Is radiation in food something you should be concerned about? It sounds scary to eat something that’s radioactive, but is it really? Let’s take a look.
Why Is There Radiation in Food?
The FDA explains that food irradiation, which uses ionizing radiation on food, is used as a way to provide safer food to the masses. This technology is designed to kill or cut down on bugs and microorganisms in the food to help it last longer and be safer for everyone to eat. The food is treated with x-rays, gamma rays or electron beams, but the FDA says that this technique does not create radioactive foods. Some foods that are irradiated include some meat and seafood, fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and eggs.
Also in the creation of food, radiation is used in agriculture to ward against bug problems, to create stronger crops and for other purposes. If you’re concerned about whether these processes leave levels of radiation behind, you could test your food with a radiation detector for food.
On top of these processes, there are other reasons for food radiation. Many foods naturally contain radiation. That’s because they have ingredients like potassium that create some radiation levels. These foods include bananas, lima beans, potatoes, red meat, carrots and Brazil nuts. Low-sodium salt that includes potassium chloride and beer are also radioactive. Nonetheless, Katharine Shilcutt explains in HoustonPress that this isn’t really a problem or a danger.
An area that could be a danger is that food could potentially be exposed to too high levels of radiation after a nuclear disaster like Fukushima. In these cases, the food is monitored to see if it is a public safety risk.
Checking Food for Radiation
Maybe you’re concerned about the radioactivity of your food or you’re just curious to know how much radiation you take in through your diet. Either way, it’s possible to use a radiation detector for food. Sometimes, there are reports of high levels of radiation in certain foods, such as seafood or milk, so you might feel uncertain about your foods. In that case, it might put your mind at ease to test the levels in your home and even when you go out to restaurants.
If you’re not the type to get too worried and you trust the proper authorities to take care of radiation levels in food, you still might enjoy checking the radiation that naturally occurs in some of your foods like bananas. It could pique your curiosity to know if you’re eating radioactive snacks!