The Fukushima crisis has been one of the most devastating and destructive of modern times, and it continues to be a major problem.
A recent survey of the nuclear plant area showed that even seven full years after the meltdown, radiation levels present a serious challenge to decommissioning work that still needs to be done. Exposure to the levels recorded in one of the main buildings for just an hour would be fatal, according to this recent report from NHK World.
It’s also no secret that radioactive material has continually been cycled into the surrounding atmosphere and the sea, polluting everything ranging from the jet stream to the Pacific Ocean and wildlife many miles away.
The region is clearly polluted, which is why one recent report is so surprising: shipments of an edible type of green seaweed from the area have officially resumed.
Shipments of Edible Seawood From Fukushima Prefecture Reusme
According to this article from The Japan Times, the country’s largest and oldest English-language daily newspaper, shipments of edible green laver seaweed restarted this February for the first time in about seven years.
Radiation levels for the green laver were shown to be “far below” the government limit according to the article, even despite contamination concerns from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, officials said according to the article.
The fishing port of Matsukawaura was the site of the harvesting of about 740 kilograms of the seaweed earlier this month on an aqua farm, which was then delivered to a processing plant locally before being dried and cleansed of hard materials like rocks.
According to the article, Fukushima was once a major production area for this type of seaweed, which is a substance rich in iodine and other healthy compounds. Ironically, iodine may also help detoxify radiation from the body, although it is still a bad idea to eat any contaminated seaweed.
In this case, the government has deemed it to be safe, although sketpicism is sure to pop up considering the massive scale of the contamination that has occurred in the region. Fukushima radiation has been found in fish (albeit at relatively small levels according to researchers) off the coasts of Washington and Oregon, showing just how pervasive it can be in the region.
Fukushima Product Used Mainly for Preserved Foods
According to the Times article, this Fukushima area seaweed will be used mainly for processed, preserved foods including ramen and tsukudani (a small meat and/or seaweed dish that has been simmered in soy sauce and mirin).
If you want to avoid it, be sure to read labels as closely as possible and consider avoiding packaged Japanese foods in these categories, or be sure to check the source by only buying from trusted companies. Seaweed is one of the healthiest things you can add to your diet because millions of people are deficient in iodine, but it has to be from a pure source if you want to reap the full benefits (and avoid contamination).