Cryptocurrency

What Is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptographic money is a computerized or virtual cash that is made sure about by cryptography, which makes it almost difficult to fake or twofold spend. Numerous digital forms of money are decentralized systems dependent on blockchain innovation—a dispersed record implemented by a different system of PCs. A characterizing highlight of cryptographic forms of money is that they are for the most part not gave by any focal position, rendering them hypothetically invulnerable to government obstruction or control.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

A cryptographic money is another type of computerized resource dependent on a system that is appropriated over countless PCs. This decentralized structure permits them to exist outside the control of governments and focal specialists.

“Cryptocurrency” is gotten from the encryption methods which are utilized to make sure about the system.

Blockchains, which are authoritative strategies for guaranteeing the respectability of value-based information, is a fundamental part of numerous digital forms of money.

Numerous specialists accept that blockchain and related innovation will upset numerous businesses, including account and law.

Cryptographic forms of money face analysis for various reasons, including their utilization for criminal operations, swapping scale instability, and vulnerabilities of the framework hidden them. Notwithstanding, they likewise have been adulated for their compactness, distinguishableness, swelling opposition, and straightforwardness.

Getting Cryptocurrencies

Cryptographic forms of money are frameworks that take into consideration the protected installments online which are designated as far as virtual “tokens,” which are spoken to by record sections inward to the framework. “Crypto” alludes to the different encryption calculations and cryptographic systems that defend these passages, for example, circular bend encryption, open private key matches, and hashing capacities.

Why Bitcoin Has a Volatile Value

Terrible News Hurts Adoption Rate

News occasions that alarm bitcoin clients incorporate geopolitical occasions and proclamations by governments that bitcoin is probably going to be managed. Bitcoin’s initial adopters incorporated a few awful on-screen characters, creating feature reports that delivered dread in financial specialists.

Feature making bitcoin news throughout the decade or so of the cryptographic money’s presence incorporates the liquidation of Mt. Gox in mid 2014 and, all the more as of late, that of the South Korean trade Yapian Youbit. Different reports which stunned financial specialists incorporate the prominent utilization of bitcoin in tranquilize exchanges by means of Silk Road that finished with the FBI shutdown of the commercial center in October 2013.2

Every one of these episodes and the open frenzy that resulted drove the estimation of bitcoins versus fiat monetary forms down quickly. In any case, bitcoin-accommodating financial specialists saw those occasions as proof that the market was developing, driving the estimation of bitcoins versus the dollar notably back up in the brief time frame quickly following the news occasions.

Bitcoin’s Perceived Value Sways

One motivation behind why bitcoin may vary against fiat monetary forms is the apparent store of significant worth versus the fiat cash. Bitcoin has properties that make it like gold. It is represented by a plan choice by the engineers of the center innovation to confine its creation to a fixed amount of 21 million BTC.

Since that contrasts especially from fiat money, which is progressively overseen by governments who need to keep up low swelling, high work, and agreeable development through interest in capital assets, as economies worked with fiat monetary standards give indications of solidarity or shortcoming, speculators may distribute pretty much of their advantages into bitcoin.

Vulnerability of Future Bitcoin’s Value

Bitcoin unpredictability is likewise determined in huge part by changing view of the inborn estimation of the cryptographic money as a store of significant worth and strategy for esteem move. A store of significant worth is the capacity by which a benefit can be helpful later on with some consistency. A store of significant worth can be spared and traded for some great or administration later on.

A technique for esteem move is any article or idea used to transmit property as resources starting with one gathering then onto the next. Bitcoin’s unpredictability at the current makes it a to some degree muddled store of significant worth, yet it guarantees almost frictionless worth exchange. Accordingly, we see that bitcoin’s worth can swing dependent on news occasions much as we see with fiat monetary standards.

Huge Currency Holder Risks

Bitcoin unpredictability is additionally to a degree driven by holders of huge extents of the absolute exceptional buoy of the money. For bitcoin financial specialists with current property above around $10M, it can’t how they would sell a place that enormous into a fiat position without seriously moving the market. Without a doubt, it may not be clear how they would sell a place of that size in a brief timeframe by any means, as most digital currency trades force 24-hour withdrawal constrains far beneath that limit.

Bitcoin has not arrived at the mass market appropriation rates that would be important to give choice incentive to enormous holders of the cash.

Security Breaches Cause Volatility

Bitcoin can likewise become unpredictable when the bitcoin network uncovered security vulnerabilities with an end goal to deliver monstrous open source reactions as security fixes. This way to deal with security is incomprehensibly one that produces incredible results, with numerous significant open source programming activities shockingly, including Linux. Bitcoin designers must uncover security worries to the general population so as to deliver vigorous arrangements.

