Besides supporting your local economy that is.
I was reading the back of a Papa Johns Pizza Red Pepper packet today just out of boredom and found something I had never seen before. The ingredients of the Crushed Red Pepper packet are simple and reads as follows. "Crushed Red Peppers Treated with RADIATION." with a cute little logo next to it that looks like this...
So I did some research and was shocked to find that most of our produce and meats have been treated with Radiation. Every where I look are indications that radiation treated foods or Food Irradiation is a normal process that is there to protect us and is not harmful to us. I'm going to call BULL on this one. I can't imagine that radiation treatment on our food is healthy. Anyway, you decide. Here's what I found.
This is one article I found with pros and cons.
What is irradiation?
Irradiation is the process of treating food and other consumer products with gamma rays, x-rays, or high voltage electrons to kill potential harmful bacteria and parasites, delay sprouting, and increase shelf life. Irradiation is also referred to as "ionizing radiation" because it produces energy waves strong enough to dislodge electrons from atoms and molecules, thereby converting them to electrically charged particles called ions. Ionizing radiation reduces the number of disease causing organisms in foods by disrupting their molecular structure and killing them. Other terms commonly used to identify ionizing irradiation are "cold pasteurization" and "irradiation pasteurization".
Which foods are approved for irradiation?
Since 1963, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have allowed the use of irradiation on a small number of foods available commercially to the public.
* 1963 - FDA approved the use of irradiation to kill pests in wheat and flour.
* 1985 - FDA approved port irradiation to control parasites that cause trichinosis.
* 1986 - FDA approved the use of irradiation to delay maturation, inhibit growth and disinfect certain foods, including vegetables and spices.
* 1992 - USDA approved irradiation of raw poultry to kill salmonella and other bacteria.
* 1997 - FDA approved irradiation of red meats.
Do we need Irradiation?
Recent reports of food borne illness from pathogens such as E.coli and salmonella have highlighted the real need for heightened prevention and control of contaminated food. Public health experts note that the trend towards eating more fresh uncooked produce, combined with the increase in imported foods, and less awareness about safe food handling practices, have all contributed to the increased risk of food borne disease in the US. As a result, many public health and government officials have begun a campaign to promote the increased use of irradiation on our food.
Not all food authorities support irradiation, however, The Executive Director of the Center for Science in Public Interest, Michael Jacobson, criticized irradiation as a "high-tech" end-of-the-line solution to contamination problems that can and should be addressed earlier. And even the strongest proponents acknowledge that irradiation is "... no match for bad sanitation and substandard practices". Irradiation can only help control the contamination once it occurs; it cannot prevent it.
PROS & CONS of Irradiation
Irradiation of food has been shown to kill and inactivate a number of food borne pathogens such as E. Coli 0157:H7, Bacillus cereus, lostridium botulinum, Listeria monocytogenes, salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jujuni, Cyclospora, and Toxoplasma gondii. However, concerns about the safety, nutritional integrity, and cost of irradiated foods still exist and the environmental impact of irradiation technology and its long term effectiveness in dealing with the immense problem of contaminated food remain controversial. A list of known pros and cons of food irradiation follows:
Pathogen Elimination Pros & Cons:
* Irradiation can kill or substantially reduce the number of potentially dangerous organisms in foods. Estimates range for 90 to 99.9%.
* Irradiation can kill insects and pests infesting foods such as grains and flours without leaving chemical residues.
* Irradiation can be used to sterilize food for immune-compromised individuals such as AIDS patients.
* Irradiation at recommended doses will not eradicate all pathogens. The remaining organisms are by definition "radiation resistant" and may create super strains of hard-to-kill pathogens.
* Irradiation at current allowable levels is ineffective against viruses such as the Norwalk virus found in seafood.
* Irradiation can only be used on a limited number of foods. Fresh produce such as lettuce, grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers turn mushy and unpalatable. Thus, the risk from contaminated fresh produce, a major carrier of food borne disease, cannot be fully addressed by irradiation.
