Microwaved water kills plant in home grown experiment


Richard Stossel

An experiment conducted at home for a high school science fair five years ago has verified the dangers of microwave ovens not only to humans, but even to plants and other organic matter. The experiment showed that microwaved water given to a plant causes the plant to wither and die within days; however, another identical plant given water that was boiled on a conventional stove grew normally during the same time period.

Many studies conducted throughout the world have repeatedly highlighted the deleterious effects of microwave ovens on human health. In fact microwave ovens are so dangerous that they were banned in Russia from 1976 to 1987. Twenty years of thorough research by Russian scientists convinced them that the dangers of the devices outweighed the benefits in cooking time. This experiment further verifies their findings.

In the home experiment, filtered water was divided into two parts. One part would be microwaved and allowed to cool before being given to the plant, while the second part would be heated on a conventional stove top and given to an identical plant. Results were observed over a nine day period. By the third day it was already clear that the plant given the microwaved water was not faring as well as its counterpart.

By the ninth day the microwaved plant was virtually nonexistent in its pot, having literally shrunk in size to just a few inches above the soil. The second plant was growing beautifully.

View pictures of the experiment here: http://www.eutimes.net/2011/03/expe…

Microwaved prepared meats cause the formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen. Microwaving can also cause some amino acids in foods such as milk and cereal grains to be converted into carcinogens. Even very short exposure for cooked, frozen or raw vegetables turned their plant alkaloids into carcinogenic matter unfit for human consumption. These carcinogenic free radicals formed in plants and especially in root vegetables exposed to microwaves. Broccoli showed a 97% loss of its vitamin C when cooked in a microwave oven.

Studies have shown that human breast milk heated in microwave ovens is altered and that not only is its vitamin content depleted, but some of the amino acids are also rendered biologically inactive. Some of the altered amino acids are poisons to both the nervous system and the kidneys.

Microwave ovens do not heat food evenly. This means that some parts are overcooked, which can change their molecular structure into dangerous carcinogenic substances, while other parts are undercooked increasing the risk of food poisoning.

Not only is the food cooked in microwave ovens dangerous, but also are the devices themselves. Every part from the power chord right up to the magnetron itself, which is the part that actually emits the radiation heating the food, is dangerous due to high levels of EM emissions.

Tests performed by manufacturers at a distance of two inches show that microwaves do leak out of the devices no matter how expensive or well made the model is. However since microwave radiation drops off dramatically with distance, at 20 inches the radiation is approximately 100 times less than at 2 inches, so it’s a good idea to stand back from the unit if you must use one.

Microwaves can pass through walls, so if it’s placed against an adjacent wall, those on the other side will be exposed to higher levels of radiation.

As this experiment clearly shows, microwaving your food, even if you are just reheating your tea, is definitely not a good idea. The microwaved plant would agree if it could talk.

Dr. Magda Havas, Trent University

75 Responses

  1. Jct: Don’t tell me radiation kills water too! My video “Big Lie of Low Level Radiation being harmless” is about the exponentially deadly effects of radioactivity. Interesting to think of the effects of radiation.

  2. A high school science fair experiment is not science. It can be an interesting exercise to raise questions of scientific interest but to make the broad generalizations stated above based on the subjective, nonquantitative results of a nine day science fair project is rather negligent.

    The experiment lacks a control group (unheated water) and sufficient samples in each test group (a sample size of 1 is not a population) to eliminate the possibility of a bad plant skewing the results. Finally, science relies on quantitative (numerical) data, not qualitative (picture of wilted plant) data.

    As a former high school teacher, I can state for a fact that high school students are not scientists. Science fair projects are a way to teach students how science is done, how the scientific method works to increase scientific knowledge. Very, very rarely is honest-to-goodness is scientific knowledge actually increased by science fair projects (these students usually win national awards).

  3. I’m sorry, but this is just retarded. Lol, high school science fairs truly is such a credible source. And the fact that microwave technology has long changed.

