Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why I Had Seaweed Salad For Dinner

Tonight, before heading out to an All-Candidate’s debate for my riding, I stopped at a Japanese restaurant for some Miso Soup, Seaweed Salad and a couple Temaki (sushi rolled like a cone).  

I'm not sure if you've had seaweed salad before, but if you haven't, it looks kinda like string beans with a hint of slime, and is very crunchy.  The "tangy" sauce, was--uh--different; the dish tasted like what I suspected it might.  What that flavour is, I don't know.  They were very crunchy and you had to really chomp on them.  I did manage to eat my whole plate, and hopefully nobody saw me battling it out with my gag refelex. 

Anyways, why did I subject myself to seaweed salad and seaweed, cone-rolled sushi, when I prefer sashimi (raw fish, no seaweed) so much more? 

That headline is one reason. 

The Japanese have been withholding information on the Fukushima disaster, and it’s not far-fetched to believe that Canadian and US governments may be withholding information too.  They’re telling us not to worry and don’t feel it’s necessary to test for radiation as it may hurt “the industry”. 

Sure, radioactive iodine-131 has a small half-life (8 days) and the amounts showing up in seaweed on the coast and other places across North America are “miniscule” and “harmless”.

But, this disaster isn’t over yet.

When did that become acceptable? 

Are we apathetic because we grew up watching the television “Program” Captain Planet, and we saw nuclear plants and oil companies destroying the environment, but no matter how bad things looked, within the half hour they’d always be fixed and better than ever.  We never had to do anything; there was always a hero who would make it all better.  Maybe this is why we want to have so much faith in government; we have this need to have a protector.  We’ve come to depend on them and to have faith in them; they always fix things for us right; that’s what they always tell us isn’t it?  If they haven’t fixed something, it will be fixed in the next few years; that’s what they’ll say.  Don't worry about it, they've got it ALL under control.

But, just in case things may be a little worse than they’re telling us, why not get some extra protection? 

“Natural iodine in seaweeds can reduce by almost 80% radioactive iodine-131 that is absorbed by the thyroid. Seaweeds are so effective that even the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission recommends that people consume two to three ounces of seaweeds a week (or 2 tbsp. of algin supplements a day) for maximum protection against radiation poisoning.”

Still, I thought it couldn't hurt to try and get some protection.  Plus, with all that radioactive waste making it’s way around the Pacific, sushi could be a thing of the past very soon.

The media is also really pushing the whole, “less radiation than a banana” or “less than you get from flying”, but that’s pretty irrelevant since the radiation from the potassium in a banana is not ionized like the particles coming from Fukushima are. 

Something you should always keep in mind though, I am not an expert, so please verify my statements for yourself. 

Speaking of steps the media is taking in reaction to the Fukushima nuclear disaster:

Few, I was worried; a conversation on nuclear safety could have broken out because of something we were exposed to in our television “programming”.  This just sounds like the television “industry” looking out for the nuclear “industry” to me.

Other Sources:

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