Chemical Changes in Foods Pros & Cons
* Irradiation has been deemed safe by various governmental agencies.
* Proponents of irradiation compare the changes in food caused by irradiation (called radiolytic products) to products created by other processes such as cooking or freeze-drying.
* Irradiation delays ripening and sprouting so food can be stored longer.
* Studies used to approve irradiation in food have been criticized as flawed. Even the FDA acknowledges that the studies are inadequate when reviewed singly.
* Critics contend that not enough is known about the potential health effects of radiolytic products, particularly about radiolytic products formed from pesticide residues on foods.
* Longer shelf lives may provide the most benefit to food producers; consumers prefer authentically fresh foods.
Environmental Impact PROS & CONS
* Proponents claim there is no potential for environmental impact because the radioactive materials are fully enclosed and are returned to the manufacturer for recycling or disposal.
* Proponents cite a good safety and regulatory record for existing irradiation facilities.
* Consumers remain wary of the potential for devastating accidents presented by nuclear facilities
* If irradiation is adopted to the extent desired by its proponents, hundreds more irradiation facilities (currently there are only several used for commercial foods) would need to be built, increasing the risk of accidents.
Nutrition of Irradiated Foods Pros & Cons
* Proponents argue that the nutrient losses from irradiation (such as 25% reduction in vitamin E, a 5-10% reduction in vitamin C, as well as decreases in vitamin B1) are no worse than those produced by cooking and other conventional treatments.
* Unlike losses due to conventional processes like cooking, consumers have not been educated to compensate for irradiation-induced losses elsewhere in their diets.
How can you tell if food has been irradiated?
Consumers will have to carefully scrutinize food labels if they wish to avoid irradiated products. Until recently, the FDA required labels on products containing irradiated ingredients representing more than 90% of the total product. These labels were to prominently display the radiation symbol (called the "radura") accompanied by the words "treated by irradiation," or "treated with radiation".
Now, the US Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (FDAMA) has drastically impaired consumer's ability to identify irradiation foods on store shelves. The FDAMA Sec 306, effectively caused FDA to amend its labeling requirements so that the required irradiation disclosure statement on food packaging no longer need be any more prominent than the declaration of ingredients.
FDAMA also required FDA to seek public feedback about irradiation labeling regulations (the comment period ended July 18, 1999 and FDA is now reviewing the comments that were received). Consumers were asked whether the wording of the current radiation disclosure statement should be revised and whether such labeling requirements should expire at a specified date in the future. Proponents of irradiation took this opportunity to advocate that labeling be weakened or removed altogether.
What to do?
Right now there are many unanswered questions about the long term safety of irradiation. Furthermore, irradiation can only be used on a limited number of foods and does not address the larger problem of preventing contamination.
More comprehensive strategies such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs can provide long-term prevention and control of food borne illnesses. Other food sanitation technologies such as high pressure, pulsed light, and ozone treatment are currently under development and may provide benefits similar to irradiation without the drawbacks.
We would suggest that you avoid using irradiated products whenever possible.
Support prominent labeling of irradiated foods - Let your congressman know that consumers have a right to know which foods have been irradiated.
Practice safe food handling in your own home. See Safe Food Handling article.
Stores that do not carry Irradiated food:
Whole Foods Markets
Here's another one.
Zapped Meats Headed Our Way:
Food scares renew efforts to irradiate beef, chicken
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation to destroy microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that might be present in the food. Further applications include sprout inhibition, delay of ripening, increase of juice yield, and improvement of re-hydration. Irradiation is a more general term of deliberate exposure of materials to radiation to achieve a technical goal (in this context "ionizing radiation" is implied). As such it is also used on non-food items, such as medical hardware, plastics, tubes for gas-pipelines, hoses for floor-heating, shrink-foils for food packaging, automobile parts, wires and cables (isolation), tires, and even gemstones. Compared to the amount of food irradiated, the volume of those every-day applications is huge but not noticed by the consumer.
