Volume Seventeen



The purpose of this article is to explore the possible relationship between the energies attendant to food preparation methods, cooking and human health. This is a very broad subject encompassing the methods and substances used in farming, transportation, manufacturing, packaging, storage, cooking, consumption and the environment in which all the above activities take place. Some of these subjects will be covered briefly while others more throughly. More specifically, the purpose of this article is to bring to light the possible relationships of the energies involved in food preparation, cooking and consumption to the possible effects that these energies may have on the quality of the food consumed and thus subsequent consequences for human health. The frequencies of the energies involved will range from 1 HZ to 300 Ghz. For the purposes of discussion, these will be grouped into the following 3 ranges: Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF) - 1 Hz to 1 kHz, Radio Frequencies (RF) - 1 Mhz to 1 Ghz and Microwaves - 1 GHz to 300 GHz. In addition to domestic, industrial and medical appliances and devices, overhead high voltage alternating current transmission lines are a major source of exposure to ELF at 60 Hz in North America and 50 Hz in the rest of the world. Broadcasting and mobil telephony are the major sources for RF and the lower frequencies of microwaves. Domestic and industrial microwave ovens are the major source for the higher microwave frequencies (2.45 Hz). Much controversy surounds the subject of the possible role of manmade EMF rather than natural background environmental EMF upon the health of humans and animals. This is mainly due to the fact that most of manmade EMF is not found in the environment except possibly associated with transient electrical storms. It is the ubiquitous nature and increasing burden of manmade EMF that is the issue since it has become a permanent component in the environmental EMF, especially in cities and industrial centers. More to the point is the role of the EMF in determining the quality of the food that we consume as relates to food preparation/cooking and specifically as stated, the possible effects upon human health.


Organic life on Earth has evoloved within the backdrop of the energetic flux of the Solar System. Other than those frequencies designated as "visible light" and "ultra-violet light", not much incident energy reaches the surface of the Earth. The Earth naturally generates, via the electromagnetic phenomenon known as "electrical storms", electromagnetic energy that ranges from ELF to the microwave region. These energies are constantly pulsating about 7.83 Hz, the Schumann reasonances, to transient production of RF and microwave frequencies during electrical storms. Man has learned to generate and utilize a constantly increasing range of ElectroMagnetic Frequencies (EMF). With the advent of the production of alternating current (AC) at 60 Hz in North America and 50 Hz in the rest of the world, many appliances for usage in the industrial and domestic scene have been invented. In regards to production, food is subjected to little direct spurious EMF except for the ubiquitous EMF that is part of our modern world. Equipment utilized in food processing is generating spurious AC that becomes part of the energetic component of the food that we consume. Equipment utilized in cooking processes are directly affecting the energetic component of the food that is to be consumed. The question that needs to be answered is how are the foods being changed by manmade EMF? And subsequently, the question needed to be asked is what are the possible consequences for human and animal health of these modified foods?

Reasons For Cooking

Food is cooked for any or all of the following reasons:

  1. To make food more easily chewed and digested.
  2. To improve the flavor and appearance of food.
  3. To kill any pathogenic microorganisms and parasites that food may contain.

The term cookery means the preparation of both hot and cold dishes for use as food, as well as the selection of the materials or substances that are to be cooked.

  1. Cooking makes foods more palatable. This is true of such foods as meat, cereals, and many vegetables, which would be very unappetizing if they were eaten raw.
  2. Cooking renders foods more digestible. For instance, the hard grains (such as wheat) and dried vegetables (such as beans) cannot be readily digested unless they are softened by cooking. But while cooking makes such foods more digestible, it renders others more difficult to digest (as in the case of eggs) with the degree of digestibility depending somewhat on the cooking method used and the skill of the cook. An egg in an almost liquid form, or when only slightly cooked as a soft-boiled egg, is more easily digested than when it becomes hardened by cooking.
  3. Cooking gives foods greater variety. The same food may be cooked by various methods and be given very different tastes and appearances; on the other hand, it may be combined with a large number of other foods, so as to increase the variety of the dishes in which it is used.
  4. Cooking sterilizes foods either partly or completely. Many foods need partial or complete sterilization to insure safety from pathogenic organisms. These are usually destroyed above 70°C and their microbial spores or parastitic cysts are destroyed at 122°C. They must be completely sterilized, if the microorganisms that produce fermentation or putrefaction and thereby spoil food would be destroyed. This delays spoilage as enzymes which cause natural spoilage are destroyed at 60°C (as they are protein in nature). This is what is done when fruits and vegetables are canned for keeping. Foods that are exposed to dust, flies, and improper handling should be thoroughly cooked in order to destroy any pathogenic (disease causing) germs that might be present. They differ from the microorganisms that produce fermentation (in general being considered as a help) for these play an important part in the raising of bread and the preparation of various fermented foods.
  5. Cooking develops flavor in many foods. In the case of some vegetables, the flavoring substance is given off in the air by certain methods of cooking and a better flavor is thereby developed.