It was a hack that drove the Yapian Youbit to liquidation, while numerous different digital forms of money have additionally stood out as truly newsworthy for being hacked or having supplies of cryptographic forms of money taken. As an early model, in April 2014, the OpenSSL vulnerabilities assaulted by the Heartbleed bug and detailed by Google security’s, Neel Mehta, drove Bitcoin costs somewhere around 10% in a month.

Bitcoin and open source programming improvement are based upon a similar central reason that a duplicate of the source code is accessible to clients to look at. This idea makes it the obligation of the network to voice worries about the product structure, similarly as it is the duty of the network to come to agreement about changes to that hidden source code also. In light of the open discussion and discussion in regards to the Bitcoin organize, security breaks will in general be exceptionally announced.

Prominent Losses Raise Fear

It is important that the previously mentioned burglaries and the resulting news about the misfortunes doubly affected instability. They diminished the general buoy of bitcoin, creating a potential lift on the estimation of the remaining bitcoin because of expanded shortage. Notwithstanding, abrogating this lift was the negative impact of the sequence of media reports that followed.

Outstandingly, other bitcoin passages looked to the huge disappointment at Mt. Gox as a positive for the long haul possibilities of bitcoin, further entangling the effectively perplexing story behind the cash’s instability. As early receiving firms were disposed of from the market because of poor administration and useless procedures, later participants gain from their mistakes and incorporate more grounded forms with their own activities, fortifying the framework of the digital money generally speaking.

High-Inflation Nations and Bitcoins

Bitcoin’s utilization case as a money for creating nations that are right now encountering high swelling is important while considering the unpredictability of bitcoin in these economies versus the instability of bitcoin in USD. Bitcoin is considerably more unpredictable versus USD than the high-swelling Argentine peso versus the USD.

That being stated, the close to frictionless exchange of bitcoins across fringes makes it a conceivably profoundly alluring obtaining instrument for Argentineans, as the high swelling rate for peso-designated credits possibly legitimizes taking on some transitional cash unpredictability hazard in a bitcoin-named advance subsidized outside Argentina.

Essentially, funders outside Argentina can win a better yield under this plan than they can by utilizing other obligation instruments, named in their home cash, possibly balancing a portion of the dangers of presentation to the high swelling Argentine market.

Duty Treatment Lifts Volatility

As indicated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), bitcoin is really viewed as a benefit for charge purposes.3 This has mixedly affected bitcoin’s instability. On the upside, any announcement perceiving the cash positively affects the market valuation of the money.

On the other hand, the choice by the IRS to call it property had at any rate two negative impacts. The first was the additional unpredictability for clients who need to utilize it as a type of installment. Under the new expense law, clients would need to record the market estimation of the cash at the hour of each exchange, regardless of how little. This requirement for record keeping can justifiably slow reception as it is by all accounts an excessive amount of difficulty for what it is worth for some clients.

Also, the choice to consider the cash a type of property for charge purposes might be a sign to some market members that the IRS is getting ready to uphold more grounded guidelines later. Exceptionally solid guideline of the money could cause the appropriation pace of the cash to ease back to where it can’t accomplish the mass selection that is basic for its general utility in the public eye. Late moves by the IRS are not satisfactory concerning their flagging thought processes and in this way have blended signs to the market for bitcoin.

Bitcoin Exchange

 

Understanding Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin trade stages coordinate purchasers with merchants. Like a customary stock trade, dealers can pick to purchase and sell bitcoin by contributing either a market request or a breaking point request. At the point when a market request is chosen, the dealer is approving the trade to exchange his coins at the best accessible cost in the online commercial center. With a breaking point request set, the merchant guides the trade to exchange coins at a cost underneath the current ask or over the present offer, contingent upon whether they are purchasing or selling.

To execute in bitcoin on a trade, a client needs to enlist with the trade and experience a progression of confirmation procedures to validate their character. When the confirmation is effective, a record is opened for the client who at that point needs to move assets into this record before the individual can purchase coins.

Various trades have diverse installment techniques that can be utilized for saving assets including bank wires, direct bank moves, credit or charge cards, bank drafts, cash arranges and even gift vouchers. A broker who might want to pull back cash from their record could do so utilizing the alternatives gave by his trade which could incorporate a bank move, PayPal move, check mailing, money conveyance, bank wire, or charge card move.

Decentralized Exchanges

Decentralized bitcoin trades are those that are worked without a focal power. These trades permit shared exchanging of computerized monetary standards without the requirement for a trade power to encourage the exchanges.

There are various advantages to decentralized trades. To begin with, numerous cryptographic money clients feel that decentralized trades better match the decentralized structures of most computerized monetary forms themselves; many decentralized trades likewise require less close to home data from their individuals than different kinds of trades. Second, if clients move resources legitimately to different clients, that disposes of the requirement for the moving of advantages for the trade, along these lines lessening the danger of burglary from hacks and other misrepresentation. Third, decentralized trades might be less defenseless to value control and other false exchanging action.

