Skip to comments.Radioactive Japan: People Invited to Eat Cesium Beef from Iwate (Fukushima)
Posted on 04/25/2012 2:54:32 PM PDT by ransomnote
This is the copy of the printed version of Fukushima Minpo on April 25, 2012, a local newspaper in Fukushima:
What does it say?
The series title in the upper right corner: "New Happiness in Japan - Measure"
The article title in the middle: "Think what "food safety" means"
The subtitle of the article: "Cesium beef offered at an event"
From this information, if you conjure up the image of the gist of the article as "OK, the happiness in Japan in post-Fukushima is to gladly eat beef known to contain radioactive cesium to help producers as long as it is measured and disclosed properly, and that's food safety", I'll give you an A.
Quick translation (main article only, subject to revision later, maybe):
It was quiet in the office district on Sunday. It was March 11 afternoon, one year anniversary of the disaster. Couples with children, middle-aged men in jeans were entering a 12-story public building off the busy streets in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
On the tables in the kitchen that is used for cooking classes were the plates with hamburgers just cooked. Mitsuhiro Anada (age 40) told the people in the kitchen, "These contain 6 becquerels/kg [of radioactive cesium]. Please let me know if you don't want to eat them. We have also prepared cesium-free ones." About 30 people then sat at the table and started to eat.
Mr. Anada is the head of "Mo-ton Family", a meat processing company located in the northern Iwate. The event, "Let's eat cesium beef" came about after calling the customers who buy ham, hamburger meat and sausages from his company by mail order.
The main dishes are the hamburgers and beef stew made from the beef that had been detected with radioactive cesium.
(Excerpt) Read more at ex-skf.blogspot.com ...
can I get some of this ‘cesium beef’ at QFC?
I believe so. I believe that the US is accepting imported foods and other materials from Japan.
The beef tested at about 10% of the safe limit (typically arrived at by force-feeding lab mice several times their own body weight of whatever materials are being tested). Much ado about nothing.
Michigan Plants Mutated Due to Radioactive Fukushima Nuclear Fallout?
The safe limit is not safe. It is not safe to eat radioactive waste, even small amounts of it cause small increased risk of cancer and other ailments.
Don’t eat bananas then. The average for bananas is about 100 Bq/kg (not activity from Fukushima), so this beef is about 17 times less in terms of specific activity. By that standard bananas must be 17 times more dangerous than the beef from Fukushima.
Not much but still.
That’s interesting to note.
No no no no....not bananas again! I am tired of explaining bananas to people. Look it up on WIkipedia and read up on the differences between radiation given off by bananas and radiation given off by cesium. HINT: It’s not the over active imagination of the public at work trying to avoid cesium. The Department of Transportation maintains the regulations pertaining to the handling of dangerous substances like radioactive cesium and no, they didn’t just overlook banana trucks. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
Head of Isotope division of a Tokyo Medical Institute said in a public hearing that 2 becq’s per liter of water was sufficient to cause bladder cancer (no word on how long people had to drink water at that level). Beef stays in the intestinal tract for a long time, longer than water passing through the bladder. Not good to risk direct irradiation of gastrointestinal tract.
This strangely reminds me of suicidal banzai charges & kamikazes. The Japanese seem to have a streak of fatalism in their character.
They’ll do anything to save face.
So, with the Cesium in the beef killing bacteria, is it now OK to make steak tartare?
We'll have to agree to disagree. The usual experience with new things is that we assume something's safe, then we assume it's hemlock. I think we've gotten to the point where we think exposure to even trace atmospheric radiation is akin to being bitten by a black mamba.
We assume that one person eats a kilogram of the Fukushima beef containing the 6 Bq/kg specific activity of 137Cs. Another person is scared of that and decides he'd rather eat natural bananas, with their 100 Bq/kg of 40K. Which of these persons gets more radioactive decay energy deposited in their bodies?
