As I was cruising through the OSHA website today, (yes I have weird past-times) I found a statement stating that our foods are radiated! I was shocked and as I read it to my husband he looked at me calmly and said I have heard that! What! Where have I been? I certainly knew our food standards are not up to par and most conventional foods are full of pesticides, herbicides and our animals are shot up with antibiotics and hormones but I had no idea that we were radiating our foods also!
Come to find out that Irradiation was approved by the FDA in 1963, and is used on more than 40 food products! I am still in shock that this is done on purpose.
As a Flight Attendant I am well aware of my occupational hazards, the number one being the exposure to the cosmic radiation from the sun. We are all exposed to cosmic radiation it’s what the sun gives off, but we are protected by the atmosphere; flying at high altitude levels decreases this protection and puts flight crews at a higher risk.
Going through the security screens on a daily basis raises your exposure to ionizing radiation. We also have to worry about too many x-rays and now our food is being irradiated!
It is clearly stated that in addition to our meats and produce our seasonings and spices are irradiated and this is supported by the USDA and the FDA, but the FDA claims that this is necessary to avoid foodborne illness and the radiation is not strong enough to affect our health. They are calling it “electronic pasteurization”. There is strong evidence that suggests these foods can pose a health risk. Do you think this is why cancer is on the rise?
Different from pasteurization which uses heat to kill the bacteria and also destroys the nutritional value of the food. Irradiation not only destroys the nutritional content but produces a number of toxic byproducts which are known to cause cell damage and cause cancer in several studies.
If the FDA states that we have to irradiate our foods to prevent bacteria from spreading, that doesn’t give me too much confidence about the conditions of our food production systems. If they are going to radiate the food anyway, do you think they will go through the trouble of adhering to sanitary conditions?
Food contamination should be prevented not wiped out later!
So what can we do? One of the things you can do is buy your food directly from a local farmer or farmers market and buy organic foods as often as you can. Organic foods cannot be irradiated. By doing this you will definitely know that your food has not been irradiated, but the only hands your food comes into contact with is the farmer and you.
Also irradiated foods have to be labeled! So be on the lookout! If we don’t take care of ourselves who is going to take care of our families!
Here is what OSHA states and a copy of the link.
- Food and kindred products. The application of ionizing radiation
to food as a means of improving food safety is gradually being
implemented in the United States (Exs. 1-9; 1-10). In recent years, the
use of ionizing radiation to kill microorganisms in food has grown. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows irradiation of poultry, pork
and ground beef. Ground beef is irradiated to eradicate E-coli, a
potentially lethal organism. Using ionizing radiation (e.g., electron
beam, X-ray) also helps to extend the shelf life of fresh meats. In
addition, FDA permits the irradiation of spices and seasonings. A
related use of ionizing radiation in the food industry is the creation
of aseptic food packaging materials to eliminate the possibility of
transferring infectious microorganisms to people (Ex. 1-10). (Although
the process of food irradiation is governed by FDA regulations (21 CFR
part 179), these regulations do not include requirements to protect
employees from ionizing radiation exposure.)
X-rays are commonly used in the food industry for inspection,
grading and sorting of food, such as fruit and eggs. Employers also use
X-rays to inspect canned beverages for defects and metal contaminants
in the cans.