Then again, decentralized trades (like all cryptographic money trades) must keep up an essential degree of client enthusiasm for the type of exchanging volume and liquidity. Not every single decentralized trade have had the option to accomplish these significant gauge characteristics. Further, clients of a decentralized trade may have less response on the off chance that they are the survivors of extortion than the individuals who utilize trades with incorporated specialists.

Extraordinary Considerations

Expenses

Making stores and withdrawals includes some significant pitfalls, contingent upon the installment strategy picked to move reserves. The higher the danger of a chargeback from an installment medium, the higher the expense. Making a bank draft or wiring cash to the trade has a lesser danger of a chargeback contrasted with financing your record with PayPal or a credit/check card where the assets being moved can be turned around and come back to the client upon his/her solicitation to the bank.

Notwithstanding exchange charges and assets move expenses, brokers may likewise be dependent upon cash change expenses, contingent upon the monetary forms that are acknowledged by the bitcoin trade. On the off chance that a client moves Canadian dollars to a trade that solitary arrangements in U.S. dollars, the bank or the trade will change over the CAD to USD for an expense. Executing with a trade that acknowledges your neighborhood money is the most ideal approach to maintain a strategic distance from the FX charge.

All bitcoin trades have exchange expenses that are applied to each finished purchase and sell request completed inside the trade. The charge rate is reliant on the volume of bitcoin exchanges that is led.

Outside trade spreads are significant estimates while executing in bitcoin and change contingent upon how fluid the bitcoin trade is.

Bitcoin Wallets

Note that a bitcoin trade is not quite the same as a bitcoin wallet. While the previous offers a stage through which bitcoin purchasers and venders can execute with one another, the last is just a computerized stockpiling administration for bitcoin holders to store their coins safely. To be progressively specialized, bitcoin wallets store private keys which are utilized to approve exchanges and access the bitcoin address of a client. Most bitcoin trades give bitcoin wallets to their clients, yet may charge an expense for this administration.

Creators and Takers

Online bitcoin commercial centers normally assign bitcoin members as either creators or takers. At the point when a purchaser or merchant puts in a cutoff request, the trade adds it to its request book until the cost is coordinated by another dealer on the far edge of the exchange. At the point when the cost is coordinated, the purchaser or vender who set the breaking point cost is alluded to as a creator. A taker is a merchant who puts in a market request that quickly gets filled.

Case of a Bitcoin Exchange

For instance, on a bitcoin trade, three coin venders are requesting BTC/USD 2265.75, BTC/USD 2269.55, and BTC/USD 2270.00. A broker who starts a market request to purchase bitcoins will have their request filled at the best solicit cost from $2265.75. On the off chance that lone five bitcoins are accessible for the best approach and 10 coins are accessible for $2269.55, and the merchant needs to purchase 10 at advertise value, the broker’s structure will be loaded up with 5 coins @ $2265.75 and the staying 5 @ $2269.55.

Be that as it may, a dealer who figures they can show signs of improvement cost could set a cutoff request for, state, $2260.10. On the off chance that a merchant coordinates their ask cost with this request or sets a cost beneath this figure, the request will get filled. The entirety of this is finished by the trade, which takes a level of every exchange for their business.

What are the Safest Ways to Store Bitcoin?

 

Work area Wallet

Work area wallets are those that are not associated with the Internet; they are additionally alluded to as “cool stockpiling” strategies. A work area wallet offers various focal points over an online wallet. While online wallets are effectively gotten to from anyplace on the planet, they are additionally increasingly powerless against potential hacking. Work area wallets, then again, are gotten to just by means of your private PC, with individual security keys put away just on that machine. Subsequently, presentation of your security key online is drastically diminished. In any case, work area wallets are as yet defenseless to hacks if your machine gets contaminated with malware intended to uncover keys and take Bitcoins.

Equipment Wallet

More secure than a work area wallet is an equipment wallet. These wallets are bits of equipment, outside gadgets like USB sticks which you can heft around with the rest of your personal effects. An additional advantage of an equipment wallet is the finished secrecy with which you can execute. There is no close to home data connected to the equipment, so no recognizing information which could be spilled. Equipment wallets are strong to malware, and on the off chance that you happen to lose the wallet you’ll have the option to recoup the assets utilizing a seed expression. Then again, on the off chance that you lose the equipment wallet, there is no other method for recouping your bitcoin.

Paper Wallet

A paper wallet is additionally a generally sheltered method for putting away Bitcoin, in spite of the fact that it requires more propelled comprehension of how advanced monetary standards work. Create a paper wallet internet utilizing any number of committed sites, or produce the wallet disconnected for much more noteworthy security. Paper wallets are put away effectively in light of the fact that they don’t take up a lot of room, and they additionally offer genuine secrecy: they are just a Bitcoin seed written here and there on a bit of paper.

