In the end, it is all about soil.
Rich, nutrient-dense soil plays a huge role in the level of nutrition in food. Healthy soil = healthy food. (This assumes organic seeds, not genetically-modified seeds, of course.)
There was some very grim news that I heard about recently, and it has to do with the quality of our soil, as a result of the nuclear accident at Fukushima.
After the earthquake in Japan, scientists at UC-Berkeley (UCB) measured the radiation levels of soil in various parts of California.
The highest cesium levels of any topsoil measurements found by UCB since the crisis began was 2.737 becquerels/kg in Sacramento. This is is equal to 73.9 picocuries/kg. (Conversion: 27 picocuries = 1 becquerel)
However, Marco Kaltofen, a professional engineer in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, delivered his research findings at a lecture to the American Public Health Association in Washington D.C. the other day that painted a much, much worse picture of the situation.
Marco Kaltofen said his testing showed that the highest cesium levels detected in U.S. “surface soil” were up to 8 nanoCuries per Kg of radiocesium. This is equal to 8,000 picocuries/kg. (Conversion: 1 nanocurie = 1,000 picocuries).
In plain english, what does this all mean?
It means that Marco Kaltofen’s findings are showing that the radiation levels are 108 times higher than what was previously found by UCB.
Marco Kaltofen’s samples were taken from Seattle, Washington, and his control surface soil samples (known to be unaffected by Fukushima fallout) “showed no detectable radiocesium”. Thus, his findings were caused by Fukushima, rather than from atomic weapons tests decades ago.
Needless to say, this is horrible, horrible news.
For the people in Japan, the situation is very grave and the rate of cancer is expected to dramatically increase over the next 10-20 years.
For people on the West Coast in the U.S., including California and Washington, the rates of cancer will be higher there as well.
We also now know that the soil on the West Coast contains very high levels of radiation, and it is in this soil that we grow A TON of our organic food.
What has the EPA been doing about monitoring this situation?
In May, the EPA issued this statement (PDF File) that the radiation levels were “well below any level of public health concern”. The agency decided to return to its normal monitoring and abandon its special testing/monitoring that it had been doing because of the Fukushima incident.
This video below gives a good overview of Marco Kaltofen’s report.
1) This report should play a major, major role in our nuclear policy going forward. It is a real travesty that so many people are going to get very sick because of this incident.
2) Just more proof that we have to take serious personal responsibility for our health and that we cannot rely on our government to do it for us.
The government said that the radiation levels were well below normal. This report says otherwise.
The government also says that GMOs are safe. I don’t believe it at all.
Inserting foreign proteins into the genetic code of seeds is a recipe for disaster, if you ask me. That is why I eat organic, non-GMO food and encourage others to do so as well.
For someone who cares about the health of other people and who also loves organic food so much, this news is a complete disaster.