  4. I’m going to go with snopes.com on this one. They are calling “bullshit!”


    • snopes.com, a very trust able site. One part time guy who can tell you everything there is to know with stunning accuracy. He could tell you if Jesus had blue eyes or brown. He could tell you if the Universe was Billions of years old or Trillions. He knows what you had for dinner, in fact he probably knows more than God. Maybe he is God? I love to go to a site where they have all the answers and know everything! Makes me feel real smart!

  5. Good points guys, high school science fairs aren’t the most credible source. However, the countless research backed studies put out for years from reputable universities around the world, do have merit. Microwaves irradiate food. They kill the nutrients and change the molecular properties through electromagnetic radiation. This can harm us when consumed.

    Cell phones heat up your brain and is proven to cause brain tumors, cancer. Certain states are recommending selling them with warning labels just like cigarettes. Flat screen TV’s emit EMF’s too, the 3D TV’s are the worst, they warn pregnant women and children to not sit too close to them and come with a long list of possible side effects. Cell phone towers and WIFI are known to kill trees and give people migraines, joint pains and other ailments. How about the body scanners at the airport? Haven’t numerous independent studies came out about how it causes cancer? Think of it as a big microwave for your body.

    The harmful effects of microwaves are documented and well known nowadays, it wold not surprise me if this amateur study is accurate. I have personally thrown out my microwave 3 years ago and don’t miss it! I heat up my food on my stove, but also eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables to get maximum nutritional value.

    The point is, microwaves might be fast and convenient, but come with a whole host of side effects just like anything else. Nature knows best guys, do the best for your body.

    There are many articles out there that back up what I have said here, but here is a great one from Dr. Mercola for you to check out: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx

    • Your claims are either unsubstantiated or false, and are a mishmash of misinformation.

      The electromagnetic field generated by the electric current in the power cord to the microwave oven is no different than the EMF generated by the same current going to any other device.

      Microwaves have more energy than radio or TV waves, but less energy than infrared waves. Microwaves have enough energy to cause water molecules in food to vibrate. This vibration cause friction, the friction causes heat, and the heat cooks the food. Microwaves do not have enough energy to change molecular structures and, therefore, do not create carcinogens.

      Is your electric? If so, is the electricity generated by either a coal-burning plant or a nuclear fission plant? Are you aware of the EMF’s generated all along the power grid from the power plant to your stove? Do you know where is the radioactive waste from the nuclear plant is stored? Do you know many tons of carbon monoxide and sulfuric acid are pouring into the air?

      Is your stove gas? If so, do you know which ecosystem is damaged in drilling for the gas? If the drilling is by hydraulic fracturing, do you know which chemicals are being pumped into the ground? Do you know which communities’ water sources are being contaminated with the carcinogen-laced wastewater from the extraction process? Do you know who’s breathing the hazardous waste-polluted air being released from the power plant?

      No simple answers to complex questions.

  6. You should always check snopes before posting crap like this. http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp

    Mercola is a nutjob.

  7. Great now I’m afraid to go into the kitchen!!!

  8. More pics to depict what is going on with the plants. Looking at these pics the girl clearly gave more water to the microwave potted plant than the purified water plant…look at the soil in each. While the soil to the microwaved plant is saturated at all times the purified potted plant is allowed to dry out as to not kill it with root rot….don’t like biased research so one will get the results they want.

  9. Sorry here are the pictures I am referring to: http://execonn.com/sf/

  10. ….and before people want to jump to conclusion I’ve used microwave water on my houseplants for years! With no ill effects, but I don’t over water either!

  11. this is the funniest thing i have ever read. hey, Beyond The Curtain. articles from pay sites and the local conspiracy theorist are not peer-reviewed scientific journals to back up your claims (on top of using high school science experiments with sample size n=1). this is absolute absurdity. it’s misinformation like this that is holding back society and spreading delusional paranoia. i hope you aren’t spreading this nonsense to any offspring.