Physical Coins

Administrations are springing up which permit Bitcoin financial specialists to purchase physical Bitcoins. The coin you buy will have a sealed sticker covering a foreordained measure of Bitcoin. So as to buy the physical coin, you may need to pay a slight premium over the estimation of the Bitcoin that you’re purchasing, inferable from the expense of the assembling and shipment of the coin itself.

Other Security Precautions

Reinforcement

Reinforcement your whole bitcoin wallet early and regularly. In the event of a PC disappointment, a past filled with standard reinforcements might be the best way to recuperate the money in the computerized wallet. Make a point to reinforcement all the wallet.dat documents and afterward store the reinforcement at numerous safe areas (like on a USB, on the hard drive, and on CDs). Not just this, set a solid secret word on the reinforcement.

Programming Updates

Stay up with the latest. A wallet running on non-refreshed bitcoin programming can be an easy objective for programmers. The most recent form of wallet programming will have a superior security framework set up along these lines expanding the wellbeing of your bitcoins. In the event that your product is refreshed with the most recent security fixes and convention, you may dodge a major emergency in view of the upgraded security of the wallet. Reliably update your cell phone or PC working frameworks and programming to make your bitcoins more secure.

Multi-Signature

The idea of a multi-signature has increased some fame; it includes an endorsement from various individuals (express 3 to 5) for an exchange to happen. Therefore this restrains the risk of burglary as a solitary controller or server can’t complete the exchanges (i.e., sending bitcoins to a location or pulling back bitcoins). The individuals who can execute are chosen before all else and when one of them needs to spend or send bitcoins, they require others in the gathering to support the exchange.

What Are the Advantages of Paying With Bitcoin?

1. Client Autonomy

The essential draw of bitcoin for some clients, and for sure one of the focal precepts of digital forms of money all the more for the most part, is self-sufficiency. Advanced monetary standards permit clients more self-sufficiency over their own cash than fiat monetary forms do, from a certain point of view. Clients can control how they go through their cash without managing a middle person authority like a bank or government.

2. Carefulness

Bitcoin buys are discrete. Except if a client deliberately distributes his Bitcoin exchanges, his buys are never connected with his own personality, much like money just buys, and can only with significant effort be followed back to him. Truth be told, the unknown bitcoin address that is produced for client buys changes with every exchange. It is not necessarily the case that bitcoin exchanges are really unknown or completely untraceable, however they are substantially less promptly connected to individual personality than some conventional types of installment.

3. Shared Focus

The bitcoin installment framework is simply shared, implying that clients can send and get installments to or from anybody on the system around the globe without requiring endorsement from any outside source or authority.

4. Disposal of Banking Fees

While it is viewed as standard among digital currency trades to charge alleged “creator” and “taker” expenses, just as periodic store and withdrawal charges, bitcoin clients are not dependent upon the reiteration of customary financial expenses related with fiat monetary standards. This implies no record upkeep or least parity expenses, no overdraft charges and no returned store charges, among numerous others.

5. Low Transaction Fees for International Payments

Standard wire moves and remote buys regularly include expenses and trade costs. Since bitcoin exchanges have no delegate foundations or government association, the expenses of executing are kept low. This can be a significant preferred position for explorers. Moreover, any exchange in bitcoins happens rapidly, killing the bother of run of the mill approval necessities and hold up periods.

6. Versatile Payments

Like with numerous online installment frameworks, bitcoin clients can pay for their coins anyplace they have Internet get to. This implies buyers never need to make a trip to a bank or a store to purchase an item. Be that as it may, not at all like online installments made with U.S. financial balances or charge cards, individual data can’t to finish any exchange.

7. Availability

Since clients can send and get bitcoins with just a cell phone or PC, bitcoin is hypothetically accessible to populaces of clients without access to customary financial frameworks, Mastercards and different techniques for installment.

How to Buy Bitcoin?

To purchase bitcoin, you should initially pursue a bitcoin wallet.

Conventional installment techniques, for example, a Visa, bank move (ACH), or check cards will purchase bitcoins on a bitcoin trade utilizing a bitcoin wallet as a store.

Bitcoin encounters value unpredictability and stays an unsure ware as far as tax assessment and lawfulness.

In spite of accepting huge consideration in the budgetary and venture world, numerous individuals don’t have the foggiest idea how to purchase the digital currency Bitcoin, however doing so is as straightforward as pursuing a portable application. With digital money back in the news again, presently’s a superior time than any time in recent memory to dive off course and get familiar with how to contribute. Here’s a breakdown of all that you have to know so as to purchase bitcoin.

