Vegetarian cooking (rec.food.veg.cooking) Discussion of matters related to the procurement, preparation, cooking, nutritional value and eating of vegetarian foods.

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  #17 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 07-03-2005, 12:19 PM
Dennis Rekuta
 
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wrote:
snip

The fact that very few studies have been done to verify that
microwaving foods is harmless seriously concerns me. Those few studies
that have been done point to frightening conclusions that seriously
concern me.

snip

Google is your friend. A few simple queries brought out several
citations from the National Institutes of Health, British, European and
Canadian government agencies on the safety of microwave cooking.
Microwave safety standards have been around for over 30 years. If the
only negative citations you find are from sources like Jane Russell's
and Dr. Mercola's quack web sites; and you automatically assume all
government agencies are part of some evil conspiracy; then there will be
no convincing you. Even Vegetarian Times endorses the use of microwave
ovens in some recipes. Are they stooges as well? I have run into this
kind of thinking elsewhere.

There is currently a poster named Tom on alt.support.glaucoma who cannot
understand why both patients and doctors are willing to use inherently
dangerous pressure lowering prescription eye drops to prevent(even
though they have safely and effectively been in use for between five to
thirty years depending on the med). Tom advocates that people should be
exploring the use of marijuana, a natural product that has been around
for thousands of years. It was pointed out to him that studies indicate
that marijuana only seemed to produce temporary lowering of ocular
pressures for the duration of the time that you took enough to be
"stoned", and once enough TCH left your system for you to be able to
carry out everyday functions, any medical effect was gone. Tom
essentially stated that it would be better to be "stoned" all of the
time than to risk the side effects of drops.

The whole thread can be read at:

http://snipurl.com/d8vi

Dennis
  #19 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 10-03-2005, 12:51 AM
[email protected]
 
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Nutrients in the water used to boil foods can be retained. E.g. if you
use the water used for boiling vegetables to make a gravy. Admittedly I
mainly use the water from boiling vegetables to make gravy (instant)
because it makes the gravy taste better, but some nutrients will be
retained.

Cheers,

Ross-c
  #20 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-03-2005, 04:56 PM
Dr Engelbert Buxbaum
 
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wrote:

I've dumped my microwave oven. It works by vibrating the molecules of
food at very high frequencies. That may cause significant changes to
the molecular structure of foods. That means that something that was
food may be converted to molecules of substances that are not food.
This possibility, which I don't consider to be remote, is enough to get
me back to cooking the real way, with more naturally generated
heatsources.


May be a little bit of very basic science will do away with such
nonsense.

Matter, including food and ourselfs, is made of molecules, which in turn
consist of atoms connected by chemical bonds. For the purpose of this
discussion you can think of atoms as tiny hard spheres, and of bonds as
springs connecting them.

If you supply energy to such a ball/spring system, you get oscillations.
Particularly violent oscillations are observed when the energy is
supplied at specific frequencies, called the natural frequencies of the
system. Even then however the spring does not break.

Heat is the movement of molecules and atoms, either oscillatory of the
bonds or random (Brownian) motion of the entire molecules. What we call
an increase in temperature is microscopically an increase in the speed
of Brownian motion and in the amplitude of intramolecular oscillations.

Heat can be added classically by a fire place, in this case energy is
supplied over a wide spectral region. Microwaves work differently in
that they add energy only at a specific frequency, which is selected to
coincide with the natural frequency of the hydrogen-oxygen bond in
water. Thus movement in water molecules is excited very efficiently, the
moving water molecules knock against other molecules in their vincinity,
transfering energy also to them.

The microwave energy however is not sufficient to break chemical bonds
(you need UV light for that), it only excites oscillations in the bond.
Hence the fears expressed above are totally unfounded.

The changes observed in boiling/steaming/microwaving are not caused by
the breakage of chemical bonds, but by the unfolding of proteins and
some polysaccharides, resulting in a more open, more easily digestible
food. That indeed is one of the main purposes of cooking: Making food
easier to digest.

In roasting on the other hand heat is applied from the surface of the
food, leading to local overheating. Under these conditions, chemical
bonds may indeed break, resulting in the formation of new compounds,
which change the colour (browning) and flavour of the food. In
moderation that is harmless and even intended, but if the food is
allowed to become too dark, carcinogenic compounds may form.

So microwaving food does not make it harmfull, on the contrary since
heating time is short, damage to heat-sensitive vitamins is limited. The
only possible damage results from microwaves escaping from the oven and
directly interacting with our body (especially the eyes). Thus microwave
ovens should be well maintained and never operated with the cover
removed.


