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Checking Wild Mushrooms and Berries Radiation With Geiger Counters

Radioactive Substances in Natural Food

While we think of processed and fast food as having additives that make it unhealthy, natural foods can surprisingly have contaminants that affect how healthy they are. It’s good to be informed because you might think you’re eating healthily while you’re really adding some sort of contaminant to your body.

One important source of contamination in natural food is radioactive substances in foods that come from the forest. So if you eat foods such as wild mushrooms or berries, you could be exposing yourself to radiation. This is also found in wild game from the forest.

Fortunately, it’s possible to discover how much radiation is in the foods you eat with the help of Geiger counters.

Radiation Exposure

Some wild plants, such as wild mushrooms and wild berries, already have radioactive substances naturally within them. These substances include potassium, uranium, cesium and others.

On top of that, the forest vegetation in some areas is exposed to radioactivity from fallout that gets into the soil the plants grow in and the air around them. For example, forest food was contaminated by cesium-137 after the Chernobyl power plant fallout.

This radiation exposure can contaminate the plants and then make its way into your body from eating them. The forest animals can also be exposed from the environment and by eating the contaminated plant life. Then, you can take in radiation from eating this wild game.

Factors That Affect the Radiation Levels

Often, the natural amounts of radioactive materials in wild plants are low. But some plants, such as certain boletuses mushrooms, contain higher amounts. The type of plant and species can affect how much of the contamination it takes in. For instance, certain types of mushrooms, such as false morels, tend to have lower amounts of cesium than other types, such as hedgehog mushrooms.

Checking Your Food

Whether you purchase food that comes from a forest, such as mushrooms, or you pick or hunt food in the wild, you can check to see how much radiation the food contains. You can do this with Geiger counters. These tools will tell you the level of natural and other radiation so you can know if your food is over the recommended limit.


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