Dear Dr. Blonz: I’ve heard tales from a good friend about what a microwave does to food: that it modifications the food’s composition, or that your physique doesn’t acknowledge food in the identical approach after it has been microwaved — that microwaves change food “at the molecular level.” I assumed they triggered molecular “friction,” which prompted warmth. That’s what I discovered in my X-ray and radium physics course in school. My good friend will not warmth food in a microwave. Should I be involved? — A.G., Phoenix
Dear A.G.: Searching for “microwave dangers” on the web will reveal many sources of blatant misinformation, a few of which border on the entertaining with their conspiratorial bent. As you appropriately famous, microwaves warmth food by inflicting molecular motion and heat-producing friction between the molecules. When you flip off the microwave, that stimulation ends. Except for producing extra warmth power, there is no “change at the molecular level.”
One danger can be from overheating an merchandise, however this could occur with any type of cooking. Your school course was right; your good friend is not. Food appropriately heated in a microwave stays food, and will probably be “recognized” by all bodily methods: appropriately digested to permit absorption and utilization of its nutritive worth. We ought to all get within the behavior of difficult nonsense earlier than we swallow it.
Dear Dr. Blonz: I’m on the lookout for info on automated hot-water dispensers. We acquired considered one of these as a present, and it’ll get plenty of day by day use in our house, seeing as we’re all tea drinkers. But we now have heard that utilizing this machine over the long term might have opposed results on our health, due to the heating factor coming in direct contact with the water. We have been even informed that it might trigger most cancers with fixed use. I’m hoping that this is solely an “old wives’ tale.” — S.T., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Dear S.T.: I encourage you to take pleasure in your present with the information that there is no scientific foundation for the considerations you point out. There is no logic, nor is there any goal documentation of “adverse effects” from a usually functioning heating component in a hot-water dispenser. Be positive to learn the producer’s instructions to be used and upkeep; periodic cleansing to forestall the buildup of mineral salts shall be key.
Dear Dr. Blonz: I’ve simply been turned on to baking greens wrapped in parchment paper. They are incomparable in taste. I’m wondering why parchment paper not often exhibits up in recipes. Is it safe to eat food cooked on this nonstick paper? — H.W., Hayward, California
Dear H.W.: Parchment paper is made out of cotton fiber and wooden pulp. The paper is odorless and flavorless, and can be utilized as a pan liner or to wrap meals for cooking. Parchment paper offers a moist-heat technique to prepare dinner meals “en papillote,” which is French for “cooked and served in paper.” It’s unclear to me, additionally, why this system doesn’t get extra use.
Send questions to: “On Nutrition,” Ed Blonz, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.