Recently, I read an article from HealthKeepers Magazine on rice from Japan. This is what it said and I agree that we should avoid rice from Japan until we can be sure it is safe to eat.
The rice market is being turned upside down by radiation fears. Japan’s rice harvest season started at the end of August, and is presently centered on the Tohoku region; or, at least it would be centered there if so much of the crop hadn’t been neutralized by the March 11, 2011 tsunami. What was left was contaminated by fallout from the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor. The earthquake and tsunami hit at around the time of planting, which means a lot of rice didn’t make it into the ground and that which did may have been irradiated. Supposedly, the government checked much of the rice grown in the region when it was immature and decided it was safe, but a lot of people are far from being reassured by such announcements. On September 23, 2011 for instance, the government of Fukushima Prefecture said it detected cesium above allowable levels in rice from Nihonmatsu. With more rain and the resultant seepage into the soil, the numbers are always changing. Beef from the region became suspect after it was found that the cattle might have eaten irradiated rice straw. All of this has become a familiar pattern. The authorities say there’s no problem only to reveal later something that seems to indicate there is a problem. People react accordingly. Consequently, the market for rice has been knocked on its head. New rice from the Tohoku region is being avoided, while old rice from last year’s stocks are in high demand. The consumer food cooperative Daichi said they no longer had any rice in stock from 2010. Moreover, since so many wholesalers sell blends of rice from different regions, but don’t necessarily specify which regions on the packaging, people are avoiding cheaper blends that may, in fact, contain rice from Fukushima Prefecture or the Tohoku Region.
HealthKeepers Magazine December 2011
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