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Science and Research / Re: Dangers of Microwave Oven
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:53:34 PM »

Does it kill bad bugs?

Cooking food significantly reduces the risk of food-borne illness.

A major challenge in microwaving is the unevenness of temperature distribution due to the shape of the food. You may notice when you heat food in a microwave that there are often hot and cold spots. This poses a potential safety issue.

Microwave cooking can only kill disease-causing bugs when the correct temperature and time combination is achieved throughout the food portion. Cooking to temperatures above 60℃ will kill most bugs known to cause food-borne illness, but the toxins produced by them may be heat-tolerant.

image-20161219-24303-mvruul - Show Posts - islander
Stir food during the microwaving process so the heat is evenly distributed. Lachlan Hardy/Flickr, CC BY

If the food is already contaminated with bugs that produce toxins, microwaving might kill the toxin-producing bug but not destroy the toxins, despite the correct temperature and time combination. This can also apply to other cooking methods. Appropriate food storage is the key to minimising such risks.

Science and Research / Re: Dangers of Microwave Oven
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:51:28 PM »

What about the packaging?

There is some evidence to suggest chemicals in plastic packaging can migrate into foods when microwaved, which has been associated with increased risk of cancer.

If your packaging has a microwave safe symbol, it is safe to use in the microwave. from

But most of today’s plastic containers, packages and wraps are specially designed to withstand microwave temperatures.

image-20161219-24307-1t29y0v - Show Posts - islander
If packaging is marketed as microwave safe, has a microwave symbol or provides instructions for proper microwave use, it is safe for microwave cooking or heating.

Leaching of harmful toxins or “cancer-causing” compounds from appropriately packaged products during microwaving is highly unlikely in Australia, although this area could benefit from more research.

Science and Research / Re: Dangers of Microwave Oven
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:23:41 PM »

Can it give you cancer?

Some of the best studied cancer-causing compounds are the heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA). These are formed naturally in protein-rich food such as meat and fish during cooking, and are more likely to form if the meat is cooked for a long time and at higher temperatures.

The method of cooking is a major factor affecting HCA formation. Some researchers have reported HCA are formed in chicken at higher levels when cooked in a microwave, compared to when pan-fried, barbecued or baked.

image-20161219-24296-1q13ehy - Show Posts - islander
Barbecued fish has higher levels of HCA than microwaved fish. from

But no research has claimed or shown an association between regular consumption of microwave-cooked poultry and cancer.

A recent study has revealed barbecued fish contains more HCA than microwave-cooked fish, while HCA could not be detected at all in microwaved beef. Also, thawing beef and re-heating previously-cooked meat or fish in a microwave just for a few minutes, does not produce any extra HCA.

Science and Research / Re: Dangers of Microwave Oven
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:21:41 PM »

image-20161219-24271-5jau5f - Show Posts - islander
Rapid cooking helps preserve beneficial chemicals in green vegetables. from

Microwave cooking is unlikely to negatively affect vitamins and other compounds associated with improved health. For instance, rapid cooking actually helps preserve a group of beneficial chemicals, the polyphenols – that increase the total antioxidant activity of foods – in green vegetables.

One study compared microwaving or steaming vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and spinach, to pressure cooking. It found vegetables that were pressure cooked lost more insoluble fibre, which is good for gut health, than those that were microwaved or steamed.

A key nutrient usually destroyed when cooking vegetables is vitamin C, a severe lack of which can lead to conditions like scurvy. But boiling vegetables accounts for greater nutrient losses than microwaving them. This is because water soluble nutrients are readily leached into water when they are boiled, while very little water is used in microwaving.

Short bursts of heating, such as used in microwave cooking, can retain most of a vegetable’s vitamin C.

Science and Research / Re: Dangers of Microwave Oven
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:19:43 PM »

Does it zap the nutrients out?

Putting raw foods through any type of process – including heating and cooling – leads to changes in their physical properties, chemical composition and nutritional profile.

If nutrients are lost from foods cooked in microwaves, this would be because too high a temperature was used, or they were cooked for too long. The correct combination of time and temperature can help preserve most nutrients while also improving the foods’ taste, texture and colour.

The time and temperature required depends on the type of food. High risk foods such as meat, fish and eggs need to be heated to at least 60℃ to be safe.

Science and Research / Re: Dangers of Microwave Oven
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:19:10 PM »

the other claim, if i may...

Health check: is it safe to microwave your food?

