Hari claims research is her own

Asked how she researches the information on her website,, Vani Hari says that all research is her own and that she doesn’t use information from other sites.

However, at least one post appears to contradict that. “Why It’s Time to Throw Out Your Microwave,” dated July 30, 2012, closely echoes wording found in many posts on other blogs that claim health risks associated with microwaves.

Hari says she doesn’t remember the post and says she wrote it “years ago.”

The Observer also found numerous errors in the post. Here are a few:

1. “The microwave oven was developed more than 80 years ago, and in (World War II) German soldiers were given these ovens to warm meals.”

The invention of the microwave has been widely documented. It was an offshoot of work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory to find faster ways to make magnetrons, used in radar sets to detect airplanes in World War II. In 1945, Dr. Percy Spencer was standing near a magnetron when he noticed a candy bar in his pocket had melted and he realized it had the potential to heat food. The first commercial Radarange wasn’t widely marketed until 1954, and the home microwave oven wasn’t introduced until 1967.

2. “A study published in the November 2003 issue of the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli cooked in the microwave lost up to 97 percent of its antioxidant content.”

The 2003 study in Spain turned out to have used more water than necessary in the microwave, skewing the results. Other studies have found that foods cooked in a microwave actually keep more of their vitamins and nutrients, because they cook more quickly with little additional water.

3. “Microwaves provide unnecessary daily exposure to radiation.”

Microwaves are the shortest radio waves and come from the non-ionizing portion of the energy spectrum. Non-ionizing means they don’t detach charged particles and don’t produce radiation.

Kathleen Purvis