Start with the banana eater. Potassium 40 decays primarily by beta and electron capture. The electron capture occurs 10% of the time and gives rise to a gamma ray with an energy of 1.461 MeV. The beta decay populates a ground state of a daughter nucleus and no further emissions occur. Very rarely 40K will decay by positron emission, but for this calculation we'll neglect that. The maximum beta energy of the 40K decay is 1.31 MeV, and since the average beta decay energy is about a third of the maximum energy, we'll assume an average beta energy of about 0.44 MeV. So, if you eat 1 kg of bananas, you'll have the following energy deposition (dose): from gammas, you have 11% decays (0.11) times 1.461 MeV gamma energy (assume electronic equilibrium) times 100 decays per second (specific activity) equals 16.1 MeV/second being deposited in your body; for the betas, it will be 0.44 Mev per beat particle times 0.9 (90% of time time you get a beta emission) times 100 decays per second of specific activity equals 39.6 MeV/second. Add beta dose to gamma dose and you get 55.7 MeV/second deposited in your bodily tissues from eating one kilogram of bananas.
Now we'll look at the 137Cs ingestion. 137Cs gives off a gamma ray of energy 0.661 MeV for 85% of all its decays. It has two beta decay modes, one with an average energy of 0.171 MeV, given off 95% of the time, and the other given off 5% of the time with an average energy of 0.391 MeV. Again we assume electronic equilibrium for our dosimetry calculation (complete absorption). For the gamma energy deposition rate, we get 0.661 MeV per gamma times .85 (85% emission abundance) times 6 decays per second (specific activity), or 3.4 MeV/second. For the beta particles, we have to add the two decay modes: (0.171 MeV per beta times 0.95 (95% emission probability) times 6 decays/second) plus (0.391 MeV per beta times 0.05 (5% decay abundance) times 6 decays per second), which gives 3.6 MeV/second. Adding beta to gamma dose for the 137Cs ingestion, we get about 7 MeV/second absorbed dose.
So, comparing things on an internal absorbed dose basis, the one kg of bananas gives 55.7 MeV/second, whereas the "contaminated" beef gives 7 MeV per second, or a factor of about eight times higher for the bananas.
Check my arithmetic, I could have made an error. If not, which is "worse" in terms of radiological dose? Remember, dose is dose, no matter what the source.
“Check my arithmetic, I could have made an error.”
Err..I’ll take your word for it.
Quick! ALERT DOT THAT YOU CLAIM BANANAS ARE WORSE THAN CESIUM! Mention while you’re at it, that the human body will simply not uptake more than a tiny amount of potassium - there is a biological feedback system that halts uptake. Cesium is taken into the body tissues continuously with no upper limit, no biological upper limit. So eat alot of bananas and your body will not take into tissues more than a tiny amount. Eat alot of cesium and your body will continue to add more cesium to your tissues. Oh and don’t forget to tell them that body tissues are said to be ‘relatively transparent’ to higher energy emissions (bananas) compared with the damage done to tissues by lower energy emissions (cesium). Run along now....go tell them!
I agree to disagree. I’ve never heard anyone liken trace atmospheric radiation to a bite from a black mamba! How hysterical! My opinions as to whether radioactive food is safe or not is based on the ongoing battle in the Ukraine to limit the amount of radioactive food people eat so that their immune systems can function to fight diseases instead of radiation damage. ‘Chernobyl AIDS’ is the term used to describe children with immune systems suppressed by consumption of radioactive foods and water.
137Cs, OTOH, has a biological half-life of 110 days, so if you run the equations, there is in fact an upper limit of body burden based on the biological half-life, although even eating "contaminated" beef you would be unlikely to approach the equilibrium concentration.
The physiological model for the "standard man" (person?) used for absorbed dose calculations assumes electronic equilibrium for the gamma energies for both 137Cs and 40K. This is a reasonable assumption given densities of both bone and soft tissue.
Did you read my calculation above? Most of the absorbed dose from 40K bananas is from beta emissions, whereas for 137Cs is is pretty evenly divided between the two. So there is no way the human body will be "transparent" to those beta emissions, even if a small fraction of the gamma emissions got out.
So you run along and check my numbers and see if you can find fault with any of the calculations.
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