food irradiation

john valenzuela johnvalenzuela at
Mon Sep 8 05:59:49 EDT 1997

I don't see that food irradiation fits into permaculture. 

I'm not an expert, but it is my understanding that food irradiation is a 
post harvest process that takes fresh produce and exposes it to gamma 
radiation at levels of about 1,000 times that of a chest X-ray.
This destroys bacteria and other life, allowing the produce to take 
weeks to rot (in the case of strawberries for example)  This is ideal 
for the long distance shipment of produce, the basis of large scale 
export, which displaces fresh, yet more perishable local produce. 

This process disrupts local economies, taints the food with unknown 
toxins, and perpetuates the validation of the toxic legacy of the 
nuclear industry- from the uranium mines, and thier toxic tailings, 
weapons of mutually assured destruction, and power plants that will be 
deadly radioactive for many thousands of years. This transportation and 
use of low level radioactive elements already exists in hospitals for 
sterilization of medical supplies.  It is not widely known that most all 
spices that are imported into the United States have been irradiated.  

There is a group called 'Food and Water' based in Vermont whose grass 
roots efforts are to stop food radiation. They have extensive 
information on the issue. Unfortunately I don't have their contact info. 

For an article about our experience with the issues surrounding t 
proposed food irradiation facility here in Hawai'i, go to: 


click on 'read from past issues' and go to the Jun '97 issue were you 
can read: 'The Economics of Irradiation: Boon or Boondoggle?'

I prefer to enjoy food grown near where I live, support local economies, 
and work toward a nuclear-free world.

with aloha 'aina

John Valenzuela Permaculture Services 
PO Box 1280 Pahoa, Hawai'i 96778
e-mail: johnvalenzuela at

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