Friday, August 26, 2011

OT: Radioactive Rice Hay Story Still Doesn't Quite Add Up for Me Personally

Quid est veritas?

The answer seems to be whatever is reported by the largest number of media outlets, mainstream and alternative. I'm just wondering aloud about my personal misgivings. (For those who insist on facts and figures only, you can stop right here, and have a nice weekend.)

The official story of radioactive rice hay is as follows:

The rice farmers left the rice hay in the fields after the harvest last fall, because the weather was supposedly not good. Too much rain, not enough time for the hay to dry.

When Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant reactor buildings blew up, the rice hay was sitting on the ground. Then the rain and snow fell on the hay, contaminating it with radioactive materials.

The rice farmers collected the hay and sold/gave it to cattle farmers, who then fed the rice hay to their cows to improve the texture of the meat before the cows are sold to the market.

The cows were later found with radioactive cesium, and it was determined that it was from the contaminated rice hay that they ate.

Here are my problems:

If the rice hay had been sitting on the ground since August/September last year and it rained and snowed, wouldn't the rice hay pretty much rot by March this year?

The radioactive rice hay, particularly that from Miyagi Prefecture, has been shipped all over Japan. Why? Because, apparently, the rice hay from Miyagi (and Iwate) is considered high quality because the rice there is considered premium. Cattle farmers outside Miyagi purchase the Miyagi rice hay to feed their premium cows. This cattle farm in Yamagata proudly says their premium cows are fed with only quality rice hay from Miyagi and Yamagata.

Would the cattle farmers all over Japan buy the rice hay that was sitting on the ground for more than 6 months in rain and snow?

Another problem I have is that these cows start to be fed with rice hay one year before they are sold to the market. The cows that were found with radioactive cesium in July were sold and processed into meat between April and July. So they must have been eating rice hay since March - July of last year, and ate the radioactive rice hay for less than 3 months at most. Many cows were sold and processed in April, so they ate the radioactive rice hay for less than a month.

It turns out that Miyagi Prefecture is the number one producer of rice hay for cattle feed in Tohoku. Even if the rice hay producers do not roll the hay until it's ready to be shipped, I would think they keep it indoors at all times.

The government says it's the rice hay that contaminated the cows, the media outlets say so too. Producers, wholesalers and retailers of domestic beef all say so.

The cows got contaminated, and the rice hay got contaminated. But they may be the two separate events, and may not have happened the way people say it happened. Just my non-expert musings.


Anonymous said...

Good points, good detective work. And this is precisely what is missing in so much analysis of what has happened from Fukushima, in both the mainstream and alternative media. The mainstream media leaves out important facts and then the alternative media has to guess and speculate, and what you end up with is a jumble of facts, half truths, misinterpretations sprinkled with exaggerations and falsehoods. Thus one researcher tells us (Dr. Kodama) that Fukushima released 30 A bombs worth of radioactivity but then yesterday I saw a story that quoted Bloomberg (suspect) that it released 168 a bombs worth. I think there is a lot of egotism and "scooping" to be the hottest news but then the truth and logical thiinking, and in depth journalism (what's that?) gets lost along the way.

Excellent analysis Ultraman, these are the kinds of logical questions that need to be asked and answered, but this being Japan you are not supposed to question authority, thus, Japanese lost their humongous savings to bail out Zombie Banks for twenty years and for what? For nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it released much more than 168 bombs, because each of the core is fully out of containment and is in the order of 200 tons ...

Fall Out Man! said...

Hi, those are fair questions. While unfortunately I do not know how rice farming works in Japan, I can tell you how grass hay is produced in New Zealand.

For hay to be of good quality it must be baled (turned into either round or square shaped compressed bales) when it is absolutely dry. If baled when wet then it will heat up and literally catch fire. By baling it dry the hay is preserved with its nutrients and makes excellent stock food.

If grass hay gets rained on regularly enough over a two week period that it never gets dry enough to bale, then after about two weeks on the ground grass will have grown up through it and all the while the hay will have been losing nutrients. After about 2 weeks down on the ground wet its not worth baling and might as well be left to rot. As you say, it is unbelievable that rice hay would be left unharvested outside for months.

