency's warning letter, Food Safety News reports, but the FDA's report says it's not satisfied with Gate Gourmet's initial response. Apparently, Gate Gourmet said they had addressed many of the issues outlined in the formal letter and hired new pest management, but the FDA says the company has failed to provide sufficient evidence of such changes.

This incident confirms just how important it might be to spend extra time preparing your own meals before longer flights—especially if you're flying first class or internationally, where food service is nearly always offered. At the very least, consider these ready-to-eat essentials when traveling—they might save you from what very well could be one of the most unsanitary meals served at 30,000 feet.


Harmoni Pendant Review – Personal EMF Protection

Cell phones, tablets, computers, WiFi routers, microwaves, and other appliances are part of our everyday life. While these things are convenient and offer lots of benefits, it means that you are also encountering EMF exposure on a daily basis. Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) or radiation can be potentially harmful to your health. Protecting your health from EMFs is critical and my newest favorite too to support this goal is Harmoni Pendant.

In this article, you will learn about EMFs and the importance of EMF protection. You will understand health concerns and symptoms associated with EMF exposure. You will learn what 5G is and its potential dangers. I will offer some tips on how to implement 5G protection. You will learn some simple strategies to reduce your EMF exposure. I will introduce and review the Harmoni Pendant, a great tool for EMF protection. You will learn how it works, how to activate it, its science-backed benefits, and why I love and recommend it.

What Are EMFs

Electric and magnetic fields or EMFs are electromagnetic frequencies that are found everywhere around us. EMFs are also referred to as radiation. EMFs are related to the use of electrical power and various forms of light, including natural and man-made light sources. They are being emitted from the electronics that you love and use daily, including your cell phones, tablets, and laptops, WiFi, and so on.

EMFs can be categorized into two main groups based on the frequencies. Non-ionizing radiation is low-level radiation that many consider to be harmless to people, however, in reality, they may also contribute to health issues.

Examples of non-ionizing EMFs include cell phones, tablets, computers, Bluetooth devices, wireless (WiFi) routers, power lines, smart meters, house energy meters, microwave ovens, and MRIs. Ionizing radiation, on the other hand, is high-level radiation that can be very harmful to your body. Examples of ionizing radiation include ultraviolet lights and X-rays. Both in non-ionizing and ionizing radiation, your EMF exposure and risk of negative consequences decreases as you distance yourself from the source of EMF (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) .

The Importance of EMF Protection

As I mentioned before, EMFs are all around us in our environment. You use your cell phone, computers, and other appliances daily. What&rsquos more concerning is that EMFs are also emitted from WiFi around us. While it&rsquos important that you opt for hard-wire internet connection in your home and whenever possible, it is impossible to avoid WiFi, cell phone towers, powerlines, and so on.

The problem is that the frequencies that come from EMFs disrupt the electromagnetic field inside your body. This can lead to an array of health imbalances and symptoms, including stress, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and more. Just think about it, there is a reason that when you get an x-ray at your doctor&rsquos or dentist&rsquos office, they put a protective shield around your body.

While ionizing EMFs coming from X-ray are certainly more dangerous than non-ionizing EMFs coming from WiFi or your cell phones, we still have to be very careful with and conscious about non-ionizing EMF. Regular exposure to non-ionizing EMFs can still contribute to a number of health issues (6) .


Early Years and Education

Child was born Julia McWilliams, on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. The eldest of three children, Child was known by several pet names as a little girl, including "Juke," "Juju" and "Jukies." Her father, John McWilliams Jr., was a Princeton graduate and early investor in California real estate. His wife, Julia Carolyn Weston, was a paper-company heiress whose father served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.

The family accumulated significant wealth and, as a result, Child lived a privileged childhood. She was educated at San Francisco&aposs elite Katherine Branson School for Girls, where — at a towering height of 6 feet, 2 inches — she was the tallest student in her class. She was a lively prankster who, as one friend recalled, could be "really, really wild." She was also adventurous and athletic, with particular talent in golf, tennis and small-game hunting.

In 1930, she enrolled at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, with the intention of becoming a writer. Although she enjoyed creating short plays and regularly submitted unsolicited manuscripts to The New Yorker, none of her writing was published.


