I'm sure you’re aware of the Fukushima disaster that hit Japan in 2011 – but you might be wondering what it has to do with you?
Following a big earthquake, a tsunami followed, which destroyed the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. This result in almost unimaginable levels of radiation. Whilst a clean up operation is underway, with the levels of radiation, the clean up effort is a drop in the ocean. Several deaths have already occurred due to the radiation that came from the disaster.
What exactly has radiation from the Fukushima disaster done to the food chain, especially fish? Is what you are eating healthy?
Scientists have been tracking the effect of the radiation in fish since the disaster. Radiation has been discovered in fish as far away as California.
What are the risks of eating fish with traces of radiation?
Unfortunately this is not an easy question to answer. Nuclear power and environmental health expert Rosalie Bertell said “Should the public discover the true health costs of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world, and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death”. She also said “Claiming nuclear production of energy is ‘clean’ is like dieting, but stuffing yourself with food between meals”.
One of the problems with quantifying the dangers of radiation like this, is that the half life is so long, the damage will be done for years and years to come. It’s hard to predict today, how much damage the disaster will cause over the next few generations.
How Can You Stay Safe?
It’s really important to know exactly where your food comes from. So much frozen fish is imported from overseas – and unfortunately with the labelling laws in some countries, it can be very difficult to identify which country the fish comes from. Try to buy your fish local – and wild caught if at all possible. When buying seaweeds, make sure you know where they came from. Maine is supposed to be a good place to source seaweed from.
Are you concerned about where your food comes from? How do you avoid eating potentially harmful food like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and on the Fukushima disaster, in the comments below.