Irradiated food has had ionizing radiation applied to the food. This is done to prolong the shelf life of the food by killing insects and bacteria. Irradiating the food is also used to delay sprouting and ripening of the food. How does it do this? By damaging the DNA.
Sources of ionizing radiation include gamma rays, electron beams, lower-energy beta rays or high-energy photons from cobalt-60 or cesium-137. These are byproducts of nuclear power production with cobalt-60 having a half-life of eight years and cesium-137 having a half-life of 30 years.
The amount of radiation absorbed by a person from one X-ray is one RAD (radiation absorbed dose). While the amount of radiation used on food is measured in kG (kiloGray).
For most fresh foods a dosage of 1 kG is used, for meats up to 7 kG are used, while for herbs and spices 30 kG are used.
That is a lot of ionizing radiation!
Dangers of irradiated food
- destroys enzymes that would normally help with digestion
- the long-term effects are unknown
- lower vitamin content compared to nonirradiated foods
- over time may create super bacteria because it can never kill all the bacteria in the food
Aside from these dangers one that is almost never talked about is that the water in the food has been irradiated too. Why is this important?
Water has memory meaning it responds to what it is exposed to and holds on to that information. What do most foods contain? Water. While the ionizing radiation may not be passed directly in a way that currently can be measured. It is going to affect the water in the food and the water is going to hold onto that information and bring it into the body.
If you would like to know more about water memory look into Dr. Emoto’s work and Dr. Luc Montagnier’s, Nobel prize winner’s, work. It’s quite fascinating.
FDA approved foods for irradiation
- Crustaceans (e.g., lobster, shrimp, and crab)
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Seeds for Sprouting (e.g., for alfalfa sprouts)
- Shell Eggs
- Shellfish – Molluscan
(e.g., oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops)
- Spices and Seasonings
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How do I know if my food is irradiated?
“The FDA requires that irradiated foods bear the international symbol for irradiation. Look for the Radura symbol along with the statement “Treated with radiation” or “Treated by irradiation” on the food label. Bulk foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are required to be individually labeled or to have a label next to the sale container. The FDA does not require that individual ingredients in multi-ingredient foods (e.g., spices) be labeled.” 1
The good news is organic food cannot be irradiated, so when in doubt go organic. This way you will decrease pesticide exposure, get rid of the risk of ionizing radiation in your food and gmos. It’s a win-win all the way.
Buying food direct from the farmer or growing your own is another great way to avoid irradiated food. If you aren’t able to grow your own food, get food locally grown or you just need another source check out what Azure Standard has to offer.