What Do I Need to Buy Bitcoin?

1. Advanced Wallet: In request to direct exchanges on the bitcoin arrange, members need to run a program called a “wallet.” Bitcoin can’t “coins,” so it just appears to be correct that a bitcoin wallet would not really be a wallet. Bitcoin balances are kept up utilizing open and private “keys,” which are long series of numbers and letters connected through the numerical encryption calculation used to make them.

The open key is where exchanges are kept to and pulled back from. This is likewise the key that shows up on the blockchain record as a client’s computerized signature, similar to a username on an internet based life newsfeed. The private key is the secret key required to purchase, sell, and exchange the bitcoin in a wallet. A private key ought to be a monitored mystery and just used to approve Bitcoin transmissions. A few clients secure their private keys by encoding a wallet with a solid secret phrase and, sometimes, by picking the chilly stockpiling alternative; that is, putting away the wallet disconnected. Coinbase offers a safe “multisig vault” to have client keys.

A bitcoin wallet ought not be utilized for long haul stockpiling. Rather, bitcoin or its key ought to be put away in a protected wallet, for example, one that utilizes a multi-signature office for security.

2. Individual Documents: The U.S. Protections and Exchange Commission expects clients to check their characters while enlisting for computerized wallets as a feature of its Anti-Money Laundering Policy. So as to purchase and sell bitcoin, you should check your character utilizing a few individual records including your driver’s permit and Social Security number (SSN).

3. Secure Internet Connection: If you decide to exchange bitcoin on the web, use watchfulness about when and where you get to your advanced wallet. Exchanging bitcoin on an uncertain or open wifi arrange can’t and may make you increasingly powerless to assaults from programmers.

4. Ledger, Debit Card, or Credit Card: Once you have a bitcoin wallet, you can utilize a conventional installment technique, for example, a Mastercard, bank move (ACH), or charge card to purchase bitcoins on a bitcoin trade. The bitcoins are then moved to your wallet. The accessibility of the above installment strategies is dependent upon the region of ward and trade picked. The following is a screen capture of the bitcoin interface on Coinbase telling the best way to purchase and sell bitcoin and furthermore Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin​, which are other well known virtual monetary standards. The client taps the “Purchase” tab to purchase advanced money and the “Offer” tab to sell computerized cash. You select which cash you are purchasing/selling and which installment strategy (your ledger or Mastercard) you need to utilize.

Contingent on the trade, there might be advantages and hindrances to paying with money, credit or plastic, or financial balance move. For example, while credit and check cards are among the most easy to understand strategies for installment, they will in general require recognizable proof and may likewise force higher expenses than different techniques. Bank moves, then again, ordinarily have low charges, yet they may take longer than other installment techniques.

5. Bitcoin Exchange: After you’ve set up your wallet with an installment strategy, you’ll need a spot to really purchase bitcoin. Clients can purchase bitcoin and different digital forms of money from online commercial centers called “trades,” like the stages that dealers use to purchase stock. Trades associate you legitimately to the bitcoin commercial center, where you can trade conventional monetary forms for bitcoin.

Recollect that the bitcoin trade and the bitcoin wallet are not very similar things. Bitcoin trades are like outside trade markets. The trades are computerized stages where Bitcoin is traded for fiat cash—for instance, bitcoin (BTC) for U.S. dollars (USD). While trades offer wallet abilities to clients, it can’t essential business. Since wallets must be secure, trades don’t empower putting away a lot of bitcoin or for significant stretches. Along these lines, it is fitting to move your bitcoins to a safe wallet. Since security must be your top need while picking a bitcoin wallet, settle on one with a multi-signature office.

There are some settled trades that give one-stop arrangements high security principles and revealing, however due steadiness ought to be practiced while picking a bitcoin trade or wallet. Other than Coinbase, other well known trades incorporate Coinmama, CEX.IO and Gemini.

Step by step instructions to Buy Bitcoin

Exchange Ways of Buying Bitcoin

While a trade like Coinbase stays one of the most mainstream methods for buying bitcoin, it can’t just strategy. The following are some extra procedures bitcoin proprietors use.

1. Bitcoin ATMs: Bitcoin ATMs act somewhat like face to face bitcoin trades. People can embed money into the machine and use it to buy bitcoin which is then moved to a safe computerized wallet. Bitcoin ATMs have gotten progressively well known as of late; Coin ATM Radar can assist with finding the nearest machines.

