Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

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Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 26 Apr 2012, 21:33

We should start a blacklist of products that could contain ingredients from the affected areas.
For example fruits like apples, pears, etc.
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby urodacus » 26 Apr 2012, 21:40

Instead of blanket banning everything in a frenzy of uninformed fear, why not just actually rely on radioactivity testing?

Gtet yourself a Geiger counter if you're concerned.

But be aware that flying out of Taiwan may well give you the same dose of radiation that eating food from Japan (if indeed Taiwan does import any that doesn't cost an arm and a leg) will.
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Belgian Pie » 26 Apr 2012, 21:42

'Fuji' apples in Taiwan do not come from Japan, they are from NZ, California ... I don't think there is a lot of import from that area in Japan. BTW, harvest of apples and pears is still 4-5 months away.
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 26 Apr 2012, 21:50

Belgian Pie wrote:'Fuji' apples in Taiwan do not come from Japan, they are from NZ, California ... I don't think there is a lot of import from that area in Japan.


We figured that already last year after letting like 20 of them almost get rotten.

urodacus wrote:Instead of blanket banning everything in a frenzy of uninformed fear, why not just actually rely on radioactivity testing?

Gtet yourself a Geiger counter if you're concerned. .

The basic Geiger counters are far to insensitive for detecting contamination.

urodacus wrote:But be aware that flying out of Taiwan may well give you the same dose of radiation that eating food from Japan (if indeed Taiwan does import any that doesn't cost an arm and a leg) will.


Sorry to inform the uninformed, eating radioactive isotopes and being exposed to radiation are not the same thing.

My worries are that Taiwanese crops can archive good prices in Japan while affected crops might be too cheap to resist.
Importing!
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Belgian Pie » 26 Apr 2012, 21:53

Belgian Pie wrote:But be aware that flying out of Taiwan may well give you the same dose of radiation that eating food from Japan (if indeed Taiwan does import any that doesn't cost an arm and a leg) will.


Hey, I didn't post this!
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 26 Apr 2012, 21:58

Belgian Pie wrote:Hey, I didn't post this!


Sorry I got screwed up with the quotes
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby finley » 26 Apr 2012, 22:20

The basic Geiger counters are far to insensitive for detecting contamination.

Dunno about that. I ordered a couple of gamma-detector tubes from eBay a few weeks ago, just for a laugh. I can get a nice background count (~20 events/min) out of them, so I assume contamination would register just fine. The longer you count, the more accurate the reading.

It would be interesting to test local produce and compare (that's what I bought the tubes for, but I never got around to it). I vaguely remember reading that certain plants (eggplants or something) are naturally a bit radioactive because the plant has a preference for some certain micronutrient which has a radioactive isotope.
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Petrichor » 27 Apr 2012, 06:29

finley wrote:
The basic Geiger counters are far to insensitive for detecting contamination.

Dunno about that. I ordered a couple of gamma-detector tubes from eBay a few weeks ago, just for a laugh. I can get a nice background count (~20 events/min) out of them, so I assume contamination would register just fine. The longer you count, the more accurate the reading.

It would be interesting to test local produce and compare (that's what I bought the tubes for, but I never got around to it). I vaguely remember reading that certain plants (eggplants or something) are naturally a bit radioactive because the plant has a preference for some certain micronutrient which has a radioactive isotope.


I think it's bananas because they contain so much potassium.
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby urodacus » 30 Apr 2012, 09:02

All fruit and vegetables are naturally radioactive, because everything is made of atoms that exist in a variety of forms, some of which are unstable and decay (that's what radioactivity is).

The detail is in the amount of unstable isotopes in any particular thing. Different elements also have varying isotope ratios, and the stability of all those different isotopes varies too, so some fruits are mode naturally radioactive than others if they have more potassium, for example (as mentioned above).

And yes, a geiger counter measures radiation released by radioactive decay (it doesn't come from anywhere else). So it will detect a few events per minute in everything, and more than that if there is a particularly 'hot' piece of dust from a nuclear leak in a piece of fruit. Hot meaning a piece with enriched numbers of unstable isotopes.

Radiation from plane travel and radiation from point sources of isotope decay are essentially the same. The damage to your body comes from high energy ray (gamma ray) or particle (alpha particles, essentially helium nuclei, or beta particles, essentially an electron and an anti-electron neutrino pair) collisions with your DNA. Cesium 137 decays by a combination of beta decay and gamma decay into Barium 137. Ingest a piece of hot cesium and you just put the emitter of rays inside your body rather than outside (in a star or the sun) but the effect is identical.

How do you think we get nuclear fission, anyway? We use physical processes to separate the unstable isotopes out of existing rocks and put them all in one lump. We don't manufacture anything new, although the result of cracking uranium pieces together does create new hot cesium and strontium at the expense of losing uranium atoms.
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Re: Summer is coming and Fukushima harvest coming too?

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 01 Jun 2012, 02:11

finley wrote:
The basic Geiger counters are far to insensitive for detecting contamination.

Dunno about that. I ordered a couple of gamma-detector tubes from eBay a few weeks ago, just for a laugh. I can get a nice background count (~20 events/min) out of them, so I assume contamination would register just fine. The longer you count, the more accurate the reading.

It would be interesting to test local produce and compare (that's what I bought the tubes for, but I never got around to it). I vaguely remember reading that certain plants (eggplants or something) are naturally a bit radioactive because the plant has a preference for some certain micronutrient which has a radioactive isotope.


I just stumbled across this video.
I think it clears up the question about the Geiger counters' accuracies regarding food contamination.

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