Food Irradiation

What Can You Do About Your Food?

1. Consider where your food comes from. Does your consumption hurt others and the environment?

2. Tell retailers how you feel about their products. Consumer power can change the world!

3. Look for alternative food sources. Eat locally grown food whenever possible.

4. Until alternatives are available, choose to eat something else.

5. Let others know about the destruction caused by certain food choices.

Background

The proposed expansions are all in the name of food safety, however, they have the opposite effect by decreasing the standards in which livestock are raised, depleting the vitamin content of the food, and removing the bacteria that have for centuries, alerted individuals that the meat had expired.

Food irradiation uses dusty nuclear technologies from the Cold War to preserve food by killing fungi, bacteria, and insects. It is being promoted to prevent salmonella and other types of food poisoning. It is supposed to increase shelf life and allow food distributors to ship food farther, and supposedly reduce the need for pesticides.

During this process, food is directly exposed to gamma radiation (Cobalt 60 and Cesium 137) which starts multiple chemical reactions which lead to carcinogenic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde and lipid peroxides as well as many other chemicals called URPs (Unique Radiolytic Products), which have never been identified, let alone studied.

Irradiated foods are less nutritious because irradiation destroys essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C, E, K, thiamine, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acid.

Some have hailed irradiation as an alternative to pesticides. This is untrue. The powerful pesticide-producing chemical companies have been rather silent — they know irradiation will not affect pesticide sales. Food is irradiated post-harvest while most pesticides are applied during growth. Shockingly, no studies have been done to determine the outcome of irradiation on chemically complex pesticide residues, which have already been shown to have negative effects on our health.

Irradiation won’t replace the many additives used in processing food nor will it protect you from food poisoning. Irradiation will create a need for more additives, to be used concurrently because irradiation alters the chemical composition of the entire food, not just the bacteria and fungi on it.

Irradiation kills 95% of the bacteria in foods, but not all bacteria are harmful to your health. Microorganisms that can cause meat and shellfish to change colour and to smell can be killed by irradiation. You won’t know the meat has gone bad and you will be subjected to food poisoning from fresh-looking and fresh-smelling foods.

What we really need to do is clean up our food supply. Much of it is being produced far away from home, imported from other countries often with lower sanitation standards. In addition, mass production slaughter techniques cause our food to come into contact with feces, vomit, Campylobacter (mostly associated with raw poultry) and Salmonella (found in animal products in general). For this reason, and the others outlined above, irradiation is not a solution.

            

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