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An easy... but perhaps important experiment

Posted by Nandina 8b (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 4, 05 at 20:41

These days we are bombarded with medical information, like it or not. Tonight I ran across an article titled "Microwaved food harmful to health". It was stated that "....a simple test done at home" will prove it. So, let's try the test. You probably have part of a fast sprouting seed pack (beans, marigolds, zinnias, etc.) tucked away. Divide the seeds into two pots. Now, water one pot with tap water and the second pot with tap water that has been heated to boiling in the microwave and allowed to cool. The claim of the author of this article is that seeds planted in the pot watered with microwaved water will never sprout. That's the experiment. What were your results?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

  • Posted by Rosa 4-ish CO Rockies (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 6, 05 at 8:25

I've used microwaved water for hydrating polymer crystals as well as microwaved water to hydrate coir fiber and to rewet peat based potting mixes. No problems with seeds sprouting where "nuked" water was used.

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

I nuke potting soil all the time to help it take up water fast. I buy the dry stuff for handling because of the weight. When I want to start some seed in a pot I put a quart of dry soil in a bag with a cup of water and heat it about two minutes and seal the bag. The following morning the soil is moist.

Now. I have never done any controls. Yes, OP, your are correct that if one really is interested there should be controls. Good for you.

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

Water heated to the same temperature by some other method than microwave should be included in the experiment. If there is a difference, it could be simply the result of heating, not microwaving.

I'm not very motivated to perform the experiment, however.


RE:boiled water and microwaving water to boiling

Jimster certainly has a point. If you are boiling the water, as mentioned in the OP, then you may be boiling off dissolved gases such as atmospheric oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. You would need controls using water boiled on the kitchen stove as well as microwaved boiled water and tapwater water.

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

  • Posted by laa_laa Sunset /8 or 9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 15, 06 at 18:24

Our water is loaded with Chlorine and Ammonia put in by the city. (The ammonia supposedly bonds with the chlorine thus preventing rapid dissapation of the chlorine).
We don't drink our water and don't even give it to our lovebirds or replenish the fish water with it.
If microwaving the water could get rid of the chemicals...I would much prefer 'nuking' the water than using it from the tap for newly planted seeds. One point however, we have no choice in the heat of the summer other than to use the city water...the garden does not seem to suffer. L.

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

The beginning of the thread suggests that microwaving water results in toxicity formation in the water that results in seeds that do not grow. What is the theory of the formation of this toxic solution in the water? Scientifically, the argument that microwaved water is toxic seems flimsy.

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

Yes chervil2, you are quite correct:
Scientifically, the argument that microwaved water is toxic seems flimsy.
but at lest it got people to talking about controls. Talk of controls just might possibly be of some little good.

RE: An easy... but perhaps important experiment

I agree that microwaved pure water, that is, pure H2O, is unlikely to be toxic. However, when you search organic chemistry topics, you find there is a whole new area being researched in organic chemistry - the use of microwaves, and in particular, standard kitchen microwave ovens, to accelerate various chemical processes, producing isomers, or new compounds in fractions of the time required with non-microwave induced reactions. One scientist proposes the use of microwaves may change industrial chemical manufacture.

This has me impressed, in that contaminants in water, or contaminants leached from the container the water is in, could undergo accelerated reactions under the influence of microwaves. I found articles referring to assignments given to organic chem students at universities to document the accelerated or improved productions, as well as many papers by professional researchers who achieved greater success, or different isomer mixes using appliance store microwaves.

In particular, I am interested in increased or altered production of isomers, molecules with the same chemical formula, but different spatial arrangements. Differing isomers of the same compound can have differing results biologically.

In other words, my warning flags went up, but I still use a microwave. I wouldn't use it to cook all my food, however, after doing this research.

ps - I went after scientific papers, not health food articles in my search.

also : An easy... but perhaps important experiment

So I guess I should add it depends on what is in your water. Your water may test acceptable after microwaving, but someone else's water may have other contaminants, and a different result.

At least you could test your own water, if you are careful about always using the same container and cleaning compounds. I would also collect the entire amount of water to be used at one time, as tap water varies day to day depending on what waste product was dumped upstream, what fell in the last rain etc. In our area periodically they flush the system with chemicals to kill zebra mussels, and there are days when no one can stand to drink it.

I compared bottled waters once, by sprouting beans and I saw significant, visible differences between various bottled waters.

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