  12. We are all gonna die from a billion different things, in a billion different ways. lol There is always old and new information on how “some thing” or “some food” is going to kill us…. we are gonna die sooner or later. Besides….. it is almost 2012, if your microwave has not killed you yet, the end of the world should do you in. Hahahahahahaha!!

  13. I would be very interested to read more about this topic. From a peer reviewed scientific article. I don’t understand how a microwave can “kill” nutrients. If there are some real facts, not from NaturalNews.com, which openly states that its “reporters” are citizen reporters who get paid through google ads, I would be very interested in reading it. It’s an interesting topic but as many have stated here with no control and a sample size of 1 this is not exactly a scientific experiment. I can’t tell you how many of my plants have died and I never fed them microwaved water. There are too many potentials for other factors here to call this science news.

  14. I find it very strange how something done in a completely uncontrolled environment can be classed as science. A thing called “laboratories” exist and in these places everything done is written down with crossed T’s and dotted i’s. The classification of “science” is in itself a grey area but an experiment isn’t viable unless everything is recorded and controlled. Furthermore, science is only science when you can rule out chances of ones little brother peeing in a flower pot to interfere with his sisters “science experiment” !

  15. For this experiment to be scientifically valid, the test groups would have to be much larger and genetically identical (ie clones of the same plant). Take 100 evenly rooted clones of the same plant, plant in same medium and expose to similar conditions. We want all the variables to be controlled, apart from the water.

  16. […] outweighed the benefits in cooking time. This experiment further verifies their findings. More@https://beyondthecurtain.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/microwaved-water-kills-plant-in-home-grown-experiment/ from → Health ← Glen Ford: The US Imperial Assault Does Not Have […]

  17. Actually I disagree that school science fairs are “unscientific”, many good projects come out of them and many scientists had their firts taste of producing a study at high school.

    My son did a similar project, but he had bigger samples, tested microwaved boiled water (in a pyrex jug), oven boiled water (another pyrex jug) and a tap water control. He fed all plants the same measured amounts at the same time, all plants were kept in the same light, ventilation and temperature.

    Results, based on number, length and weight of leaves (he “sacrificed” the plants for research) were, wait for it, same as Snopes. No difference between the differently heated water. No deaths. No effect except due to heat (the unheated water fared slightly better). It was repeated by the Eclectic Science school project with the same results. In fact, as soon as you have more than 2 plants, the results always seem to be the same.

    Actually, this experiment is carried out 1000s of times a year in school science fairs world wide and I would be surprised if a dozen showed any effects (the other 988 would show nothing).

    Now come back to the oft quoted experiment above. I have seen the full set of photos in countless sites so am basing some of my comments on something not mentioned above.

    1) why only one plant each?
    2) why no “control” plain water?
    3) why strip leaves off thus a) leaving open wounds to get infected and b) reducing the plant’s ability to photosynthesis and get well?
    4) surely leaving dead leaves (if indeed they were dead) would be more effective and demonstrative? Instead it just makes me suspicious.
    5) why is the earth darker for the microwaved water, could it be waterlogged? too cold or dark to evaporate?
    6) the microwaved plant shows phototropism, that is it is leaning towards a light source. Was it kept in the dark, stressful for a plant.
    7) who actually did this experiment, some sites claim A Bohmert, others Arielle Renolds, others just some granddaughter. Again, my suspicions are aroused.

    All in all, a VERY weak experiment and should be ignored. It verifies absolutely nothing. Doubters should do the experiment themselves.

    As for the other comments, radiation is not, repeat NOT the same as radio-active. Microwaves, radiant heat and light are all radiation.

    The Finnish study of 250,000 people showed no significant mobile phone microwave effect for normal use, the biggest such study in the world. (Two riders : 1- normal use, it is still advised that those that are often on the phone should be careful and 2- Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, is Finnish).