2. P2P Exchanges: Unlike decentralized trades, which coordinate purchasers and venders namelessly and encourage all parts of the exchange, there are some distributed (P2P) trade administrations which give a more straightforward association between clients. Neighborhood Bitcoins is a case of such a trade. Subsequent to making a record, clients can present demands on purchase or sell bitcoin, including data about installment techniques and cost. Clients at that point peruse through postings of purchase and sell offers, picking those exchange accomplices with whom they wish to execute. Neighborhood Bitcoins encourages a portion of the parts of the exchange. While P2P trades don’t offer a similar obscurity as decentralized trades, they permit clients the chance to search for the best arrangement. A considerable lot of these trades additionally give appraisals frameworks with the goal that clients have an approach to assess potential exchange accomplices before executing.

Microwaved Foods – Healthy or Harmful?

A critical point is that microwaves don’t actually ‘cook’ your food at all. They basically just heat up the water content of the food and cause the food particles to resonate at very high frequencies. This ‘heats up’ your food, but this is very different from ‘cooking’ your food.

It’s like your food is heated but still ‘raw’. It doesn’t change the chemical structure of your food properly (and in many cases deforms the food molecules), thus substantially reducing your foods nutritional value. Worse however, is that microwaves can (and usually do) create harmful compounds that can lead to serious problems/disease (high cholesterol, cancer etc). * See the research further down.

Now, before you start cursing me again for making you feel bad (because you love your microwave and think life would be hell without it), remember, like all the health tips we give, you need to make them practical and still be able to function and enjoy life. However, while a little bit here and there won’t kill you (not immediately anyway!) – regular intakes are a real problem.

Basically, microwave ovens decay and change the structure of food by the process of ‘radiation’. Do you think if they were marketed as “radiation ovens”, they would be so popular? No way, but that’s exactly what they are. Simply put, you are interfering with/disturbing the ‘natural intelligence’ of the food (which is by far the most important part of any food).

Why wouldn’t we hear more about their negative effects if they were so bad? Basically, for the same reason we don’t hear about many of the things that jeopardize our health (until years after), vested interests and ‘heads in the sand’. Most people don’t want to give up something that is so ‘convenient’!!! And as modern science doesn’t value the fact that there is more to cooking food, than just heating it up, not enough proper research is being done. It’s just another case of modern society, trying to use ‘technology’ to save time… unfortunately at the expense of our health & well-being.

TIPS:

1. Avoid using microwaves/eating microwaved food whenever possible.

Yes, I know you’re busy, you don’t have time to cook and it’s so easy to just ‘zap’ it in the microwave. I know I’m being Scrooge again, and it’s all so easy to say “Don’t use microwaves”, but this really is a big one.

There’s probably not that many other things you could do to improve your long-term health more than throwing your microwave out the window… or at least using it far more sparingly.

Personally, I think you are better off to go and buy some half decent take-away (non-microwaved) than consistently eating ‘zapped’ food (seriously!)

2. THAWING FOODS is not so bad:

If you want to use your microwave for thawing frozen foods, that is not so bad. It’s still much better to let them thaw out naturally, but using a microwave for this purpose and cooking your food ‘naturally’ is not as bad as actually ‘cooking’ with your microwave.

3. ‘NEVER’ use PLASTIC:

Never heat your food in the microwave using plastic containers. When microwaving, carcinogenic toxins can be leached from your plastic and paper plates or covers and mix with your food. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. The combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin (Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer) into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

* This comes from Cancer News at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and a statement by Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital. Full details below.

SOLUTION:

Use glass, corning ware or ceramic containers for heating your food.

4. *** MOTHERS: DON’T Heat your baby’s milk in the microwave (especially in plastic bottles): **

Most people know the enormous benefits of breast milk for infants (as natural as you can get). However, microwaving breast milk (expressed milk) has been shown to break down the essential disease-fighting ability of breast milk (which helps protect your baby) and cause ‘hot spots’ (which can burn your infants mouth).

While this is not ideal in itself, the fact that microwaving causes ‘hot spots’ in the first place, shows it does not heat things evenly/properly. Add on the general problems of using plastic bottles as highlighted above, and it really isn’t the best idea. * The same applies for formula milk/any type of milk in plastic containers.

Better Alternatives:

i) Warm the milk by placing the container in a cup/saucepan of hot water or

ii) ideally boil the milk in a saucepan and let it cool down to warm drinking temperature.

* More hassle? Yes. More time-consuming? Yes. Better for your baby? ABSOLUTELY.

Practical Help: How to Reduce your Microwave Use?

i) Plan ahead:

where possible, decide what you are going to have in advance, so if you need to thaw something, you can take it out of the freezer beforehand (you may need to be before you go to work in some cases).

ii) Weigh up the health benefits of cooking ‘naturally’ versus microwaves.

Is it really that much extra time/hassle? Instead of putting something on a plate, covering it and putting it in the microwave, you’re essentially doing the same in an oven/saucepan. Add a bit of extra time for cooking and washing saucepans etc (if you don’t have a dishwasher), and you are not that much worse off time-wise.

