4

votes

Which is worse- Teflon or a microwave?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 17, 2011 at 9:24 PM

My toddler drinks about a quart of bone broth throughout the day. I usually warm it up in a stainless steel saucepan and give it to him in his sippy cup. We're visiting family out of state right now and while I brought plenty of broth, I didn't bring my pan. So which is least bad- warming it up in a Teflon saucepan on the stove or using the microwave (with the broth in a glass jar)?

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 09, 2013
at 12:43 PM

FYI the prof was George Cady, who retired a year after I took freshman inorganic. I tried to post a link and failed, but he was a pioneer of fluorine and fluorocarbon chemistry.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 09, 2013
at 12:39 PM

FYI. I took first year inorganic from him.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 08, 2013
at 05:30 PM

Tremors run in my family (I do exhibit some), so I can't blame fluorocarbons I've worked with over the last 10 years or so.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 08, 2013
at 04:11 PM

I had an old prof in first year chemistry who had the shakes. We'd hold our breaths watching him do classroom demonstrations, clattering flasks and beakers around. I found out later that he was a renowned fluorine researcher. I've always wondered whether it had affected him.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on July 19, 2012
at 08:35 AM

This study reported findings contrary to that Lancet article, and it's far from the only one showing microwaves don't increase amino acid isomerization more than conventional cooking: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00010a034

A22984846d3a60b15fd1a34a4e99d866

(0)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:02 PM

I am undecided myself. I have only heard about this a few days ago, made more research about it and came across this post. I do have a lot of respect for the Weston A Price foundation. There is not enough research on the subject as it is very often the case. Let me bring 2 more links to the debate: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2006/03/23/1597903.htm in favor of microwaving http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx against it.

A22984846d3a60b15fd1a34a4e99d866

(0)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Matt: thanks for your valuable contribution.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:43 AM

It's 100% nonsense.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:57 AM

Every single article I've seen about the dangers of microwaving bone broth references that Lancet letter, but no one ever seems to be able to actually link to it. I'm kind of wondering about that itself. If all this bone broth microwave hysteria is coming from ONE letter, I'd hardly call that evidence.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Microwaving does that, but not regular cooking? Do they know *how* the microwaves converts the l-proline to d-proline?

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on September 19, 2011
at 05:59 PM

I started him on the broth a couple of months ago when we went paleo, I guess he was about 17 months. He was drinking raw milk in his sippy when he woke up in the morning, and I thought warm bone broth would be a good substitute. He absolutely loves it, we even made up a sign for "broth" before he could say it. If I have another, I'll start him/her on broth at a year. Only problem is keeping enough of it made. I had to buy a second crock pot so I can always have at least one batch going.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on September 19, 2011
at 03:08 AM

I'm sure it's scant because the buzz about bone broth is very recent, and it takes money to test things and it takes money and interest to perform tests. They'd be simple tests to perform, in terms of degradation of nutrients if that is actually the case, but I'm not sure the nutrients that make bone broth beneficial have been identified. Medical and nutrition science just aren't far along yet. Humans haven't been at this business of having labs and chemical analyses and how the body works and metabolizes things, and how bodies vary by age, genetics and whatnot. Give it 100 years or so.

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on September 18, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I agree that Teflon is the worst. But I just wanted to commend you on feeding your toddler all that bone broth. Awesome! I'm currently TTC and hope to do this as well. When did you start him on the broth?

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:08 AM

*everywhere*, not anywhere.

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:07 AM

RPS, do you have any insight in to the proposition that microwaving destroys, and actually F'ups the benefits of bone broth? I keep seeing it anywhere, but the science is scant....but that doesn't necessarily mean jack, no?

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on September 17, 2011
at 11:10 PM

+1 for Harfatum. FWIW, we're constantly bombarded with cosmic rays and x-rays from space, so a little water-molecule-jiggling is a drop in the bucket, IMHO. Teflon is pure nastiness, especially when high heat is involved.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 17, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Sebastian Tobias - just heating something up over a fire uses radiation. You probably don't understand the difference between ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. FYI thermal radiation is an electromagnetic radiation just like microwave (frequency is different) and is caused by molecular movement.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:53 PM

There is no valid scientific evidence that microwaves destroy anything in food.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Why is teflon 'nasty bad'? I was under the impression that it was safe as long as the surface wasn't scratched?

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:18 PM

The teflon is worse, without a doubt.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:16 PM

[citation needed]

6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:58 PM

yea, but the range of radiation tends to target the water molecules which "move" (movement generates the heat) and basically boils your food - as long as you have a water in your food sample, it shouldn't affect anything else

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:36 PM

The teflon is nasty bad.