The genuine effect of processing food by ionizing radiation involves damage to DNA, the basic genetic information for life. Microorganisms can no longer proliferate and continue their malignant or pathogenic activities. Spoilage-causing micro-organisms cannot continue their activities. Insects do not survive, or become incapable of proliferation. Plants cannot continue the natural ripening or aging process.
The specialty of processing food by ionizing radiation is that the energy density per atomic transition is very high; it can cleave molecules and induce ionization (hence the name), which is not achieved by mere heating. This is the reason for both new effects and new concerns. The treatment of solid food by ionizing radiation can provide an effect similar to heat pasteurization of liquids, such as milk. However, the use of the term "cold pasteurization" to describe irradiated foods is controversial, since pasteurization and irradiation are fundamentally different processes.
Food irradiation is currently permitted by over 40 countries, and the volume of food so treated is estimated to exceed 500,000 metric tons annually world wide.
Criticism and concerns about food irradiation
Concerns have been expressed by public interest groups and public health experts that irradiation, as a non-preventive measure, might disguise or otherwise divert attention away from poor working conditions, sanitation, and poor food-handling procedures that lead to contamination in the first place.
A complaint list may contain the following concerns and objections which not all can be covered and discussed in this article:
Food irradiation might
- be used to mask spoiled food,
- discourage strict adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices,
- preferentially kill "good" bacteria, encourage growth of "bad" bacteria,
- devitalize and denature irradiated food,
- impair the flavor,
- not destroy bacterial toxins already present,
- cause chemical changes which are harmful to the consumer,
- and, on top of all, is unnecessary in today's food system.
"Food irradiation is a pseudo-fix," said Bill Freese, a science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety in Washington, DC. "It's a way to try to come in and clean up problems that are created in the middle of the food production chain. I think it's clearly a disincentive to clean up the problems at the source."
You'll be grateful for that radiated food when the zombie apocalypse comes.
The the saddest thing that I realized in reading this is that we have to freaking radiate our food because we won't hold companies accountable to produce healthy food products and the ignorant idea that we need to buy food from china that we grow right here at home. In my opinion it's absolute ignorance for us to buy fruit and veggies from China when we grow them right here. Or that one company basically owns the rights to our produce here in the US, Monsanto. And that those foods are genetically modified to produce higher yields and produce profit for Monsanto and to keep farmers under their thumb.
My point is, how screwed up is our food industry when out last resort is to radiate our food to protect us from disease and virus?
THERE IS RADIATION PENETRATING YOUR BODY RIGHT NOW!!!!
LOL, I know, still doesn't make it right.
Just seems that it would be much safer for us all to just create healthy food and not ship it around the world if we don't have to.
I've lived overseas for many years. A lot of the food was treated by radiation. Heck, you could go to the supermarket and the milk would be stacked in the aisles outside of the coolers. The Domo milk was from Holland and it was outstanding. The food that is lost to spoilage each day could feed those in need with no problem if it was irradiated to allow it to be transported. Irradiation is of absolutely no health threat at all. A wonderful technology that God has given us and we should take advantage of it.
Irradiation is of absolutely no health threat at all.
As far as we guinea pigs know of yet... Between the onslaught of vaccinations, mercury, aspartame, and other neurotoxins in our food, hormones and other crap they put in the food there is no telling what it's actually doing to us. It would take decades of research to know what effects it's all really having on us. I agree, there are some benefits to technology but why should we buy veggies from China to be shipped to Texas where we grow our own?
I had no idea about this until today, LOL I guess it's not too much different than nuking your food to heat it up but still, I was shocked to read how much of food supply goes through radiation treatment before we eat it. And I'm sure there are some of us who are unknowingly sensitive to this treatment. Maybe not. I don't know.
Is it to inform us or is it to warn us?