Tips for Getting Take-Away:

i) If you get take-away and they go to cook it/heat it up in a microwave, ask if they can ‘oven heat’ it instead (just enough so it’s not ‘cold’) – so it doesn’t take that much longer!

* In addition to the health dangers, there is nothing worse than your crispy, crunchy pastry or whatever, being microwaved into a soft, soggy, mushy heap (Urgghhh!!!).

ii) If they can’t/won’t do that (i.e oven heat it), depending on the food/season, you might prefer to just have it ‘unheated’/cold. Cold is not ideal, but better than being ‘nuked’.

iii) If it has to be heated and microwave is the ‘only’ way, ask them to microwave it on ‘medium’ (for a little longer) rather than on ‘high’.

If you want to know more about microwaves/microwaving food – who invented them, the science behind them (why they are so unhealthy), the research done so far etc,read on.

History of the Microwave – The Nazi’s:

The Nazis invented the first microwaves. First known as ‘radiomissors’ (argghhh!!!), they were used for preparating meals on a mass scale during the invasion of Russia.

After the war, the Russians had retrieved some of these microwave ovens and conducted research on their biological effects. So alarmed by what they learned, the Russians banned microwave ovens in 1976.

Research on Microwaves:

More and more research is now suggesting people who regularly eat microwaved food over a period of time, sustain significant adverse changes to their blood chemistries and the rates of growth of certain diseases.

These can include:

* An increased rate of cancer cell formation in the blood.
* Increased rates of stomach and intestinal cancers.
* Lymphatic disorders, leading to decreased ability to prevent certain types of cancers.
* Higher rates of digestive disorders and a gradual breakdown of the systems of elimination.

1. Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel was the first scientist to conduct quality clinical research on the effects microwaved nutrients (on the human body).

His small but well controlled study showed the degenerative force produced in microwave ovens and the food processed in them. This included,

Increased cholesterol levels
Decreased numbers of red blood cells
Production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature)
Decreased hemoglobin levels (possible anemia problems).

His conclusion:

Microwave cooking changes the nutrients in the food, and changes take place in the participants’ blood that can cause deterioration in the human system.

1. Hertel’s scientific study was done along with Dr. Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry.

2. A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that… broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97% of the beneficial antioxidant chemicals it contains.

By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11% or fewer of its antioxidants.

3. A recent study at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York demonstrated that microwaving food creates toxic compounds (known as AGE’s) that are associated with serious illness such as heart disease and diabetes etc.

AGE’s form when sugars, proteins and fats amalgamate in high-temperature cooking, the most harmful of which is microwaved food.

4. Microwaving baby formulas converts certain trans-amino acids into their synthetic isomers, which are toxic to the nervous system – this is from the British journal The Lancet (Dec. 9, 1989).

Microwaved Blood Kills Woman:

A 1991 lawsuit involving a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. Blood is routinely warmed before transfusions, but not by microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman.

More on Microwaves & Dioxins:

This is from an email (around Jan 06), Re; Cancer News from John Hopkins. It was received from a nursing supervisor at Greenville Memorial Hospital. It was sent to their staff.

Cancer News from Johns Hopkins:
No plastic containers in microwave.
No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dioxinchemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us.

He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

He recommends using glass, corning ware or ceramic containers for heating your food.

You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners and soups, etc, should be removed from the container and heated in something else (* Note from Mark – re-heating/cooking frozen food – e.g TV dinners, is not highly recommended anyway). Paper isn’t bad, but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. He also pointed out that Saran wrap is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous dioxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.

Alcoholic Beverages: A Historical Background

The beverages industry is one of the oldest in existence. It has been around for ages. Not only does it provide people with beverage jobs, but also with various other business related opportunities as well.

Let’s take a look at the illustrious history of beverages from the very start.

Early History
Archaeologists have discovered that alcoholic drinks were the pioneers of the beverages industry. In ancient times, all civilizations from Celts to Greeks used alcoholic beverages and kept some record of having consumed them.

Historians continue to debate the exact time when alcohol was first used but they agree upon the fact that it has been present throughout history.

Middle Ages
By the middle ages, alcoholic beverages were being consumed by households in large quantities. Monks were the first people who came across wine and beer as they searched for a nutritious drink to serve with their meals, these monks would also sell alcoholic beverages to the people.

Later the focus shifted from households to full scale production at breweries. This also provided people with employment opportunities as they could start working beverage jobs in a growing industry and by the end of the era, people had mastered the art of brewing and distilling alcoholic drinks.

Period of Renaissance
Brewing became a full time occupation and masters of the art would pass down the techniques to their heirs. The advancement in technology proved beneficial to the beverages industry as it brought about new innovative ways of making alcohol, alcoholic beverages were much purer now and drinks such as gin and brandy were made for the first time.

