Food Irradiation

GREEN TIP:  Buy organic, buy local, read labels . . . get to know the origin of your food. 

Have I been living in a cave?  Did you know that a portion of our food is being “sanitized” by irradiation?  I’m no scientist but that just seems like a bad idea.  As I understand it, gamma rays, x-rays and electrons are being used to zap our food into sanitized submission.  This irradiation supposedly ensures that our food is “safe” to eat.  But there are a lot of critics that don’t buy that rationale.  They believe irradiation is actually making our food unsafe to eat by destroying the nutritional reasons we eat the food in the first place. 

As I was researching the topic, I discovered a paper written by The Food Irradiation Campaign (FIC) that candidly discusses the inherent dangers of food irradiation.  Their conclusion is that food irradiation has serious implication for hundreds of millions of people and the technology poses many risks.  One of the many risks that, in my mind, contradicts the whole reason for irradiation is that it “kills off those bacteria that give warning smells when a product is going bad, making it harder for consumers to detect when their food is unfit for consumption.”  So, who is this supposed to be good for?

How does your body react to ingesting those yummy little morsels of radiation?  How does the earth react when we dispose or compost those irradiated peels and cores?  What kind of waste is produced during irradiation?  What is it doing to our children’s little developing minds and bodies? 

How about just demanding that our food, from start to finish, be handled properly.  Call me crazy but wouldn’t that be the safest, healthiest way to produce our food?  Right now a petition has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow irradiation on dietary supplements and dietary ingredients.  You can take action to let the FDA know how you feel about this issue.  Go to Organic Consumers Association and read all about it; they have a link that allows you to add your name to the list of concerned citizens. 

To ensure you and your family are getting the healthiest food possible, find out the origin of your food.  A great resource is Sustainable Table.  They have a lot of information about our food sources and a link to find sustainable food in your area.

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  1. Stamford Talk’s avatar

    “How about just demanding that our food, from start to finish, be handled properly. ” The book Real Food by Nina Planck really got that point across to me. We freak out about making sure our milk is pasteurized… which we have to do because the cows live in such terrible condition,s and because the milk has to travel so far. Why not have cows in safe environments nearby? Because industrial farming demands cheap production, and smaller farmers can’t compete unless they happen to corner the organic niche. I just think we have really screwed ourselves as far as knowing that our food comes from safe places… but books like Nina’s, and blogs like yours, are bringing attention to the issue.

  2. mejohn7779’s avatar

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  3. Amanda’s avatar

    Ok…I did not know this and it totally freaks me out! We must be frequenting the same cave.
    No warning smells from spoiled food…Brilliant!
    Next, we can radiate our kids so their diapers aren’t so smelly…Then we’ll never have to change them.
    Thanks for the Sustainable Table link….great resource.


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