I need some help with the physics of cooking, to be used when people start freaking out over the alleged danger of microwave ovens.
It seems to me that hot food must be radiating into the infrared no matter how it was heated. In the case of microwave heating, a lower frequency is used to stimulate a frequency in the food that is higher than the frequency used to induce it. Correct?
A stove burner transmits heat by conduction and an oven does it by convection. But how is the heat generated in the first place? Does an electric oven use electricity to generate infrared in the heating element, whose energy is then transmitted by conduction or convection? Or is something else going on? The heating element turns red so it seems that radiation is being generated in the visible spectrum.
Does a gas stove generate infrared at all, or is the heat purely the result of the chemical reaction that occurs when we burn the gas? Do the flames look blue because they're generating blue photons, or because they're reflecting the blue photons that were already bouncing around the room?
Is cooking over a fire different from cooking with gas, in terms of chemical heat versus electromagnetic radiation? I assume that a different chemical reaction is involved, since we're burning different materials.
Thank you for your help.