Update on the Microwave Experiment

Whoa! Some people really (really!) do not like (not even a teeny weeny little bit!) microwaves. Forget politics or religion, if you want to stir up trouble at your next holiday dinner, just say, “I think microwaves are safe and don’t kill the nutrients in food,” then scoot back your chair and watch the (food) fight ensue.

I had shared the previous post about the experiment with some friends privately and on Facebook.  Boy, did I get hate mail!  Friends of my friends (my friends are too polite to call me names and yell at me IN ALL CAPS) were pretty vehement in their dislike of microwaves and FIRMLY BELIEVED THEY LEAD TO DEATH AND DESTRUCTION of anything that comes near them.  They also flooded me with evidence from studies conducted in the 1970s.

Actually, I was in their camp.  After seeing that Facebook post I spoke of yesterday (with the pruned plants) I was all ready to give up microwaves for good.  But, they’re so convenient, especially for heating leftovers (especially when you’re in an environment with frequent power outages but have a generator that can still run your microwave but not your electric stove), so I thought I’d test it myself.  If my experiment (without plastic containers) got the same results as this little schoolgirl’s did, then I was ready to kiss the microwave goodbye and eat cold leftovers.  So, you can imagine my surprise at my results, at the Consumer Reports on Health‘s results, and at the Consumer Reports lab results (on vegetable nutrients)!

Anyways, here are Day 7’s results.  Would you believe that for the seeds planted in the compost, only the seeds watered with microwave boiled water have sprouted, but not the seeds watered with stove-top boiled water?!  These results are identical to the hygrosoil results (the microwave boiled water seed sprouted first)!  Consistent results are pretty compelling to me – in both types of soil the seeds watered with microwave boiled water sprouted first.  I don’t know about you but it makes me feel a lot better about microwaving.  (And, friends of my friends of my friends, I admit I could be fully delusional or wrong.  Please do the experiment yourself – I’d be curious to see your results.)

Here are the hygrosoil results.  As you can see, the seeds watered with microwave boiled water are growing faster than the seeds watered with stove-top boiled water.

And here are the compost soil results.  As you can see, the seeds watered with stove-top boiled water have yet to sprout, yet two of three seeds watered with microwave boiled water have sprouted.

Pretty interesting, huh?


About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3794765860/
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5 Responses to Update on the Microwave Experiment

  1. Maureen Witte says:

    And there are people who will say “Don’t confront me with FACTS!” Ha! Interesting experiment.

  2. I have to admit I am one of those who thought microwaving food is bad. I am following your experiments with great interest and have no problem changing my opinion.

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      I know – me too! I’m so surprised. Would you believe that still nothing has sprouted from the boiled water compost? Same compost, same water, same place on the shelf, same growing container, same package of peas (and 3 at that). What are the chances that all three peas, randomly chosen, would not sprout in that single container alone? Pretty low.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Did you use plastic to boil your microwave water? I am pondering where the BPA in some plastics would give better growth results given BPA acts as a hormone in human exposures. I have been thinking about your experiment in all my free time, which is very little! 🙂

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      No plastic at all – not in boiling or in the pots or on the trays they sit. Actually, I think that’s why the original schoolgirl got the results she did – I think she boiled the microwave water in plastic. But, I never thought the BPA would stimulate growth – I thought it would kill things?

      I have had our water tested here (we’re on a well/borehole) and it’s clean from contaminants and bacteria and such, but it’s heavy in lime. I wonder if the microwave neutralizes the lime? (but for peas, which like a low-alkaline soil, wouldn’t the lime be good?)

      Thanks for the comment! All ideas welcome!

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