Both. Some people simply object to radiation treatment of food.
I've never HEARD of anyone having a reaction to radiation treatment of food, as the radiation levels aren't designed to change the food itself, just the bacteria in it. Though some claim that "Free-Radicals" released by the radiation treatment cause damage to us. I dunno.
In the end, I do think it's better to get your food as FRESH as possible. But it's not always possible. I'm not a farmer, nor a rancher...so my food comes from the grocery store (and if I'm lucky, the Farmer's Market or Fruit Stand).
THERE IS RADIATION PENETRATING YOUR BODY RIGHT NOW!!!!
LOL, I know, still doesn't make it right.
That's right you go boy!!
You get mad as hell at that darn Universe and sun and earth for pummeling you with radiation everyday..
How dare they!?!?!!
and yes rev, it DOES make it right... kinda need it for heat..light... unless ya want to live in a place like this with all your freedoms and human rights intact....
We have a LOT of labels on foods and other things that don't make sense:
Those little packets of desicant you get with electronics labled "DO NOT EAT!" - "Hey Honey, I gots me a snack with my new Ipod!"
Pet food is labeled "not for human consumption" - No sh1t??? Really? Is that why it's in the PET FOOD Aisle?
Every gun I buy has in its manual somewhere "This gun is not a toy." - DUH.
I have a can of peanuts in the pantry labeled "this product may contain peanuts." Well I frakkin' hope so!
My favorite is: "Do not use this hairdryer in the shower..."
I mean, if you're that stupid, PLEASE, PLEASE use the hairdryer in the shower!
Water has a 2 year expiration on it because ONE STATE, I think it's Vermont, requires all food items to have an expiration date that is no longer than two years. So it's just cheaper to label ALL bottled water.
You wanna know why irradiated food is labled? Because our labeling laws are made up by MORONS.
# "Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish." -- On a bottle of shampoo for dogs.
# "For external use only!" -- On a curling iron.
# "Warning: This product can burn eyes." -- On a curling iron.
# "Do not use in shower." -- On a hair dryer.
# "Do not use while sleeping." -- On a hair dryer.
# "Do not use while sleeping or unconscious." -- On a hand-held massaging device.
# "Do not place this product into any electronic equipment." -- On the case of a chocolate CD in a gift basket.
# "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." -- On a toilet at a public sports facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
# "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." -- On a pair of shin guards made for bicyclists.
# "This product not intended for use as a dental drill." -- On an electric rotary tool.
# "Caution: Do not spray in eyes." -- On a container of underarm deodorant.
# "Do not drive with sunshield in place." -- On a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard.
# "Caution: This is not a safety protective device." -- On a plastic toy helmet used as a container for popcorn.
# "Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks." -- On an "Aim-n-Flame" fireplace lighter.
# "Battery may explore or leak." -- On a battery. See a scanned image.
# "Do not eat toner." -- On a toner cartridge for a laser printer.
# "Not intended for highway use." -- On a 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow.
# "This product is not to be used in bathrooms." -- On a Holmes bathroom heater.
# "May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray.
# "Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth." -- On a novelty rock garden set called "Popcorn Rock."
# "Caution! Contents hot!" -- On a Domino's Pizza box.
# "Caution: Hot beverages are hot!" -- On a coffee cup.
# "Caution: Shoots rubber bands." -- On a product called "Rubber Band Shooter."
# "Warning: May contain small parts." -- On a frisbee.
# "Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush.
Ogre you are too much;). Rev one day I need to buy you coffee and give you and ear full from what I have seen. The desicant pack all he** that is a story on its own. As far as the radiated crushed peppers, if they were being imported from certain countries, I would want them to be radiated. Now ask me about TSP;0).
