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Food irridation - not weight loss related

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Old 02-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Food irridation - not weight loss related

I found this article while searching for something else. I don't know very much about food safety practices and handling, etc but oh my dear god. Surely I don't think this can be healthy for us..

http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/168/5/603?etoc
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #2
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Frightening, isn't it?
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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There are cases where I think it would make a lot of sense. It seems horrific, but in areas of the world where clean drinking and irrigation water are serious problems, irradiation could save countless lives. The immediate threat of dangerous bacterial infections in the water (and therefore food supply) could very well counterbalance long term effects even if they were proven.


The type of radiation used, as I understand it is a tiny fraction of that needed in a dental x-ray for example, and doesn't leave the food in any way radioactive. It's safety needs to be explored thoroughly, but my understanding of it, is that it is probably MUCH safer than most preservatives, additives and pesticides currently being used. It's actually a shame that it sounds so "scary" because I think that will prevent it from gaining the popular support needed to replace the chemicals currently being used.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:28 AM   #4
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Personally I think we should go back to small scale local food production as much as possible and I think it's more possible then people realize. This would eliminate the need for things like irradiated food.

Many foods are already being irradiated. Anything labeled cold pasteurized is irradiated and I believe (at this point anyway) that foods do not need to be labeled as such if they have been irradiated.

I think that irradiation and other "band-aid" methods should be avoided even if they are proven safe. Why not just fix the problem at it's root instead of just trying to repair one symptom of a problem? That said, I haven't seen enough research to believe that irradiation is safe.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:56 PM   #5
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Beautifulone,

As I understand it, irradiation sterilizes food by breaking the DNA of the microorganisms infecting it. In the same way that radiation causes cancer in us by damaging our DNA and introducing mutations, introducing multiple breaks in the bacteria's DNA kills them when they receive so many breaks it is beyond their ability to heal. This lethal dose of radiation is way below the amount to cook the food (break up and denature the majority of the proteins). I think it might only take several breaks in the entire chromosome to kill a bacteria (E. coli has a over 4 million nucleotides in its chromosome).

I wouldn't compare irradiating food to a dental x-ray, so much as receiving radiation treatment for breast cancer. Yes, getting in between the radiation emitting device and the food would be bad, but the radiation is long gone from the food before we see it.

Could the irradiated food be less nutritious? I think that that would only be a problem if the food is irradiated to the point of being cooked, which is way above the dose needed to sterilize the food.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zenor77 View Post
Personally I think we should go back to small scale local food production as much as possible and I think it's more possible then people realize. This would eliminate the need for things like irradiated food.
Why would that be safer? I have never been poisoned by eating at a big chain restaurant, but have had several bouts from small "Mom and Pop" places.

There is no advantage to Organic or natural sourcing when it comes to food safety, which is really about bacterial contamination. Irradiating food would solve this problem and save us from the estimated 20-80 million cases of food poisoning each year in the US.

Quote:
Many foods are already being irradiated. Anything labeled cold pasteurized is irradiated and I believe (at this point anyway) that foods do not need to be labeled as such if they have been irradiated.

I think that irradiation and other "band-aid" methods should be avoided even if they are proven safe. Why not just fix the problem at it's root instead of just trying to repair one symptom of a problem? That said, I haven't seen enough research to believe that irradiation is safe.
Is irradiation less safe than cooking food? And, even if it is, do you want to cook all your fruits and vegetables?

How do we fix the "root problem"? Make all infectious bacteria extinct?

Even with really good hygiene and food handling practices, some people are going to get sick unless you somehow sterilize the food.

BTW, does anyone know if flour is irradiated? When I was growing up in the late '60's-early '70's, if you left a bag of flour on the shelf long enough it produced worms and beetles as the contaminating insect eggs hatched and the larva matured. I haven't seen this happen in many years, although it could just be that they are freer with the pesticides these days.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:12 PM   #6
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I honestly don't see how food safety could ever be 100% perfect. There's human handling involved and well you just never know.

I don't like thinking about it too much b/c I end up making myself anxious over something I can't control, unless of course I planted my own vegetables and grew my own chickens, cows, etc. And even then, bacteria are everywhere.

Organic is a wonderful concept and I try to support it as much as I can, but then again I think that organic is more prone to bacteria contamination as there is no pestecides or other things to kill them.

To me there is no easy answer to all this. Plus there are parts of the country where you wouldn't be able to get fruits/vegetables, like major cities. They need to bring the vegetables from a mass producer who can supply the demand.

When you think about all these methods with food, you have to think about the rest also. Chemicals in everyday things, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, detergent, etc, etc. And don't even get me going with medication.

I can try the "all natural" approach, but then again it's like my husband says... even chemicals are "natural" they all happen in nature.

In my paranoid mind, everything is contaminated with something one way or another. That's why I try not to think about it much. I focus on eating better, having a healthier life style and that's about it.
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