January 9, 2017 11.48am AEDT

Today every kitchen would seem “under-equipped” without a microwave, with its efficient ability to cook, defrost and reheat a variety of different foods. The handy appliance uses microwave radiation to do so. This is a type of electromagnetic radiation similar to radio waves and infrared light.

Although generally recognised as safe, the internet is awash with articles about the dangers microwave radiation poses to your food. Some claim using microwaves can cause “cataracts and cancer”. Other posts says it “zaps the nutrients right out of your food”.

If you believe this, the “killer” oven in your kitchen must be a terrifying sight, but there is actually no research to support the supposed dangers of microwave cooking. Hopefully we can allay your fears by checking some common danger claims against the evidence.

Health and Food / Re: The danger of topical toothache and cold sore medicine
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:20:26 PM »
for marking down thus:

1) topical

2) for numbing or deadening toothache and cold sores (ogahip in cebuano-visayan)

3) active ingredient: benzocaine

the usual rule applies; it's best to read over-the-counter medicine ingredients before self-medicating.

Health and Food / Re: The danger of topical toothache and cold sore medicine
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:15:20 PM »

Numbing medication caused her reaction

In his patient's case, her reaction was caused by benzocaine, an active ingredient found in over-the-counter toothache and cold sore medicine. And while hers is a rare side effect, it warranted a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, which cautioned against its use in children under 2, who sometimes take the medicine to soothe teething pain.

Warren's patient recovered after two doses of methylene blue and an overnight stay at the hospital. But when levels of the mutated blood rise 50% or higher, patients can enter a coma or develop heart and brain complications from the lack of blood to tissue. Any amount over 60% can cause death, he said.

Health and Food / Re: The danger of topical toothache and cold sore medicine
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:10:20 PM »

Her condition kept blood from tissue

Warren diagnosed her with "acquired methemoglobinemia," a reaction caused by certain medicines that stops blood from carrying oxygen to tissue, he said.

Oxygen-rich blood is typically associated with a bright-red color. But even though blood appears blue in patients with methemoglobinemia, oxygen levels are actually quite high, Warren said.

Blood "selfishly binds" with oxygen and doesn't release it to the tissue where it's needed. And thus, the patient appears blue.

It's fitting that the antidote is a brilliant blue, too. Methylene blue returns a missing electron to the hemoglobin molecule that restores oxygen levels and helps release oxygen back into tissue, he said.

"In my field, emergency medicine, when you can cure a patient with a single antidote--that's a rare thing for us," he said.

Health and Food / Re: The danger of topical toothache and cold sore medicine
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:08:59 PM »

They attributed her blueness to a numbing agent the woman was using, which deadens nerve endings in the skin.

"She reported having used large amounts of topical benzocaine the night before for a toothache," the two co-authors wrote.

Warren, an emergency medicine physician at Miriam Hospital in Providence, told CNN he'd only ever seen one other "blue" patient while completing his residency. It stuck with him, so he was immediately able to identify the woman's condition.

"It's one of those rare cases that we're taught about, you study for, you take tests on, but you rarely ever see," he told CNN.

Health and Food / The danger of topical toothache and cold sore medicine
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:02:10 PM »

A numbing medicine turned a woman's blood blue

By Ryan Prior and Scottie Andrew, CNN

September 20, 2019

190918220103-02-blue-blood-medium-plus-169 - Show Posts - islander

(CNN)A 25-year-old woman walked into an emergency department in Providence, Rhode Island, complaining of generalized weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath... and an unusual symptom you don't see every day.

She was turning blue. Literally.

Drs. Otis Warren and Benjamin Blackwood wrote about the case in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday. Their patient, they wrote, looked "cyanotic," the clinical term for appearing blue.


Carl Sagan once wrote, “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken.”

Never again should Filipinos be bamboozled by the Marcoses. But to ensure that, all of us must never, ever forget. –

The author is a PhD candidate at the UP School of Economics. His views are independent of the views of his affiliations. Thanks to Jess Pasibe for generously sharing materials from his own research on the topic. For a suggested reading list on the economics of Martial Law, check out this Twitter thread. Follow JC on Twitter (@jcpunongbayan) and Usapang Econ (


Post-EDSA, you can’t blame former president Cory Aquino for urgently ordering the creation of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), whose primary task was to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

As of 2017 the PCGG has recovered P171.4 billion. Their work is far from over, yet President Duterte – a close ally of the Marcoses – wants the PCGG abolished.

