Abortion of the experiment
I am sorry to say it, but the experiment “Are Microwaves Really Deadly?” will be put to an end. It’s truly tragical, but almost all of the 84 little plants have died.
The cause of death is unknown, but I assume it was an attack of little fruit flies (Drosophila) that laid their eggs into the soil. The larvae hatched and roamed the earth to feast on anything in their way — and the only edible thing in their nursery were probably the weak and unprepared roots of my basil.
Sometimes I saw little insects coming up from the soil when I watered the pots — where there were many of those grazing creatures a few days later the plants fell down. They had lost their roots and were left to rot.
Maybe it was a bit too early for basil — given that it is a Mediterranean herb which should be sown when it’s warm and when there are more sun hours. Although the experiment happened indoors, January was probably a bit too early for the young plants and impaired their growth.
Despite the slow invasion of the pest and the dying of the entire experiment due to natural causes, I can conclude that there was no evidence that microwaved (or in general heated) water had any negative effect on the growth or health of the basil plants.
If anything, the only two pots which to this day have a few standing plants are ones of the “microwaved water” group.
I believe this to be a random outcome, but I think it’s safe to say that microwave ovens don’t pose a serious threat to Italy’s cuisine or Mediterranean herbs in general.
I don’t have second thoughts when eating microwave popcorn as well.
However, another learnt lesson is:
Never trust the name of insects:
fruit flies seem to eat roots, too.