American Revolution
Alcohol consumption was now at its peak and the beverages industry was thriving, drunkenness was common and it wasn’t until the war that efforts were made to curb the use of alcohol.

Social norms and values had to be considered as societies became more sophisticated and there were increasing implications for those who indulged in alcohol abuse.

Temperance & Whisky Rebellion
The Temperance Movement was aimed at reshaping the way society consumed alcohol and the notion was put forward to use alcohol in moderation.

Later an attempt by the congress to put a tax on distilled drinks was foiled by the people through the Whisky Rebellion in 1794. At this point, the brewing industry was prospering and going through its golden period, retail businesses were in cut throat competition which resulted in openings for beverage jobs.

Prohibition
In the 19th century laws were introduced to limit the consumption of alcohol and attempts were made to reduce drinking. This move proved to be very effective with a 30% decline in alcohol consumption, however soon people reverted to illegal ways of producing and transporting liquor as criminal activities began to rise.

Although there have been certain advancements since the prohibition, none of them have had serious implications on how alcoholic beverages are perceived. It is however important to note that commercialization and globalization has made it easier for consumers to enjoy a wider variety of liqueurs, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages.

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Whole Foods

As more and more people become interested in adopting a whole foods lifestyle it is very important that people understand why whole foods are better for them as opposed to the foods that most people consume every day. Eating whole foods is not a diet but actually a decision that is made by an individual to only consume the foods that are the healthiest for their bodies. Whole foods are not processed and they do not contain a lot of different substances that a person can barely pronounce. Whole foods are simple and that is the main appeal about this type of food. It is simple and healthy. While there are many people that are interested in adopting a healthier lifestyle, there are also a number of people that are very hesitant as a result of being uncertain about how to begin the process of eating healthier foods. The following are ten reasons why people should eat whole foods.

1. All Natural – One of the most important aspects of eating whole foods is that they are all natural. Processed foods are filled with additional ingredients that are mainly used to keep them edible while they are in the supermarket. The addition of various preservatives introduces chemicals into the body that are not necessary and in some cases very unhealthy.

2. Filled with Nutrients – Whole foods are filled with nutrients that have not been depleted from processing. Even foods that are whole, such as fruits and vegetables, can lose their nutritional value once they are surrounded by excess salts and sugars. To get the most nutritional value for any foods it is best to eat certain foods in their natural state.

3. Great Source of Energy – Whole foods provides energy to the body in its most natural form. There are so many foods from vegetables to foods that are high in whole grains that can provide the body with large amounts of fuel that the body can easily process. Eating whole foods should be the initial choice for anyone that is looking to increase their energy levels.

4. Assists with Weight Loss – One of the best features of whole foods is that they have less calories and fat then processed foods. Although many people purchase diet foods in order to assist them in losing weight this really is not necessary. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats and fish typically have far less calories then the commercial diet foods making them a healthy, natural choice for weight loss.

5. Good for the Heart – Many of the foods that help to strengthen and protect the heart are whole foods. Such food as fish, which is high in omega – 3 fatty acids, helps to support hearth health. Likewise, a diet that is high in fiber which can be obtained by eating whole grains can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

6. Full of Antioxidants – Anyone looking for foods that are antioxidant rich need look no further than whole foods. Only natural foods contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for fighting free radicals which can mutate the cells in the body and lead to various diseases and increase the signs of aging. By eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, people can help their bodies prevent a number of diseases.

7. Fresh Food – Why eat food that has been sitting on a shelf for weeks when people can eat food that is fresh? This is a good argument for eating whole foods. No, whole foods don’t have the shelf life that some food products have, but that’s what makes them better. A trip to the local farmers market can provide a bounty of delectable, fresh whole foods that are usually picked for sale the same day!

8. Free of Harmful Chemicals – Most whole foods do not contain many of the harmful chemicals that are used in processed foods. People that are interested in avoiding foods that are loaded with hormones, chemicals and other additives should shop for whole foods that are specially marked as organic. This will ensure that fruits, vegetables, meats and other whole food items have not been subjected to additives that will deplete their healthiness.

9. Helps with Moods – Studies have shown mental health and moods are affected by diet. People that ate more natural, whole foods were more likely to feel better overall. This can be contributed to a number of elements from liking one’s appearance to having a generally happy disposition. Whole foods are less likely to cause people to feel sluggish and worn down as the body is better able to process whole foods into the energy it needs to function. This can have astounding affects on a person’s mental and emotional well being.

10. Health Consciousness – Eating whole foods make people more health conscious. While it may be easier to prepare processed foods because they are convenient this does not make them healthy. When people commit to eating foods that are healthy they are more likely to check the labels for ingredients and tend to be more proactive about supplying their bodies with healthy food options as opposed to simply eating the most convenient food.