Sunday, April 17, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: Mix and Match

Despite the media campaign to buy, consume, enjoy the Fukushima vegetables to support the farmers there, suppose you want to be selfish for yourself and your family and buy vegetables grown in areas as far away from the Fukushima I Nuke Plant as possible, and you want to avoid vegetables grown in areas under constant plumes of radioactive iodine and cesium (Ibaraki, Chiba for example). Can you do it?

No you can't.

One of my contacts in Tokyo says you can't always buy vegetables of a single origin. The sign says the vegetable was grown and harvested in "either Hokkaido or Chiba", or "either Kanagawa or Chiba". If you're lucky, you get the vegetables grown in the safe areas like Hokkaido. If you're sort of lucky, you get the vegetables grown in the relatively safe areas like Kanagawa. Otherwise, trust your government and be happy.

Scanning the tweets in Japanese, another trick that JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperative Association) apparently does is to label the vegetables as grown and harvested in "Hokkaido and other locations", "Kagoshima and other locations", etc. "Other locations" can be anywhere.

Vegetables grown west of Aichi Prefecture are still hard to buy in parts of Tokyo.

My contact is avoiding any leafy vegetables but she says there is no other choice but to buy root vegetables harvested in Chiba.

People in Japan, particularly in Tohoku and Kanto, weren't told of the huge release of radioactive materials on March 12 after the Reactor 1 building exploded. They weren't told of the even bigger release of radioactive materials with explosions on March 14 and 15. They were told about them after one month, when it was just way too late for any preventive action that they could have taken.

And now they're given hardly any choice in not consuming food that is potentially contaminated with radioactive materials. They are told that they are harming the farmers by listening to the baseless rumors and not buying the vegetables.

As if the radioactive materials were baseless rumors.


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