HOWEVER, it is conceivable that the rice hay MIGHT POTENTIALLY be stored in large round bales outside. Round bales can shed water without being destroyed. Normally one would put them in a shed (especially if its "premium" hay), or at least cover them with a tarpaulin, but no doubt things are done very differently in Japan and very differently with rice hay. That is the only way that I can think of for the hay to be contaminated outside.

Fall Out Man! said...


I had a look on the web, and could not find out anything (in a cursory search) about how rice hay is produced in Japan. I did see one photo of rice hay (called rice straw in the west) which appeared to have been harvested by hand in Japan. It appeared that in that case at least the Japanese farmer had cut the straw by hand and bundled it up by hand. The sort of operation that one might have seen 100 years ago in New Zealand. Is that how things are still done in Japan?

According to US web sites, rice straw is sold in the USA and it is a low quality stock food (compared to normal Grass or Alfalfa Hay) Rice straw is low in nutrients and cheap to buy, but stock do not do well on it.

The only way to know what is going on is to contact a Japanese farmer and find out what standard practice is for storing rice straw in Japan. It may well be simply stored outside in the rain.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@Fall Out Man, thanks for the insight. "Round bales can shed water without being destroyed." That's very interesting. I've looked for info on the net. It does seem in some locations they keep the rice hay outdoors, but that's not for feeding the meat cows. Will keep looking.

FigNewton said...

All this hay talk brings back when I used to 'buck' hay; I do remember rain is bad for hay, and some of the wet bails I 'bucked' were warm. I also heard they could catch fire.

As for those large round bales often seen in the west. I seriously doubt Japan has this, and I've never seen them. The farmers are traditionalists; think farming technology in the 1800s. (Although, they do have these cool mini-tractors for planting rice). The advanced Japanese technology is for high school girls, not farmers.

Personally, I think the radiation is from the water and air; why do they think there's so much radiation in sludge? Rice hay. Yeah, right. Tools..

BTW, according to the main-stream press, they're shipping Fukushima beef again. Time to add beef to the list of Japanese food I'm boycotting. The list keeps getting longer.. Great job, Japan! Ganbatte!

caustixoid said...

originally the story of the contaminated beef was that the cows drank well water, which was the same water people were drinking.
the water angle seemed to disappear within a day to the "rice hay" explanation. could it be that the REAL story here is that the water table is already contaminated???

Anonymous said...

"70%" of a beast body weight is fluid. Now where does that come from? I think you mentioned it already the other day... So. Where are the water rad measurement results? Or do the Japanese cows routinely get zeolite-carbon filtered water ?

And may I ask you, this reader on this planet, Do You?

"When Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant reactor buildings blew up..."
- when MSM populace programming system zooms exclusively into one spot, the Truth Is Found Elsewhere. Now where is elsewhere this time? What is/was really going on at daini, Kashiwakazi Kariwa etc. ... and all other nuclear handling/research sites?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... Hello Unfortunately, it released much more than 168 bombs, because each of the core is fully out of containment and is in the order of 200 tons ... August 26, 2011 5:49 PM

Reactor Uranium weight in those reactors is 132 tons (incl up to 20% Plutonium), the pools possibly had 1000-2000tons. (now spread over the fields).

The global irradiation process is going on at the moment; if all goes well up as projected, the contamination may be 29xzillion times China Coast. Or Chernobyls, depending whatever MSM-mixture units u prefer to breath in...

Anonymous said...

I second anonymous @August 26, 2011 5:39 PM.

But it's not just asking intelligent questions and doing good detective work that is needed/missing: it's also not yielding to the temptation to find a quick answer, IMHO. “To acquire knowledge, you must study; to acquire wisdom, you must observe.” -Marilyn vos Savant.

Anonymous said...

" acquire wisdom..." - you must seek. . Only observation - and you'll never receive Wisdom...


"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Prov.4." -The Bible

Anonymous said...

"some of the wet bails I 'bucked' were warm."

The reason for the warmth is bacteria/fungi, same as a compost heap.

Go to these farmers, areva, and ask them. Bring your meter w/you.

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