The sad thing with most of the warning labels..they were necessary because of a problem came from not having it or the powers to be said the original labels were false and misleading. "someone prob cashed in on some money. Rem the mcdonalds coffe incident" "Serving suggestion, serve as suggested" on the labels or packaging with vignettes...why is it on there? Consumer protection..if it shows a cooked chix meal on a plate with various condiments, however inside the box is the raw ingredients with cooking instructions....Joe or Jane consumer comes along and buys it and expects it to be hot out of the box with that pretty plate it is on. I kid you not there is an actual food reg for it.
Joe or Jane consumer comes along and buys it and expects it to be hot out of the box with that pretty plate it is on.
And those people should be allowed to die.
We have made the IDIOT a protected species.
I mean really, does EVERY SINGLE CAR COMMERCIAL have to have the disclaimer "Do Not Attempt - Professional Driver on Closed Course"? I mean, I get it if the driver's reenacting a scene from "The Transporter", BUT I saw one the other day where the car was just serenely driving down the street and that flashed on the screen. I saw another where they were showing that automatic parallel parking feature on some car or another and that flashed on the screen.
Parallel parking? Try parallel universe!
We have made the IDIOT a protected species.
This is one of the ideas that turned me off to liberals a long time ago. When I realized that they felt it was their duty to protect us from ourselves. Not all of them but certainly a large number of them. I dislike just as many Republicans too. LOL
I just can't understand how we have allowed so many lawsuits to go through that we now spend tons of money every year protecting the idiot from themselves. Sure some cases are warranted but most aren't. Like the lady that lied down on the NYC subway in an effort to end her miserable life, the train stopped just in time to only do minor damage to her. So she sues and wins. Or all the freakin' Walmart lawsuits out there. People tripping over a curb and winning a settlement.
My favorite disclaimers are the ones on the drug commercials. Some of the side affects sound worse than the disease.
Exactly. And yet so many people pop em like their skittles. LOL
You won't be able to poop any more and your brain might bleed but your anxiety will be gone. LOL
This is one of the ideas that turned me off to liberals a long time ago.
Has nothing to do with liberals. The laws that consumer disclaimers are based on have been supported by lib, pub and independents alike.
And it's not even primarily statutory laws, it's common law and case law and departmental regulation (I.E. the FDA says you have to label something a certain way, not Congress). The basic law has been around for hundreds of years and is based on the concept that even if someone trespasses on your land you should warn them of any dangers (why do you think places with guard dogs have to post that they have guard dogs in the first place?) Over the course of time and many silly cases, the theory has been extended to personal property as well. On into the realm of stupidity.
BTW. .the lady in NYC only got $2 million of the $10 million she was wanting because the jury found her 80% responsible for the accident... WTF - right? Fortunately in Texas, we do it different. If you're more than 50% responsible for an accident..to bad for you. You don't get squat.
As to the drug disclaimers... I think it's d@mned silly to have a 30 second commercial where 20 seconds of it is disclaimer... just insane.
BTW. .the lady in NYC only got $2 million of the $10 million she was wanting because the jury found her 80% responsible for the accident... WTF - right?
LOL, oh only $2 million. hahaha. She should have been put in jail for disruption of the trains services.
I still think we need to bring back Lawn Darts. LOL
She should have been put in jail for disruption of the trains services.
Yah, I'm still unclear on who is 20% responsible for her laying down on the tracks... maybe NYC for laying the tracks in the first place.
Two places I'll NEVER practice law... NY and CA. Bunch of frakkin' nutjobs.
my fav: "For Outdoor Use Only" - on artillery shell fireworks.
We've been using radiation on 1-2 week old leftovers in the microwave for some time now... I think we've got enough data to say that it's safe.
Ever wonder about where all the rubber worn from tires goes???
You breathe it and eat it everyday!!!!
Not necessarily, a LOT of tire refuse is being recycled now. I met an engineer who holds the patent for recycling tires into the roadbed. Just one example.
And how about the 17 or so people who burn their houses down every year trying to fry a turkey in the garage? Ain't they frakkin' ge-ne-usses.