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Jul 28, 2011 11:26 AM

Fukushima Disaster’s Effect on Food Supply

I would like to find out what my fellow Hounders know about the effects of the Fukushima disaster on the food supply? I find the event to be extremely significant to say the least since I've read that large amounts of water have been contaminated with radiation, pushed into the ocean, and then carried by currents. Unfortunately, I never really hear about it in the mainstream media due to distractions like (insert sensationalist story here). Please share what you know...

Note: I had posted this same question less than 24 hrs ago and it was removed. Since I have not received any info as to why and I’m a new hounder (started a week ago), I’m assuming it’s due to my choice of catchy title “*nthony’s W**n*r Isn’t Radioactive”? I feel that the mainstream media should have been covering the nuclear disaster. Instead they cover stories that clearly don’t have the global impact. I want to be clear that my only goal in posting this is to answer questions about our food supply that haven't been answered because the mainstream media has not been doing its job.

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    1. yes, I see Small- thanks! Took me quite some time to read through all that…I’ve been lazy and listening (radio & tv) to my news more than reading it. I clearly need to start reading more. I posted some links to articles (1 video) I found the subject as my contribution to this thread. All from the left wing to the right wing, in no particular order, and not just from the US. Looking forward to continue reading what my fellow Hounds have to say/find on the subject…

      1. Using the release into the water of 131 grams of Iodine131, an amount about 3 cubic inches in size which is considerably more than was actually released, and factoring in that it has been 106 days since the period of highest releases, there will be about 13 atoms of Iodine131 in each quart of seawater in the Pacific Ocean... If you wait eight days there will be less than 7 atoms in each quart. There are considerably more other naturally occurring radioisotopes in that bottle of water, not to mention other chemicals at millions of trillions times higher concentrations.

        our food supply is safe.

        8 Replies
        1. re: NVJims

          Thank you for your contribution NV! Could you provide a link for that information? What you wrote was clear, but what I'm having a problem with is the fact that this radiation is not naturally occurring. For example, it would be much "safer" for me to tan at the beach than a tanning salon. I understand there's naturally occurring radiation, but fallout from a nuclear plant disaster is not natural.

          1. re: crowmuncher

            The information I gave you came from simple nuclear physics calculations. From TEPCO's logs, the highest release of 131I contaminated water was on April 17 with 2600 TBq which amounts to about .5 gram. With the unknown amounts early in the incident and perhaps an understatement of the amounts, using a gram molecular weight of 131I was a reasonable high end estimate of the amount flushed into the ocean. The Pacific Ocean contains about 622 million cubic kilometers of water. The half life of 131I is about 8 days which means that there is only about 1/10000 of it remaining. Do the math, and it comes to about 13 atoms per liter of seawater.

            For reference to the amount of radiation from 131I you would receive now, a banana contains about half a gram of potassium, part of which is 40K which is radioactive. You will have about 15 atoms disintegrate every second that it takes you to digest and eliminate that piece of fruit. That is a small amount compared to the total amount of potassium in your body.

            1. re: NVJims

              Thanks again NV. I certainly followed your clear math calculations on your first and second posts, but thought it would be good for the thread if you had info on how to get the release number which I see now you just got from TEPCO
              Do you know if it makes a difference if the radiation is not naturally occurring, vs naturally occurring?

              1. re: crowmuncher

                I'm quite interested in the answer to that question - I don't know. But I'm going to go ahead and say it does not make a difference, since it's as easy to die from a lightning strike as from stepping on the third rail of a subway train. Your body probably cannot tell the two apart.

                1. re: crowmuncher

                  Your body cannot tell the difference between the 40K "organic" radiation and the 131I 'synthetic' radiation (actually 131I can be formed in nature, but in such small quantities that it will virtually never have a chance to enter your body) In quantity, 131I will tend to accumulate in your thyroid, and that was the worry in the immediate area of the plant. Radiation as is being used in this thread is deemed to be alpha, beta and gamma which is different from heat, radio waves and, yes, even light and ultraviolet. BTW, Brazil nuts have 4 times the potassium as bananas.

                  There are much more important food contaminates to worry about than the fallout from Japan....

                  1. re: NVJims

                    wow & I thought avocado was high in K; thx for organic v synthetic radiation explanation...

                    1. re: NVJims

                      NV - any thoughts with the more recent developments??

                      1. re: nevrenuf

                        I'm still eating Pacific Ocean fish every chance I get. No statistical increase in the radionuclides from the accident relative to the 'natural' radioactive materials like the 40K or 14C, etc.

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