This Revolting FDA Report Will Change the Way You Look at Airplane Food - Recipes

While it’s important to share that joy and generosity with your loved ones, it’s also an ideal time to reflect on your own milestones and reward your successes. Heading into the season, these three powerful women are sharing their own hallmark moments—and how they commemorate them.

Marigay McKee’s journey started as an executive in luxury retail. Since then, McKee has switched gears, co-founding Fernbrook Capital Management, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage consumer-facing companies. As her career has evolved, here’s a look at how McKee views her own successes.

With its first round of funding this year, Fernbrook has invested in 30 companies. Looking ahead to 2020, McKee says the venture capital firm is slated for another round of funding as the company seeks out businesses that are taking a tech-centric approach to consumer businesses.

These are just a few of the milestones she’s proud of. “As you progress, you can find the opportunities to do something meaningful, to do something that’s value additive,” McKee says. “Certainly any success I’ve had has stemmed from hard work, diligence and love and passion for what I do.”

For McKee’s 21st birthday, her father gave her a Tiffany & Co. pen. And over the years, the brand—including its classic jewelry—has been central to how she celebrates her own successes and others’.

“Tiffany has always been about celebrating iconic moments, iconic pieces and iconic experiences,” McKee says.

The Tiffany T Pendant can make the perfect gift for honoring big achievements.

McKee’s career is focused on growing Fernbrook and seeking out new, innovative consumer-facing companies. But in her personal life, she looks to her children as her biggest successes.

“I think when you’re younger, you’re more focused on yourself. And as you get older you focus more on other people,” she says. “Success is seeing my children find success.”

Carmen Rita Wong’s professional endeavors have spanned everything from television host to novelist. Most recently, she’s been focused on investing in female-led companies—while also working on her memoir and being an advocate for women’s reproductive rights. Here’s Wong’s take on how she juggles it all and finds time to reward herself.

Wong celebrates different kinds of milestones across the varied work she does. Recently, for example, she invested in two friends’ companies, which have seen early success. But more broadly, she identifies certain “magical points” looking back on her career.

“Being a woman of color, the world confronts you when you walk out the door,” she says, recalling her time working at a financial news service. During that time, “it became incredibly clear how powerful it can be just to do your job well. [. ] We all still gotta pave the way.”

Placing importance on increasing representation, Wong says success to her means feeling proud of her work and finding joy it.

Over the years, Wong says she’s had to learn to take time for herself—whether it’s getting a massage or buying a new jewelry.

“I’ve had to train myself to treat myself,” she says. “I love fashion, for example, so it’s fun and it’s an outlet for me.”

Noting her affinity for “putting together a look,” Wong says she especially loves buying new earrings.

But her go-to for a job well done is a night with her closest friends. “The women around me,” she says,

Giving the Tiffany T True Pave ring can create meaningful moments of celebration.

Wong is immersed in finishing her memoir—which has her equal parts “thrilled and terrified.” In the process, she’s been performing parts of it at a venue in New York City. Paired with her nonprofit work and a daughter whose entering high school, Wong says “it’s a lot,” but her passion for her projects keeps her motivated.

Particularly as a woman of color, Wong has honed in on the importance of telling more diverse stories. “The more storytelling you can do in an authentic, clear way in anything,” she says, “that’s powerful. That’s how you move people, how you move minds.”

Bozoma Saint John’s career in marketing has spanned prominent companies across a range of industries. Currently Chief Marketing Officer at an entertainment company, Saint John had previous stints at some of the biggest consumer brands. As she navigates her current role, here’s Saint John’s take on staying inspired and rewarding success.

With hallmark moments, both personal and professional, Saint John has always made it a point not to compare herself to others.

“Success to me is not made up of outside influences but really my own feeling of satisfaction and wholeness,” she says. “I’ve learned over the years to rely on my own measure to feel successful.”

While she’s risen in the ranks with her work as a marketing executive, Saint John says her biggest accomplishment is raising her daughter, who’s now in fifth grade.

“With all of the work and moving around and the tragedy that we faced,” she says, alluding to her husband who passed away in 2013. “I feel really, really proud.”

While Saint John is proud of her accomplishments, she’s not one to sit back and reflect on them.

“I feel good in that moment and then I’m on to the next thing,” she says.

The exception, however, is how she commemorates the successes of those close to her. “I celebrate loudly,” Saint John says, noting her affinity for giving gifts. “It’s about giving something more personal, more thoughtful—it doesn’t matter how much it costs.”

