Irradiation of Food

One gets about .01 rad of radiation from a chest x-ray, and about .1 rad per year from cosmic rays, radon and other background sources, and 600 rads will kill you.  But irradiated food is subjected to 100,000 to 1 million rads (1-10 kGy) of gamma, x-ray or electron beam irradiation.  That is 10 to 100 million times the amount of a chest x-ray.  Gamma rays are at least 1 billion times more energetic than rays of a microwave oven.

Major reasons for irradiating food are to: 1) Increase store shelf life, 2) Kill most (but not all) pathological organisms, 3) Inhibit sprouting of foods like onions, and 4) Delay ripening of fruit. All this is achieved by the rays breaking chemical bonds at random, thus deactivating enzymes and stopping biological processes.  At the levels needed to effect these results, most foods undergo texture and flavor changes, some which are obvious.

In an early experiment, rats were fed irradiated beef.  The first rat died on the 11th day, and most of the rest were dead at the end of the experiment 45 days later.  Apparently searching for a better result, in a later experiment they reduced the irradiated food percentage to 30% and supplemented the rats diets with large amounts of vitamins.  It states right in the experiment that Vitamin E is destroyed by the mere contact with irradiated food, so they went to the extreme of giving the rats their Vitamin E separately from food.  And in spite of problems like skin lesions, cataracts, respiratory problems, etc., they found “no marked differences…”  between non- and irradiated food.

Is the public being advised to take vitamins, and Vitamin E on an empty stomach?  Quite the contrary, as the media is full of stories suggesting vitamins are of little value.  The above results are clearly due to destruction of nutrients and creation of harmful free radicals.  Antioxidants like Vitamins E and C are what protect you from free radicals.  You get a double whammy, less protection and more free radicals.  So, why aren’t people dying like flies?  Well, they are, with epidemic levels of dread diseases, and so far their diet is only a small percent irradiated.  And yes, there are other factors also.

It is stated that no food technology has been studied as thoroughly as food irradiation.  That is probably true, but the objective has not been for your good health, but rather how much they can get away with so that you won’t be able to detect the degeneration in the food.  They just simply declare that irradiated food has been shown to be wholesome and safe, and say the older experiments with their bad results are outdated (there are no recent published ones).  But the laws of nature have not changed since those original experiments.  Since irradiation (and other degradation of the food) is being introduced gradually, few make the connection with ever-increasing strange health problems.

FDA labeling regulations have lots of loopholes, but certainly things like fresh meat and vegetables should be labeled with the radura or “treated with irradiation”.  I have looked but have never found such labeling in the supermarket, but have most certainly purchased irradiated meat and vegetables in the supermarket.  So, they are not telling us, and the rest of this article will be about the difficult task of avoiding irradiated food.

Sometime in 2004, we started getting red meat with a strong “singed hair” flavor, an unmistakable sign of gamma irradiation.  Apparently the public didn’t accept this, so they must have switched to x-ray or ion-beam irradiation, and we started getting meat with a strange spoiled flavor of varying intensities.  The off-flavor was much less pronounced in the interior of the meat, which would fit with the fact that x-rays and ion-beams are not as penetrating as gamma rays.

On an airline flight, we were served chicken with a strange flavor, probably due to irradiation.  Fortunately, a major poultry producer emailed me back that they do not irradiate any of their products. 

Eggs are apparently not irradiated at present because of drastic degradation, becoming watery and cloudy.  One of the larger producers emailed me back that they do not irradiate any of their eggs.

Milk Products are apparently not irradiated at present because of the strong disagreeable off flavor created, and hopefully never will be.  But we need to be alert to possible irradiation in all these.

Sometime in 2005, we noticed that cucumbers cut up for salad would quickly become mushy sometimes to the point of disintegrating.  Also, on cutting them lots of juice came out, because irradiation punches microscopic holes in cell walls, releasing water.  Homegrown cucumbers showed no such degradation after several days, and on cutting them there was very little liquid released.

Onions are irradiated to keep them from sprouting, so obviously if you put them in water or plant them they will not grow.  If you cut them, they will release lots of juice like the cucumbers. I have planted supermarket onions and garlic, and they have never grown.

Bananas in the local supermarket are a beautiful yellow, with green tinge at the tips which will last as long as three days, and when they finally ripen it is more like rotting.  In the past I remember that the green tinge was generally gone by the next day.  When fresh from the store, they have a strange off flavor, not particularly good or bad, but a flavor I don’t remember before.  It is highly suspicious that they have been irradiated to retard ripening, which lengthens shelf-life 2 to 3 times.

All pineapple is imported, and I have tasted some with a musty flavor, undoubtedly irradiated since there is an irradiation plant in Hawaii just for that purpose.

Some general rules for minimizing health problems due to irradiated food are:
1. Take lots of vitamin supplements.  This should include a good quality multiple vitamin and mineral as a foundation, plus extra antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, lycopene, grape seed extract, green tea extract, etc.  It is going to be virtually impossible to avoid all irradiated food, so this is an indispensable protection.
2. The farther away food is grown, the more the incentive to irradiate to prolong the shelf life.  Brazil has embarked on a large program to be a major exporter of exotic fruits, and irradiation is an enabling technology for this.  So, eat locally grown produce as much as possible.
3. Eat organic foods.  At present, the rules require that food labeled organic cannot be irradiated or be genetically modified, nor contain such ingredients.
4. Labeling rules exempt restaurants, so even if the rules were being observed in stores, restaurants wouldn’t have to tell you.  I have detected irradiated food in restaurants, in particular beef.  This is very upsetting as it infringes on one of the more important pleasures of life.

Politically, I don’t believe anything can be done to stop this.  The financial incentives are just too overwhelming.  I have written my congressmen about labeling of irradiated foods, and the replies of those that answered was totally unrelated to my letter.  I have emailed the local supermarket asking them if irradiated food is labeled, and have received no reply.

But I believe that the real crux is UN Agenda 21, which calls for a reduction of the earth’s population to about 2 billion or less by 2050, which is going to need some purposeful action to happen.  Codex Alimentarius, which is targeted for implementation worldwide in about 2009 (and ulimately will not be stopped because it’s acceptance is buried in treaties already or soon to be ratified), goes several steps further by removing all limitations on food irradiation, increasing limits on pesticides by 10 times, and banning all nutritional supplements to uselessly small quantities.  One thing is certain, Codex Alimentarius is not about preserving your good health.  So again, the double whammy, degraded food and no access to supplemental nutrition, and will be a very large factor in reducing world population.

A few of the many related topics which you should explore for your own well being are 1) Genetically modified food, 2) Cholesterol lowering and other pharmaceuticals which actually accelerate your demise, and 3) Aspartame (Nutri-sweet).

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.” 2 Timothy 3:1

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