078293bd7f5f4d9776f66359f70f4d33

on September 17, 2011
at 09:32 PM

But the nutritional properties of the broth would be effected. It's just heating up food with radiation.

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8 Answers

12
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Use the microwave. Avoid teflon like crazy.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:36 PM

The teflon is nasty bad.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Why is teflon 'nasty bad'? I was under the impression that it was safe as long as the surface wasn't scratched?

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 17, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Sebastian Tobias - just heating something up over a fire uses radiation. You probably don't understand the difference between ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. FYI thermal radiation is an electromagnetic radiation just like microwave (frequency is different) and is caused by molecular movement.

6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on September 17, 2011
at 09:58 PM

yea, but the range of radiation tends to target the water molecules which "move" (movement generates the heat) and basically boils your food - as long as you have a water in your food sample, it shouldn't affect anything else

078293bd7f5f4d9776f66359f70f4d33

on September 17, 2011
at 09:32 PM

But the nutritional properties of the broth would be effected. It's just heating up food with radiation.

7
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on September 18, 2011
at 03:43 AM

Microwaves are not ionizing radiation. They do not make changes in food that are any different than any other form of cooking. Microwave ovens simply cook food in a different manner, much like electric stoves heat food differently than gas flame or wood or coals.

Teflon or any other non-stick pans impart chemicals into your food and air, whether or not they are scratched.

The chemicals they impart into your food and environment are know carcinogens. Start here: http://environmentalhealthnews.org/archives.jsp?tn=1title,lede,description,text,subject,publishername,coverage,reporter&tv=pfoa&ss=1

I have a degree in science, so I don't make these statements lightly, and I've researched them thoroughly.

All cooking will destroy one kind of nutrient or another, while also making others more readily available.

Learning how to cook without non-stick pans, much like cooking on a grill, is about becoming in tune with time and temps and helpers (like the right kind of oil for the temp - butter browns too fast at high temps, so bad for searing, while coconut and olive oils can take higher heat) and a bit of patience... learning to know when meat or eggs are ready to be released from the pan easily or not... it's a kind of zen that can be a marvelous part of life if one chooses to embrace it and ditch the chemical-laden crutches.

That said, the microwave is a great time saver for reheating (especially if it has low power settings) and a very safe crutch to use, as long as you're not reheating in plastic. I use ceramic or glass bowls with a plate to cover, or vice versa to reheat things, or to steam veggies. I never use it to cook meat (I don't enjoy eating leather). The microwave is also great for boiling water for tea or whatever.

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:08 AM

*everywhere*, not anywhere.

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:07 AM

RPS, do you have any insight in to the proposition that microwaving destroys, and actually F'ups the benefits of bone broth? I keep seeing it anywhere, but the science is scant....but that doesn't necessarily mean jack, no?

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on September 19, 2011
at 03:08 AM

I'm sure it's scant because the buzz about bone broth is very recent, and it takes money to test things and it takes money and interest to perform tests. They'd be simple tests to perform, in terms of degradation of nutrients if that is actually the case, but I'm not sure the nutrients that make bone broth beneficial have been identified. Medical and nutrition science just aren't far along yet. Humans haven't been at this business of having labs and chemical analyses and how the body works and metabolizes things, and how bodies vary by age, genetics and whatnot. Give it 100 years or so.

6
Medium avatar

on September 17, 2011
at 10:27 PM

Most if not all forms of cooking ??? this includes microwaving ??? cause some degree of nutrient loss.

Results of two studies reached conclusions that do not damn microwaving per se. I would guess that other studies have reached the same conclusions. And that just as many studies can be found that are highly critical of microwaving. Different studies, methods, sample sizes, experimenter prejudices, and so forth. Always helpful to know who's funding a given body of science research.

Highlights of the two studies not unsympathetic to microwaving vis-a-vis food value:

"A study published in the Journal of Zhejiang University in 2009 compared the impact steaming, microwaving, boiling, stir-frying, and stir-frying followed by boiling (stir-frying/boiling) had on the nutrients of broccoli. Steaming was the method for preserving nutrients. Microwaved broccoli had a similar carotenoid content, slightly less vitamin C and only about half the glucosinolate compounds, known for their cancer-protective properties, compared with raw broccoli. However, broccoli was microwaved for five minutes.... A study from Cornell University also found that microwaved bacon contains fewer nitrosamines, a cancer-causing compound, compared with traditionally cooked bacon."

Microwaving and Antioxidant Capacity of Vegetables

"Researchers published a study in 2009 in the Journal of Food Science to investigate the impact of different cooking methods, such as boiling, microwaving, pressure-cooking, griddling, frying and baking, on the antioxidant capacity of 20 different vegetables. Vegetables cooked in the microwave oven generally had a higher antioxidant content, as if griddling and baking, compared with those cooked in water."