Last month, for instance, Saint John gave her mother a luxury car, “which she’s been talking about for as long as I can remember,” for her birthday. The gift stemmed in part from how her mother saved up to help Saint John buy a car many years ago after college.

“That gesture was so generous, I wanted to give that back,” she says. “It feels good to give a gift that was thoughtful. It’s so wonderful, I get rewarded too.”

The Tiffany T Square bracelet is a striking piece to commemorate well-earned milestones.

“I stopped making 5-year plans and 10-year plans a long time ago,” Saint John says. Her process of goal-setting is more fluid—and less about making lists with concrete milestones.

But most importantly, Saint John emphasizes that accomplishments she strives for are both personal and professional.

“I have so many titles in my life. It’s not just CMO. I’m a mom, I’m a friend, I’m a widow, I’m a sister,” she says. “It’s about all those titles. I want to make sure I’m a whole person as opposed to just a title and a job.”


An RD and a Natural Makeup Artist Got Real About Supplements—Here’s What Happened

It’s easy to believe that your Instagram role model for learning about all things wellness (we all have one) must have every aspect of their own health nailed down, right?

But, even natural makeup artist Alexandria Gilléo&mdashwhose inside-out wellness motto inspires her to share the many (many, many) ways she lives out this philosophy with her followers&mdashhas areas of her routine that could use some work.

“I feel like I have a pretty good fitness and wellness routine,” Gilléo says. “I always get my eight hours of sleep. I have a great meditation practice. I would say I eat 80 percent plant-based foods.” While all of these ladder up to her overarching healthy-living philosophy, her hectic, always-on-set schedule left her looking for some backup. Yes, even the wellness experts have to call in the pros sometimes.

Yes, even the wellness experts have to call in the pros sometimes.

That’s why Gilléo joined forces with Nature’s Way® to sync up with Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Real Nutrition, for advice on the types of supplements she should integrate into her life in order to keep her health on point.

Gilléo knows she’s vitamin B-12 deficient, so that was a no-brainer suggestion for keeping her cellular energy up.* Plus, because of her mostly plant-based diet, Shapiro had some suggestions for filling that nutritional gap.

“Because you don&rsquot eat fish, I would recommend that you get your omega-3s from a supplement in order to meet your essential fatty acid needs for the brain, heart, eye, and skin health,” Shapiro says.* “Nature&rsquos Way NutraVege &trade is a great way to get omega-3s without the fish since it’s sourced from algae.” Did you hear that, plant-based peeps?

Since Gilléo’s schedule is so unpredictable (and because she gets up close and personal with her clients while doing their makeup), Shapiro says it’s vital that she pay attention to her immune system. “For traditional immune support, keep Nature&rsquos Way Sambucus Drops in your makeup kit,” Shapiro adds.* “They&rsquore an ultra-strength drop made from a unique variety of elderberries that have higher levels of naturally occurring flavonoids.”

Eager to see how Gilléo transformed the rest of her inside-out wellness routine? You’ll have to tune into the video for the rest of Shapiro’s wisdom&mdashplus, snag a few ideas for yourself along the way.


Latest Updates

HOPE FOR TRADE TALKS -- Trade ministers will meet twice next week in Geneva in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the stalled World Trade Organization talks, they said. At the encouragement of leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized countries, negotiators from Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Japan and the United States met Monday night with the director general of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, above, to assess the talks. [C9.]

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION RISES -- Industrial production rose at a higher-than-expected rate of 0.8 percent last month as hot weather increased the use of electricity, and factories made more communications equipment and semiconductors. [C5.]

AN EDITOR FOR PRIVATE EQUITY -- Norman Pearlstine, the former top editorial executive at magazine publisher Time Inc., is joining the Carlyle Group, the global private equity firm, to help find investment and business opportunities in global telecommunications and media. [C8.]

STOCKS MIXED -- Blue-chip stocks rose slightly, while the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 8.01 points, to end at 10,747.36 the S.& P. 500 slipped 1.71 points, to 1,234.49 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.37 point, to 2,037.72. [C11.]

POLITICS AND STEM CELLS -- The Senate moved toward approval of expanded federal spending on medical research using embryonic stem cells, but with a veto imminent, the immediate results of the legislation were likely to be more political than scientific. [A18.]

