Food irradiation, also known as “cold pasteurization” or “irradiation pasteurization,” is a food sterilization technology that has been around for nearly a century. Food irradiation is done by exposing food to ionizing radiation, which according to the EPA, “kills bacteria and other pathogens, that could otherwise result in spoilage or food poisoning.”
How is Food Irradiated?
According to the EPA, the process of irradiating food involves exposing the food to radioactive materials by passing it through a radiation beam, and therefore the food does not come in direct contact with radioactive materials.
As described at EPA.gov.
Bulk or packaged food passes through a radiation chamber on a conveyor belt. The food does not come into contact with radioactive materials, but instead passes through a radiation beam, like a large flashlight.
The type of food and the specific purpose of the irradiation determine the amount of radiation, or dose, necessary to process a particular product. The speed of the belt helps control the radiation dose delivered to the food by controlling the exposure time. The actual dose is measured by dosimeters within the food containers.
Cobalt-60 is the most commonly used radionuclide for food irradiation. However, there are also large cesium-137 irradiators and the Army has also used spent fuel rods for irradiation.
Does irradiated food sound like something you would want to eat? Even though the food does not come in direct contact with radioactive materials, it does not mean that the food is not contaminated with harmful levels of radiation.
Pros and Cons and Health Effects of Food Irradiation
The good things about using ionizing radiation to sterilize food are that it may increase the shelf life of the food, and can destroy most harmful microorganisms and insects. The bad things are that it can change the natural structures of the food and destroy many of its nutrients, making it unhealthy and even harmful to eat. As a result, your health will suffer which often leads to a lack of energy and even chronic fatigue.
As mentioned at PreventDisease.com.
Irradiated foods are exposed to high level radiation for the purpose of sterilizing it. There is an abundance of convincing evidence in the refereed scientific literature that the condensation products of the free radicals formed during irradiation produce statistically significant increases in carcinogenesis, mutagenesis and cardiovascular disease in animals and man. This is in addition to the destruction of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Food irradiation is not as effective as they claim, because it does not guarantee that all microorganisms and insects are eliminated from the food. Many supporters of food irradiation claim that it is needed to prevent world hunger. This is nothing more than a big fat lie.
One of the main reasons why there is a lack of food in certain parts of the world is because of corporate farming. Corporate farming’s bad agricultural practices have destroyed many farmland due to their heavy use of toxic agrochemicals. Companies that support corporate farming do not really care about the environment. What they care about is profit.
Why You Should Not Always Rely on the FDA for Food Safety
Many people think that because the FDA has approved the use of food irradiation, food that has been irradiated should be safe enough to eat. This is not always true. The FDA is highly influenced by food companies and their lobbyists. They are the reason why the FDA is still in business.
I suggest avoiding irradiated food as much as possible because ionizing radiation can negatively affect the natural chemical structures of the food and its nutrients. If the radiation is strong enough to kill bacteria and insects, it is strong enough to cause permanent damage to the organic structures of the food.
How to Avoid Irradiated Food
- Do not purchase food products with the Radura symbol on it.
- If the food product has the content “treated with radiation” or “treated by irradiation,” do not buy or consume it.
- Look for misleading labels, such as “electronically pasteurized,” “cold pasteurization,” and “irradiation pasteurization” on food products. Food products that have these labels are often treated with radiation, so avoid eating them.
- Buy organic food at stores that specialize in whole food.
- Buy fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market.
According to NaturalNews.com, the FDA’s regulations on food irradiation are not very strict. “For example, if you buy coleslaw, and the cabbage in the coleslaw has been irradiated, there is no requirement that the coleslaw carry any labeling indicating it has been irradiated.” This means that most American consumers are already eating irradiated food without even knowing it.