Irradiation

Today I picked up my gorgeous produce at the CSA (explanation here) – salad greens, spinach & swiss chard. I can’t wait to get started on this week’s menu!

Last week, I was discussing food with our farmer, Raluca. She had mentioned that many other foods are irradiated in order to preserve it (not organic foods, of course).

Like, radiation? IN MY FOOD?

When I had my thyroid removed in April, the first question all of the doctors asked me was, “have you ever been exposed to radiation?” Now this got me thinking. Online, you get conflicting information regarding whether or not irradiated food is safe. My gut feeling is “no” because it’s just not natural.

Raluca didn’t mean to scare me, and she didn’t. I have been thinking about healthy food for a while now. I’m especially sensitive to the idea that food can affect behavior (in all of us). I think of our son who has SPD & I know that he has his own daily struggles. Why would I knowingly put unhealthy food into his body?  Some kids’ behavior can be changed by altering the diet alone – this was not the case for us. At different times we have eliminated things from his diet (dairy, gluten) with no change in behavior. But, I definitely think it was a good place to start.

My fear is that I won’t have access to all of the information I need. Irradiated foods are supposed to be labeled with this sign:

Radiatedfood

To be honest, I’ve never seen this symbol in the supermarket, but you can be sure I’ll be looking from now on. It’s beautiful, really. Look at the vibrant plant, growing in the sunshine. I would never have guessed that this symbol stood for irradiated food. In actuality, irradiation kills bacteria so they can prolong the shelf life of the food.  Over time, I question, what would that do to me?

For now, I’ll try to remain calm and level-headed when I think about food.  I’ll ration the portions from our garden. Presently, it looks like we’re going to get about 3 strawberries this year. That means someone will have to go without. And of course, I’ll continue to buy my produce from Raluca.