ONLINE: DEALBOOK -- A report on mergers and acquisitions, up-to-the-minute news on Wall Street and a look at the behind-the-scenes maneuvering is at nytimes.com/dealbook.

THE EUROPEAN APPROACH -- Steve Lohr of The Times discusses the implications of the fine levied by the European Commission against Microsoft at nytimes.com/technology.

PLANES AND POLITICS -- At the Farnborough Air Show in London, the world's leaders in aviation gather to make both monetary and political deals. A report is at nytimes.com/business.

Business Briefing Articles on these developments are at nytimes.com/business.

A JUDGE REDUCED A DAMAGE AWARD to Rambus to $133.4 million, from $307 million, for patent infringement by Hynix Semiconductor, leaving Rambus the choice of accepting the reduced amount or holding a new trial on damages. Federal District Judge Ronald Whyte said Rambus had 30 days to accept the lower amount. (BLOOMBERG NEWS)

THE RADIOSHACK CORPORATION, the electronics retailer, said yesterday that its chief financial officer, David Barnes, would leave and take a job with Western Union. (AP)


Swelling

Your cast may feel snug, especially the first few days after your injury. Usually it’s from your body swelling. To make it go down:

  • Prop up the injured part of the body so it’s higher than your heart. If the cast is on your leg, lie down and put cushions or pillows underneath. This helps drain blood and fluids away from the injured area.
  • Wiggle your fingers or toes on the injured arm or leg, and do it often. This also can prevent stiffness.
  • Chill the cast from the outside with a plastic bag of ice, or an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel. Keep the ice on the cast at the site of the injury for 15-30 minutes. Repeat every few hours for the first few days. Be sure to keep the cast dry.
  • If you feel sore or swollen, ask your doctors if you should take over-the-counter pain meds like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

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  • Let’s reignite our sense of wonder. Book now for a trip to look forward to later. Travel With Someone You Trust® https://t.co/5UE85u0sA1#LetsMakePlans#AAATravel

11 Surprising Facts and Myths About Microwave Ovens

Microwaves are energy efficient and convenient. But what does the radiation do to our food, and can it affect our health?

A fixture in office break rooms, convenience stores and homes for decades, the microwave oven has been heating frozen foods, leftovers and even more elaborate meals for decades. In fact, some hip urban restaurants employ the familiar device to cook all their meals, from apps to entrees. Not only does this save energy and allow the restaurants to cope with small square footages in space-constrained districts, but it also offers a new retro-novelty, giving a wow factor to those who aren't familiar with the appliance's true versatility.

Yet Google "are microwave ovens safe," and you'll get a barrage of hits from concerned mothers and others who are worried that the handy device might have a dark, even dangerous side. Of course, the prevailing consensus among scientists, public health experts, government agencies and the general public is that microwave ovens are overwhelmingly safe when used as directed. However, it's also true that there may be some legitimate questions about the safety of certain aspects of the technology, beyond the paranoia of the tin-foil hat crowd.

Let's take a closer look at some myths, facts and misconceptions about microwave ovens, which are estimated to be used in at least 90% of American homes.

1. Microwave Ovens Were Discovered Accidentally

Status: Fact

Apparently no one thought of cooking food with microwaves until the 1940s, when a self-taught engineer named Percy Spencer was building radar equipment in a lab for Raytheon, and noticed that a chocolate bar he had in his pocket started to melt. He had been building magnetrons, and realized that microwaves can be directed at food to heat it up rapidly. He tested his idea by popping popcorn and exploding an egg. Not long after we were all happily scarfing down TV dinners.

2. There Is Dissent Over How Microwaves Actually Heat Food

Status: Fact

Microwave radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation (meaning it can't directly break up atoms or molecules) that lies between common radio and infrared frequencies. So it is not thought to damage DNA of living things, the way X and gamma rays do. Still, microwaves can obviously cause heating effects, and can harm or kill at high energies. That's why microwave ovens on the market must operate at or below strict limits set by the federal government.

Most microwave ovens hit food with microwaves at a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz (GHz) (a wavelength of 12.24 centimetres (4.82 in)). The prevailing belief is that molecules in the food, particularly water, absorb energy from the waves through dielectric heating. That is, since water molecules are polar, having a positive end and negative end, they begin to rotate rapidly as the alternating electric field passes through. That rotation is thought to add heat to the food.