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/189373-about-nutritional-value-of-food-cooked-in-microwave-oven/#ixzz1YFcFXiIw

3
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Another option is to use a 'double-boiler- method. Put your glass container in a water bath, and heat the water, and let the hot water heat the liquid in the glass container. It doesn't need to be hot-hot... just warmed enough to be palatable Under no circumstances would I give my kids food or beverages heated in a microwave. (When I travel, I even take my Turbo-Oven with me so I can heat things up in the hotel--'course, some would call me 'obsessive' LOL).

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 08, 2013
at 03:23 PM

I agree with others here, microwave heating is nothing to be concerned about. As a research chemist, I use microwave heating for reactions quite regularly, but there's nothing magic about it, I can superheat things and get more uniform heating in a microwave than I can using other things like an oil-bath (think heating a sauce pan in a deep-fat frier).

Now Teflon… In theory, it's bad, but there's little evidence to suggest it's bad news (the same goes for BPA). Sure, it can bioaccumulate and can be found in serum and adipose, but there's little evidence that it's actually interacting with the endocrine system (as is theorized). If you burn it, it does produce toxic fumes, so don't burn teflon (duh). (For what it's worth, I work with fluorocarbons in my research as well.)

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 09, 2013
at 12:43 PM

FYI the prof was George Cady, who retired a year after I took freshman inorganic. I tried to post a link and failed, but he was a pioneer of fluorine and fluorocarbon chemistry.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 09, 2013
at 12:39 PM

FYI. I took first year inorganic from him.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on December 08, 2013
at 04:11 PM

I had an old prof in first year chemistry who had the shakes. We'd hold our breaths watching him do classroom demonstrations, clattering flasks and beakers around. I found out later that he was a renowned fluorine researcher. I've always wondered whether it had affected him.

0
E299b4ff785ae34f3459e1ee2159a883

on December 08, 2013
at 01:27 PM

Who cares? "Won't someone think about the children?, etc.".There are more pressing issues in our world than those of interest to the hubristic parent (e.g., overpopulation, pollution, crime, insufficient resources). Indeed, I would suggest that such people and their offspring are the source of many of those problems.

0
A22984846d3a60b15fd1a34a4e99d866

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-broth-is-beautiful

"Whatever form of gelatin is used, it should never be cooked or reheated in the microwave. According to a letter published in The Lancet, the common practice of microwaving converts l-proline to d-proline. They write, "The conversion of trans to cis forms could be hazardous because when cis-amino acids are incorporated into peptides and proteins instead of their trans isomers, this can lead to structural, functional and immunological changes." They further note that "d-proline is neurotoxic and we have reported nephrotoxic and heptatotoxic effects of this compound."55 In other words, the gelatin in homemade broth confers wonderous benefits, but if you heat it in the microwave, it becomes toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system."

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Microwaving does that, but not regular cooking? Do they know *how* the microwaves converts the l-proline to d-proline?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:43 AM

It's 100% nonsense.

A22984846d3a60b15fd1a34a4e99d866

(0)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Matt: thanks for your valuable contribution.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:57 AM

Every single article I've seen about the dangers of microwaving bone broth references that Lancet letter, but no one ever seems to be able to actually link to it. I'm kind of wondering about that itself. If all this bone broth microwave hysteria is coming from ONE letter, I'd hardly call that evidence.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on July 19, 2012
at 08:35 AM

This study reported findings contrary to that Lancet article, and it's far from the only one showing microwaves don't increase amino acid isomerization more than conventional cooking: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00010a034

A22984846d3a60b15fd1a34a4e99d866

(0)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:02 PM

I am undecided myself. I have only heard about this a few days ago, made more research about it and came across this post. I do have a lot of respect for the Weston A Price foundation. There is not enough research on the subject as it is very often the case. Let me bring 2 more links to the debate: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2006/03/23/1597903.htm in favor of microwaving http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx against it.

-3
078293bd7f5f4d9776f66359f70f4d33

on September 17, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Depends on the quality of the pan, to be honest.

Microwaves should be avoided at all costs, as well they destroy any healthy properties in food.

But if the pan is all scratched up and nasty looking, then cold broth or maybe going out and purchasing a small cheapo sauce pan for the trip may be best, but if the pan doesn't have any scratches on it, then it may be your best bet. While neither of the options are safe, never ever use the microwave.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:16 PM

[citation needed]

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on September 17, 2011
at 11:10 PM

+1 for Harfatum. FWIW, we're constantly bombarded with cosmic rays and x-rays from space, so a little water-molecule-jiggling is a drop in the bucket, IMHO. Teflon is pure nastiness, especially when high heat is involved.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:53 PM

There is no valid scientific evidence that microwaves destroy anything in food.

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