  #21 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-03-2005, 04:56 PM
Dr Engelbert Buxbaum
 
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wrote:

I've dumped my microwave oven. It works by vibrating the molecules of
food at very high frequencies. That may cause significant changes to
the molecular structure of foods. That means that something that was
food may be converted to molecules of substances that are not food.
This possibility, which I don't consider to be remote, is enough to get
me back to cooking the real way, with more naturally generated
heatsources.


May be a little bit of very basic science will do away with such
nonsense.

Matter, including food and ourselfs, is made of molecules, which in turn
consist of atoms connected by chemical bonds. For the purpose of this
discussion you can think of atoms as tiny hard spheres, and of bonds as
springs connecting them.

If you supply energy to such a ball/spring system, you get oscillations.
Particularly violent oscillations are observed when the energy is
supplied at specific frequencies, called the natural frequencies of the
system. Even then however the spring does not break.

Heat is the movement of molecules and atoms, either oscillatory of the
bonds or random (Brownian) motion of the entire molecules. What we call
an increase in temperature is microscopically an increase in the speed
of Brownian motion and in the amplitude of intramolecular oscillations.

Heat can be added classically by a fire place, in this case energy is
supplied over a wide spectral region. Microwaves work differently in
that they add energy only at a specific frequency, which is selected to
coincide with the natural frequency of the hydrogen-oxygen bond in
water. Thus movement in water molecules is excited very efficiently, the
moving water molecules knock against other molecules in their vincinity,
transfering energy also to them.

The microwave energy however is not sufficient to break chemical bonds
(you need UV light for that), it only excites oscillations in the bond.
Hence the fears expressed above are totally unfounded.

The changes observed in boiling/steaming/microwaving are not caused by
the breakage of chemical bonds, but by the unfolding of proteins and
some polysaccharides, resulting in a more open, more easily digestible
food. That indeed is one of the main purposes of cooking: Making food
easier to digest.

In roasting on the other hand heat is applied from the surface of the
food, leading to local overheating. Under these conditions, chemical
bonds may indeed break, resulting in the formation of new compounds,
which change the colour (browning) and flavour of the food. In
moderation that is harmless and even intended, but if the food is
allowed to become too dark, carcinogenic compounds may form.

So microwaving food does not make it harmfull, on the contrary since
heating time is short, damage to heat-sensitive vitamins is limited. The
only possible damage results from microwaves escaping from the oven and
directly interacting with our body (especially the eyes). Thus microwave
ovens should be well maintained and never operated with the cover
removed.
  #22 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 17-03-2005, 11:21 AM
dug88
 
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micro wave means a very small energy wave
but if einstein is correct matter can neither be created nor destroyed.
or some idiot would be rebuilding lead to make gold.

HOWEVER you are partially correct
simply because not all food containers are safe in the microwave.
that plastic bag you wrap the food with, might not be food grade quality.
so grocery bags, are a no no. if the bag has printing on it, is the inks
they use of food grade quality.

use natural containers if at all possible
corn on the cob, cooked in the microwave (in its own husk)
try it once and you will never go back to steamed or heaven forbid boiled.

cooking carrots? well shred a carrot and add a few drops of lemon juice,
just to give them the fresh look. cooking is not needed.
carrot, onion and celery are the trinity, for all vegees soup base.
but that is just the slow cooker doing it's thing, and i get my pot roast
ready when i get home.

i hope that gives you some options you can work with.
dug88

[ quoting removed - moderator ]
  #23 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 11-04-2005, 04:04 PM
[email protected]
 
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I prefer to steam my vegetables. However, for time sake i cook harder
vegetables in the microwave as it incredibly quicker then boiling or
steaming.

I always try and steam. I don't consider cooking food in microwaves
natural.
  #24 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 11-04-2005, 05:00 PM
Serene
 
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wrote:

I prefer to steam my vegetables. However, for time sake i cook harder
vegetables in the microwave as it incredibly quicker then boiling or
steaming.


We don't have a microwave, so we always steam or boil or oven-roast our
veggies.

serene
--
http://serenejournal.livejournal.com
http://www.jhuger.com
  #25 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 13-04-2005, 12:40 PM
Richard Crowley
 
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seraphina075 wrote ...
I prefer to steam my vegetables. However, for time sake i
cook harder vegetables in the microwave as it incredibly
quicker then boiling or steaming.

I always try and steam. I don't consider cooking food in
microwaves natural.


Molecular movement is molecular movement, whether
it is generated by microwaves or by steam. OTOH, steam
is more likely to remove some nutrients (unless you use
the condensate elsewhere).


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