Date: Mon Oct 20 21:20:51 2008

Author: Richard Berg

Subject: Re: irradiation


I think that the radiation does not "kill the enzymes," any more than it
kills any living material, which is not much. (The "food" is already
dead.) What the radiation does do is to inhibit the reproduction of such
things as bacteria, that will kill you if they multiply in your body. In
fact, they damage the strands of DNA in the bacteria so they cannot
reproduce, which is the main issue in not getting sick from e. coli,
samonella, trichinosis, etc. Some enzymes are killed or reduced in
effectiveness, but that is not the main issue in irradiation.

The idea that the nutritional value of the food is reduced significantly
by irradiation is simply not true. All forms of preservation and
preparation, such as canning, freezing, and cooking reduce the nutritional
value a small amount, but not enough to make the foods "not worth eating."
There are changes in the food due to irradiation, but they are no worse
than those associated with other food preservation techniques, and
certainly do not cause significant issues in food taste, appearance, and
nutrition. You ARE better off eating the irradiated food than not eating
it. And it isn't even close.

In support of these comments you should read the information on food
irradiation on the FDA or the American Dietetic Association web sites.
The ones not to read are the Organic Food groups and the anti-nuclear
groups, or Ralph Nader. Guess why.


On Fri, 17 Oct 2008, Paul Nord wrote:

> I've also heard that it gives some foods a faint taste like burnt hair.
> But I think that the idea of lower-calorie foods might be a good selling
> point. Low-cal foods often taste much worse than burnt hair.
> Paul
> On Oct 17, 2008, at 2:55 PM, Jerry DiMarco wrote:
>> No harm from radioactivity anyway. Irradiation destroys the enzymes
>> contained in the food. This is the real reason why irradiated foods have
>> a longer shelf life. But without their enzymes these foods are harder to
>> digest, which means we get less of the nutrients and energy (calories)
>> they contain. Medical research has already documented the harm from long
>> term eating of food without enzymes, and the effects are far-reaching! So
>> overall, irradiation is still not a good deal for the consumer...
>> Jerry
>> At 10/17/2008 11:51 AM, you wrote:
>>> ....
>>> This demonstrates, as with 'irradiated foods', there is no radioactivity
>>> in the sample and no harm at all to the consumer.
>>> ....
>>> bill

Dr. Richard E. Berg, Professor of the Practice
Director, Physics Lecture-Demonstration Facility
U.S. mail address:
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-4111
Phone: (301) 405-5994
FAX: (301) 314-9525