Never again, never forget

We’ve barely scratched the surface. At the UP School of Economics it takes an entire semester to teach this and other economic aspects of the Martial Law years.

To be honest, researching this piece was emotionally draining. In spite of the wholesale corruption that took place during Martial Law, it’s baffling to think that the Marcoses today are firmly back in political power.


Years before, the Marcoses had also bought 50 or so real estate properties in New York (including the 72-story Trump Building in lower Manhattan), New Jersey, and Connecticut. Some of these were bought using Panamanian shell or dummy corporations.

Imelda was also an infamous hoarder of rare paintings, including a Monet that fetched $43 million when it was resold at a London gallery in 2010, and jewelries (3 collections are now in the Bangko Sentral’s vaults for safekeeping).

Awash with cash, Ferdinand and Imelda had also stashed about $500 million in ill-gotten wealth in Swiss bank accounts using the pseudonyms William Saunders and Jane Ryan, respectively.


When the Marcoses were exiled and fled to Hawaii, they carted off in two C-141 planes a total of 23 wooden crates, 12 suitcases, and 70 boxes and bags.

Contained therein were, among others: $9 million in cash, jewelry, and bonds; P27 million in “freshly printed” bills; 24 gold bricks; 413 pieces of jewelry including tiaras, necklaces, earrings, and brooches studded in diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.

Imelda couldn’t bring everything, of course, and had to leave behind in Malacañang relatively less valuable things like 1,060 pairs of shoes (1,800 more pairs were at Tacloban), 508 floor-length gowns, 427 dresses, 15 mink coats, and even one swan feather gown.


In 1993 the Central Bank was abolished and replaced by a new institution, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, partly in a bid to leave behind its dark past.

The Central Bank’s bankruptcy was a key event in the run-up to the country’s worst postwar recession in the mid-1980s.


The Marcoses not only ransacked the economy, they also flaunted their loot to the world.

Even in their last two years in power – at the height of the economic crisis – the Marcoses had spent a whopping $68 million: $11 million on clothes, paintings, antiques, and handicrafts; $2.4 million on food, hotel accommodations, and transport; and $1.6 million on flowers alone.


In the early 1990s, prominent economist Paul Krugman came to the country and assessed what exactly had bankrupted our Central Bank.

He found that, “In essence the problem is that the Central Bank is itself insolvent. Abuse of its domestic credit creation during the Marcos era has left the Central Bank with a portfolio consisting largely of uncollectable loans…”

By the end of the Marcos regime, the old Central Bank had amassed about P300 billion in losses. On top of this, then-governor Jaime C. Laya was discovered to have overstated the Central Bank’s supply of foreign reserves.


Bankrupted central bank

Besides the private sector, Marcos also prodigiously plundered the public coffers. But few people remember it came to the point where our Central Bank went bankrupt.

To understand how this seemingly impossible economic tragedy had happened, note that Marcos – again by virtue of his absolute power – routinely “raided” the treasury and other government financial institutions.

The regime was particularly infamous for its “behest loans”: Government banks and social security institutions like SSS and GSIS lent – at Marcos’ behest – huge sums to the cronies’ projects, even if many of them were wholly unfeasible. The Central Bank facilitated many of these behest loans.


Multiply this scheme across the country’s major industries, and you begin to grasp the staggering degree of corruption that took place during Martial Law. Marcos and his cronies were co-conspirators in a systematic scheme to loot the Philippine economy, which, in their minds, was theirs for the taking.

In 1998 Imelda was even quoted as saying in an Inquirer interview: “We practically own everything in the Philippines, from electricity, telecommunications, airlines, banking, beer and tobacco, newspaper publishing, television stations, shipping, oil and mining, hotels and beach resorts, down to coconut milling, small farms, real estate, and insurance.”

Imelda also once said, “If you know how much you’ve got, you probably don’t have much.”


Juan Ponce Enrile, whose staged assassination attempt was used to justify Martial Law, enjoyed several concessions in the logging industry.

Herminio Disini, aside from monopolizing the importation of cigarette filters, also brokered the construction of the useless Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and received $50 million in commissions (Marcos himself got $30 million out of that deal).

Special levies, in lieu of regular taxes, fattened the pockets of Marcos and his cronies.

Arguably the most famous of these was the coco levy, essentially a tax imposed by Marcos on the coconut industry by presidential decree. Ostensibly, revenues from the coco levy – which amounted to about P93 billion – were meant to improve the welfare of coconut farmers. Ultimately, most of it got siphoned by the Marcoses and their ilk.

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