Hulk Food?

Food irradition is a completely new concept to me, the government of Canada defines food irraditiountitled1n as; “Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to a controlled amount of energy called ionizing radiation.”

There are three different types of radiation allowed: Gamma rays (think The Incredible Hulk), X-rays and electron beam radiation.

Why irradiate food?

Ionizing radiation kills microorganisms without damaging the food. Food irradiation is used to:

  • reduces levels of E.coli O157:H7 in ground beef and Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry; and parasites which cause food-borne diseases;
  • prevent spoilage by destroying bacteria, molds and yeast which cause food to spoil, and control insect and parasite infestation, and;
  • increase shelf life by slowing the ripening or sprouting in fresh fruits and vegetables, thereby allowing for longer shelf life.

Which basically boils down to higher profits for channel members involved in food production, distribution, etc…

According to Health Canada, the irradition of food is safe. However only certain products have been approved for irradition, these include; onions, potatoes, wheat, flour, whole wheat flour, and whole or ground spices and dehydrated seasonings.

Don’t get it twisted, the irradition of food is not manditory nor does is gaurantee food safety. However, the Canadian Food InspectionAgency (CFIA) is responsible for the enforcement of the regulations relating to the labelling of irradiated food products under the Food and Drug Act.

irradThe CFIA establishes inspection and testing programs to verify compliance by both domestic producers and importers. Irradiated foods that have not been approved for sale in Canada are not permitted entry, and the CFIA takes appropriate action if such products are illegally imported.

If you’re worried about irradiated food, don’t worry. Prepackaged foods which have been treated will have the green irradiated symbol (shown to the left) indicating that they have infact, been treated.

So if irradiated food sketches you out, don’t eat it, it’s that simple.

Until next time, keep eating…


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