Contaminated Koshiabura

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A bag of wild vegetables

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jpg

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Creative Commons Licence

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Created date

February 24, 2020

Critical Commentary

During a weekend learning farm skills in a formerly evacuated village in Fukushima, we foraged for a host of wild vegetables (sansai). Those that we found were labelled and sent to the local food monitoring station.  One bag of our bounty, Koshiabura shoots, exceeded the government standard for most foods: 100Bq/Kg.  The image shows a typical printout from the food monitoring station.  The printout shows the detection level of the measuring device - in this case, 42Bq/Kg for Cesium 137 and 67.9Bq/Kg for Cesium 134. It then shows that the combined amount of Cesium in the sample is 737.7Bq/Kg, seven times the allowable limit, if we wanted to sell it.  But we were scientists on our day off, we could choose.  In the end, the scientists stuck with the government limit.  This sample did not get eaten at our weekend farming party but was instead taken by one of the scientists present back to their lab for further testing.

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