However, there are some scientists who have dissented with this view, suggesting that other interactions between the particles may be responsible for the heating.

3. Microwave Ovens Cook Food from the Inside Outside

Status: Myth

Although many people believe this to be the case, microwaves actually work on the outer layers of food, heating it by exciting the water molecules there. The inner parts of food are warmed as heat transfers from the outer layers inward. This is why a microwave can only cook a big hunk of meat to a depth of about one inch inward.

4. Metals Get Dangerously Hot in Microwaves

Status: Myth

Metals reflect microwaves, whereas plastic, glass and ceramics allow them to pass through. That means metals don't appreciably heat up in a microwave oven. However, thin pieces of metal, such as foils or the tines of a fork, can act as antenna, and the waves can arc off them, forming dramatic sparks.

5. Microwave Ovens are Energy Efficient Ways to Cook

Status: Fact

A complete analysis of cooking efficiency depends on a number of factors, including what you are trying to prepare and the cost -- and greenness -- of your local supply of electricity, gas or other fuel. Typically though, a microwave uses less energy to heat food than conventional ovens or ranges, because it works faster and more of the energy is focused directly on the food, versus heating containers or surrounding air. In fact, Energy Star calculated that cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave saves as much as 80% of the energy needed for an oven.

Don't get too excited, however. Consumer advocate Michael Bluejay pointed out to Earth Talk that even for someone who bakes three hours a week, using the cheapest cooking method would save only an estimated $2.06/month compared to the most expensive method. "Focusing on cooking methods is not the way to save electricity [at home]," says Bluejay. "You should look at heating, cooling, lighting and laundry instead."

6. You Can't Heat Oils in a Microwave

Status: Fact

Oils such as olive oil do not heat well in microwaves because their molecules lack the polarity found in water. It's also true that frozen butter is hard to thaw in a microwave, because the bulk of the substance is oil, and the portion of water present is in the form of ice, which keeps the molecules locked up in crystal form, making oscillation more difficult.

7. Heating Plastics in a Microwave Can Be Dangerous

Status: Fact

The safest course of action is to avoid putting any plastics in the microwave. When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tested plastics labeled microwave-safe and advertised for infants, even those were found to release "toxic doses" of Bisphenol A when heated in a microwave. "The amounts detected were at levels that scientists have found cause neurological and developmental damage in laboratory animals," the paper reports.

In fact, the term "microwave safe" is not regulated by the government, so it has no verifiable meaning. According to the Journal Sentinel's testing, BPA "is present in frozen food trays, microwaveable soup containers and plastic baby food packaging." It is often found in plastics marked No. 7, but may also be present in some plastics labeled with Nos. 1, 2 and 5 as well, according to the report. Better to stick to glass or ceramics.

8. Boiling a Cup of Water in a Microwave Can Cause It to Explode

Status: Fact

One potential danger of microwave ovens is getting scalded by over heated water. What can happen is that when plain water is heated in a microwave in a clean ceramic or glass container for too long, it can prevent bubbles from forming, which normally cool it down. The water can become superheated, past its boiling point. So when it is disturbed, say by moving it or dropping something in it, the heat releases violently, erupting boiling water out of the cup.

To avoid this risk heat water only the minimum amount of time needed. Or place a wooden spoon or stick in it (you should be fine with a metal spoon too, as we discussed above. Don't use a metal fork though, which could spark.)

9. Microwave Cooking Can Be Unsafe Because It Doesn't Heat Evenly

Status: Fact

As we learned from Jim Gaffigan, microwaves don't always heat food evenly, sometimes leaving cold pockets next to hot pockets. If you're working with raw meat, this can be dangerous, since it could leave harmful bacteria.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has warned that consumers should follow heating instructions carefully, including the standing time needed for additional cooking (in other words don't try to cool it off before you touch it).

10. Microwaves Leak Unsafe Levels of Electromagnetic Radiation

Status: Myth (at least most of the time)

For decades scientists and consumers have been debating over the possible effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation on living tissue. Since we can't very well grow people in controlled lab experiments, it's very difficult to sort out the various risks we might get from fields emitted from power lines, cell phones, airplane flights, computers, clock radios, and of course microwave ovens. We know strong fields raise cancer rates and other problems, but what about the cumulative effect of small exposure, or effects on children?