    Note that all of the effects that microwaving food has can be replicated by ordinary cooking. The commonest fault is to compare a lot of microwaving to not so much cooking, e.g. say 5 minutes of microwaving with 3 minutes of steaming (cf Garcia et al. on Broccoli) or looking at small samples heating less than a teaspoon of breast milk to nearly boiling (contra0indicated anyway)(Quan et al. this is the famous breast milk study).

    By far the biggest contingent of carcinogens are found in the much higher temperatures of roasting, baking, grilling and frying. The browning and crusting of foods contain far more carcinogens than microwaved food will. Remember microwaves work mainly on water so temperatures above 100°C are rare.

    I could go on. There are many misconceptions about microwaves but the one that annoys me the most is the catastrophic misunderstanding over radiation and radio-activity. It forma the basis of so many accusations that can at best be described as misunderstandings and at worst as lies.

    One last comment. Go to your nearest appliance retail outlet and look for US manufactured microwave ovens. Most are Asian or European. In fact, the US manufacturers have practically no voice to lobby with, no US profits, no US jobs, no US rich political donors. Washington has nothing to do with any supposed cover up. The reason that microwave ovens haven’t been banned is that, well, there is absolutely no valid reason to do so (and they were NEVER banned in the USSR, that is a myth).

  18. PFFFFFFFFFFF!! Snopes is about as “fair and balanced” as Fox News.

  19. I smelled quackery as I started reading. When I got to the part about the power cord being dangerous “due to high levels of EM emissions.” I knew it.

  20. As a trained Chi Gong master who can feel energy I haven’t had a microwave in 15 years. The energy it leaves in a room is just wrong.

  21. Very interesting. I’ll get the girlfriend to stop microwaving everything.

  22. I’m beginning the think that Americans are the most science-illiterate culture on the planet. This is, of course, a hoax… and if you don’t believe it, then simply duplicate the experiment yourself and see what happens.

  23. my son did this same experiment back in 2005. we microwaved the soil and the water for comparison. we had two control plants and 2 of the microwave plants. none died. in fact, our microwave plants grew at a faster rate. one trial does not prove the hypothesis. OBVIOUSLY more research should be done

  24. Regardless of the doubts surrounding the above article the linked article that disputes this does come to one of the same conclusions; microwaves do NOT cook evenly and DO put you at risk of food poisoning as well as producing HCA’s (in the case of muscle meats) as a result of overcooking in areas. HCA’s ARE a carcinogenic and that much can be verified.

  25. Man I love this thread, it never seems to stop lol…for all you microwave loving, fast food loving people who seam to think microwaves do not radiate and change the molecular properties while killing the remaining (if any) nutrients of your already toxic processed foods, then more power to ya! Eat microwave food every day all day, overdose on it. Because at the end of the day, that is the point…to find out if it harms us humans, not whether microwaves kill plants, which they do. Radiation kills trees people: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20023590-1.html

    Cell phones and wi-fi cause cancer and other problems in humans, no need to provide sources because there are just way too many, google it. Quick question, why did Russia ban microwaves after WWII? Look it up, they did extensive studies on how harmful they are to humans. There is just so much evidence backed by university studies and doctors, proving the harmful and deadly effects of microwaves, that this shouldn’t even be up for debate at this point. As soon as you fuck with food because you want a cheap quick solution, you can’t expect it to be good for you. Nature is always better than science, period.

  26. I looked at the photos and it certainly looks like someone trimmed the leaves on day seven.

    It’s like I gave pork to one guy, beef to second, shot the first one and concluded pork killed him.

    And no, microwave ovens were never banned in USSR, they even manufactured that stuff all the time.

  27. Haha I love how people say things like, this is hardly scientific, I think this experiement is pretty simple to be honest, I don’t think you have to be a scientist to see the results. I may try this myself actually.

    I don’t know why people just take what they are told by companies on face value, we are told drugs are bad yet we are sold cigarettes and alcahol which are proven to be bad for you, it’s all about money at the end of the day.

