I’ve been wanting a device like this for a long time. The cost is currently quite high (higher than pre-quake), but a necessity for many. However, I’m in central Japan and there aren’t many devices here. Perhaps people a bit complacent, or we are pretty well protected. In any case, our food is constantly a matter of discussion (see this about children eating beef to “prove” it’s not contaminated).
Radioactive food is becoming a real and hidden concern. The discussion of this is veiled and brief on NHK TV news, the national broadcaster. One might assume that NHK is avoiding promoting a food panic. Already prices for Hokkaido dairy products are increasing. Previously in this blog, radioactive mustard spinach, a very popular part of the Japanese menu, was discovered growing in Tokyo weeks after the 15th March explosion, and in mustard spinach imported to Singapore from Shizuoka (south of Tokyo). Now some people are concerned that rice being grown in the north may be mixed with uncontaminated rice grown in the south. According to NHK, already, rice stocks are low, as many people are stocking up ahead of the harvest season beginning now. A friend of mine went shopping in Nagoya city with a dosimeter (a radiation measuring device) and found that cucumbers in his supermarket had high levels of radiation. I wish I could get a dosimeter, they are so hard to get.
Rice and mustard spinach are pictured below.
Rice shortly before harvest
It was reported today that beef at 2,300 Becquerel of radiation, the legal limit is 500, was found in Tokyo. The beef came from cattle raised and fed within 40km of the TEPCO Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plants, which is beyond the government declared evacuation zones. The radioactivity in beef, could only be possible when the cattle fed on radioactive feed, which is then absorbed into the animal.
This follows French authorities finding radioactive green tea from Shizuoka (far south from both Tokyo and the troubled nuclear reactors).
Reported tonight, a timetable for the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant clean up was released. It is expected that any existing nuclear rods would be removed within five years. Molten / melted rods that collapsed and is at the bottom of the reactor-core containment vessel may take 10 years to remove, and the complete dismantlement of the buildings will take decades. All of these estimates are dependent on the development of technology and engineering devices that can be used to achieve these goals. Currently, there are no devices or technology to decontaminate buildings to allow workers entry. There are no devices to remove melted and re-cooled radioactive material from the base of reactor cores, adding to the costs and difficulties TEPCO will face.
Just some updates. It has been reported on NHK that Singapore has found unacceptably high levels of radiation on mustard spinach (shown below) imported from Shizuoka prefecture. Shizuoka is more than 250km south of the Fukushima power plant well beyond the 80km Australian, UK, and US recommended exclusion zones, and far south of Tokyo. This report came within one week of two Japanese nationals from Tokyo (240km sth of Fukushima) and had not been associated with the nuclear catastrophe. Chinese officials detected ‘high radiation levels’ of radiation on the holidaying couple and immediately taken to hospital for medical treatment (BBC).
I don’t have much of a chance at the moment to play in the studio. So, when a neighbour gave me this jar of home made preserved tomatoes, I couldn’t resist. They looked and tasted fantastic. Sorry, this is the best I could do for sharing. I attempted something a little different with the lighting, trying to keep it a bit bright, but also not striking the jar directly.
Japanese people are pretty much built from the ground up on rice. They might eat it three times a day. They drink it in the form of the alcohol sake at parties, and end of year parties; for ceremonies like weddings, funerals, and engagements.
The very origin of Shinto, and all of its symbols are related to humble rice. The very architecture of Shinto shrines, throughout Japan, is based upon early rice storage buildings in the pre-Shinto era a little more than two-thousand years ago. It is said that rice and sake play a central role in secret Shinto ceremonies that involve popular festivals, and even the emperor and his family. It’s perhaps not inaccurate to say that Japan, and the Japanese people, were built on rice.