No one knows, although we can take heart that the FDA limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter, at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface. According to the agency, "This limit is far below the level known to harm people." It's also true that microwave energy decreases dramatically as you move away from the source of radiation. A measurement made 20 inches from an oven would be approximately one one-hundredth of value measured at 2 inches. The federal standard also requires all ovens to have two independent interlock systems that stop the production of microwaves the moment the latch is released or the door opened.

In an interview with TDG, mechanical engineer Mark Connelly, the deputy technical director of Consumer Reports, said that the vast majority of microwave ovens his group has tested have shown "very little leakage of radiation." Connelly echoed the advice of the FDA, which is that if people are concerned, they can simply step away from a microwave oven when in use.

Asked if people should avoid looking into a working microwave, since the eyes are known to be the most sensitive to that form of radiation, and are known to develop cataracts at high field strengths, Connelly said he didn't think it mattered, "since the window is shielded, and there shouldn't be leakage through that."

"If you are concerned, then go out and spend $20 on a testing kit to reassure yourself that there isn't any radiation leaking from your microwave," Connelly added. He said his testing of consumer-grade kits has shown them to be reasonably reliable, despite some press accounts to the contrary. "Microwaves can wear over time, with gaskets wearing or trouble developing in the door. So I think it's prudent to spend a little money to test them," he said.

11. Microwaves Alter Food in Undesirable, Possibly Unsafe, Ways

Status: Undetermined but Unlikely

It's a fact of life that any type of cooking changes the chemistry of food. It can reduce the levels of some nutrients, just as it can increase the levels of others (e.g. lycopenes), or make them more or less available to the body for use. (Raw food anyone?) The prevailing view is that microwaves do not alter foods in ways that are any more deleterious or harmful than other types of cooking. In fact, some have argued that the faster cooking time may actually preserve more nutrients versus other methods.

Still, we know sufficiently little about nutrition and the cumulative effects of food science that some aren't so convinced (of course, there is also the threat of any harmful substances present getting released upon cooking, such as the diacetyl blamed for "popcorn lung.") In a recent article E Magazine pointed out that popular holistic health expert Dr. Andrew Weil has written, "There may be dangers associated with microwaving food. there is a question as to whether microwaving alters protein chemistry in ways that might be harmful." According to the magazine, Dr. Fumio Watanabe of Japan's Kochi Women's University found that heating samples for six minutes degenerated 30 to 40% of the milk's vitamin B12. This kind of breakdown took about 25 minutes of boiling with conventional heat. In a 1992 Stanford Medical School study often cited by microwave opponents, researchers reported a "marked decrease" in immune-boosting factors in microwaved human breast milk. In the late 1980s Swiss scientists reported decreases in hemoglobin and white blood cells in rats that had eaten microwaved food.

It's also much reported on the Internet that microwaving human blood renders it unsafe for transfusion -- though medical professionals point out that rapidly heating blood via any method can have the same negative result.

The conclusion made by government agencies and mainstream organizations is that microwaved food is safe, as well as convenient. There's a limited number of studies that may suggest otherwise, but given the lack of large-scale or compelling evidence it's hard to feel that tossing our your microwave is a particularly smart step. Everyone interviewed for this piece pointed to other issues as more pressing, from ubiquitous exposure to cell phones to more serious threats from radon, or bigger energy users like heating and cooling. That doesn't mean microwaves aren't worth thinking about, however.

And what are microwaves good for?


1. Anything from fast food chains

Fast food joints certainly are not thinking about food when they are serving you they are only thinking of their profits and their stockholders. Although everyone knows fast food is not healthy, it seems Americans just can’t leave it alone.

That’s probably because of all the added trans- fats, salt, chemicals like MSG, and sugars that are added to the food to make it taste so good. For example, those “specialty” burgers all the fast food places are pushing: did you know that some of those burgers (such as McDonald’s double quarter pounder with cheese) have more than 19 grams of saturated fats?

Let’s not forget about portion size, either. A large serving of French fries from McDonald’s has 4 days’ worth of Trans fat all by itself.

All fast food is loaded with everything bad you want to avoid: GMO corn, trans- fats, commercialized beef, food dyes, artificial sweeteners, sugar, excessive salt, and many, many others. We haven’t even gotten to the preservative factor!