    Microwaved food is just horrible, it tastes horrible it looks horrible and it’s just lazy in my opinion and I don’t know why people are getting so defensive about this experiment.

    • Your personal taste has nothing to do with the veracity or soundness of the “science” on display in this article. My guess is that people are getting defensive because people get ideas in their head and then don’t like to let go of them, especially when they’re challenged.

  28. There are two ways water can become radioactive:

    1. Accepting an additional neutron and decaying to it’s normal state.
    2. Carrying radioactive particles from an already radiated source.

    A microwave is incapable of making water do either.

  29. This is not even close to a scientific study, please come back to me when there is an actual study, with actual statistics, that has a group of more than 10,000 plants and is done more than once with different plants and different control and variable groups.

    People believe anythings these days…

  30. In the pictures you can see that the “microwaved water” pot has been turned while the “purified water” pot remains in the same place.

  31. So you are going to let a high school kid with no laboratory training at all convince you that thousands of scientists are wrong and don’t know what they are doing. I think the stupidity of anybody who believes this shit is a much bigger problem than microwaves.

  32. It’s pretty clear that there are two camps in the comments section: those who understand the inherent flaws in the methodology used in this “experiment,” and those who already decided long ago that microwaves are irradiated death boxes.

    Show me a peer-reviewed study on this, done by actual scientists (not high schoolers and not the folks at Snopes, although they definitely did a better job controlling the stimuli) and then I’ll come to a conclusion.

    Until then, though, I’m going to side with the skeptics.

  33. Also let us know if the Modern Tea Maker of Steel or whatever material nowadays used are also having same effect on Tea ?

  34. Perhaps the microwave’s “power chord” was out of key.

  35. […] your frozen veggies. It's just as easy to use hot water from the sink, with no worries of risk. http://beyondthecurtain.wordpress.co…wn-experiment/ Special note: "Even very short exposure for cooked, frozen or raw vegetables turned their […]

  36. You are receiving more radiation from outer space than that of a correctly functioning nuclear power plant. Things are radioactive. Granite counter tops are radioactive, the screen from your computer is radioactive, the drywall in your home is radioactive, human beings emit trace amounts of radiation. Its just a fact of life.


  37. […] I came across this article about microwaved water killing a houseplant. You can try this little experiment at […]

  38. I think we should use the least, only in emergency, microwave oven.
    More the people know about it better it would be. thanks

  39. […] Originalni tekst na Engleskom jeziku pogledajte ovdje. […]

  40. Just got done with this experiment & after 10 days there is absolutely no differences in the two plants. Both are growing & look great!

  41. Snopes says they performed the same experiment with different results. http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp

  42. In my youth, I too, did a similar experiment using mung bean sprouts using 3 beans per water ‘type’ and the sprouts given microwaved water (as opposed to plain water) actually grew the tallest.

  43. Whatever the truth of the matter under discussion is I think school science fairs are great just for the simple fact that they attract students into the sciences. I am sure the kid that did the experiment will respond to the bombardment of critiscism and get back in there and do some more learning about the subject and the fact that the article generated so many opinions definitely shows that we Americans do care about science and I am hopeful the government no matter what administration is in power realizes how important education is for the health of our proud nation.

  44. I replicated the phony granddaughter’s science experiment last week and did not replicate her results. Both my plants grew healthy and tall.

  45. After reading an interesting article on various subjects, I enjoy reading the comments, and never leave a comment myself. This time I feel like I just have to comment on the subject of microwaved water and what it does to plants. I have actually done the experiment in my home because I was getting emails that said microwaved water will eventually kill plants. I thought “what a lot of hooey”, until I actually did it myself. Well . . . that is what happened. The microwaved water, even after I let the water “cool”, eventually killed my plants.

  46. More proof that Natural News is nothing but a load of rubbish. This is not science, this is a mockery of science.

  47. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

  48. True……..One should shop using microwaves for all cooking purpose. I think if we look at the life, all traditional things are much better than today’s modern instruments in life.

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