Cooking Methods

The principles of heat transfer are the following:

  1. Conduction - heat travels from one molecule to the next by contact with a hot material, e.g., frying.
  2. Convection - as liquids or gases are warmed, they become less dense and rise. Cooler, denser liquid or gas then sinks down towards the heat and creates convection currents, e.g., boiling.
  3. Radiation - heat is transferred from its source directly onto the object being heated, e.g., grilling.
  4. Induction - increasing the mean energy content of a substance molecule (then dissipated as heat) in relation to other molecules in a mixture, e.g., microwaving.

The method to be used in cooking foods depends, on among other things, upon (a) the nature of the food and (b) whether it is desired to extract, partially extract, or retain the juices. The heat is applied in a variety of ways but it is either by direct contact transfer or by absorption from an energy radiator:

  1. radiation of infra-red energy (heat) and heat absorption
  2. radiation of microwave energy and induced heating upon absorption
  3. hot water or steam contact heat transfer
  4. hot fat contact heat transfer
  5. hot metal contact heat transfer
  6. and by combinations of these.

  1. Boiling is cooking in boiling water. In this case the cooking water is usually drained off and not used.
  2. Stewing is long, slow cooking in water below the boiling point. The pot is tightly covered, and the enclosed steam assists in the cooking. The liquids are usually served with the dish as gravy or are made into a soup.
  3. Steaming is cooking by either moist steam, as in a steamer over boiling water, or by dry steam, as in a double boiler.
  4. Roasting and Broiling in the olden days meats especially, were commonly cooked in the direct heat of a glowing fire or over a bed of coals. Small pieces were broiled and larger ones roasted, a tin reflector being used for the latter.
  5. Pan broiling is cooking in a hot frying pan. It is used when it is not conveneint to broil directly over a fire.
  6. Baking is cooking in an oven. It is quite the same as roasting and broiling, which it has replaced. Batters, doughs, and vegetables are usually spoken of as baked in an oven, and meats as roasted.
  7. Pan baking is cooking on a hot griddle, as pancakes are cooked.
  8. Frying is cooking by dipping or immersing in hot fat. Fat, unlike water, will heat to a temperature of 500°F or greater. Doughnuts, fish, and potatoes are foods commonly fried.
  9. Sautéing is cooking in a small amount of hot fat. Omelets and hashed browns are sautéd.
  10. Braising is cooking in a small amount of water or stock in a covered dish in the oven. It is a combination of stewing and baking.
  11. Fricasseeing combines sautéing and stewing.
  12. Microwaving is cookng by inducing heat content.

Cooking Fuels

I once read that from a standpoint of giving off healthy energies as well as heat for cooking, the best to worst was straw, twigs, cut wood, natural gas, coal, AC electric current, microwave. I have not been able to find the referance again. Notice that the worst producers of contra-life energies is the man-made and not the organic sources. The biggest concern for the organic fuels, apart from the type of energies released upon burning, is that of ventilation and the smoke burden put upon the lungs. Respiratory ailments and lung tumors (cancer) are increased with continued exposure to fuel smoke, not something of a concern to those utilizing electricity for cooking.

Natural gas (methane) has a slight burden of radioactivity that is the result of the fact that it comes from deposits in the ground. Small amounts of radioactive compounds within the soil produce Radon-222 (an alpha emitter) and its decay products. These radio emitters then become entrained with the methane that is extracted from the Earth for use both industrially and domestically. However, this level of radioactivity is much the same as that normally occuring with outgasing from building materials and basements. The levels are further diluted upon mixture with air prior to being burned. Thus, the levels of radioactivity are not significantly above that of background and of no real concern.

Alpha radiation does not penetrate the superficial layers of the skin or intestinal mucosa and thus only becomes a problem with inhalation and subsequent damage to the lung tissues. Radon gas increases the liklihood of lung cancer and is the second most leading cause of lung cancer in the USA, according to the National Cancer Institute. This fact underscores the need for proper ventilation in the kitchen and the home, especially in basements as Radon is the heaviest known gas and acumulates in holes and other low places. Radon also readily occures in well and spring water.

The flame has always been associated with purity and enlightenment. The energy of the flame given off is that of infra-red, i.e., heat. Heat is a naturally occuring phenomenon and thus trouble only upon direct exposure that produces a "burn".

The detrimental effects of AC current upon the human body is well documented and will not be discussed here.

The detrimental effects of microwave enegy upon human health are well documented. The detrimental effects upon human health of the products produced from healthy foods by microwave cooking is being documented and subject to much controversy. The link to this article by Wikipedia is fairly straight forward and without the hoopla that surrounds this controversial topic.


For the modern person, cooking with natural gas in the kitchen appears to be the best choice. For the outside Bar-B-Q, charcoal appears to be the best, followed by propane or natural gas.


  1. Domestic Science Principles and Application, Pearl E. Bailey, 1914, Webb Pub. Co., St. Paul, MN
  2. Principles Of Cooking, Emma Conley, 1914, American Book Co., New York, NY
  3. Radon Exposures from the Use of Natural Gas in Buildings, D. W. Dixon, 2001, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 97:259-264

The Journal of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine