Should we go bananas about Fukushima?

[Joshua Kimoto, Japan News Contributor]

The New York Times: Since Fukushima, many of us have become more and more concerned about radioactive elements in our food.  As a result, New York Times spoke to scientists about radiation and food safety with surprising results.

It seems that every day we take in radioactive materials from all our food – from water, milk, through to fruit.  As far as fruit is concerned, it seems that the humble banana is the most potent source of radioactive contamination for our bodies.

The banana contains the more radioactive potassium than can be found in any other fruit. This substance after ingestion, stays in our bodies more or less permanently and irradiates them constantly.  Brazil nuts too, have radium which, according to scientists, is ‘off the wall’.

But should we eat food contaminated with radioactive iodine and cesium, like that contaminated by the Fukushima plant ongoing catastrophe? Scientists are saying that we should steer clear of them although there may not be much risk from food not heavily contaminated.

So, next time you reach for your daily banana, or have the urge to munch your favourite nuts, have a Geiger counter handy and check out the ‘heat’. If the banana reads ‘hot’, you know what to do!

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