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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 09:54 AM
Original message
Is Japanese Seaweed still safe?
My partner went to sushi last week and then I picked up a package of seaweed for him. (disgusting, stinky, foul stuff, if you ask me...but my hubby and our cats like it).

After he read the package he said, "I don't think we should buy seaweed anymore."

Has anyone seen any information about seaweed and radioactivity? I know the coastline of the nuclear plants there has been radioactivity in the plants and fish. At first I assumed the Japanese government would keep tabs on such things but the news has showed that they have lied time after time about things MUCH more important than seaweed.

Any info would be appreciated!
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. I wouldn't buy any Japanese food products.
Tepco has been lying about radiation and meltdowns since the beginning. With tons of radioactive water floating around those reactors, I doubt that Japanese seaweed is going to be safe for thousands of years.
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MinneapolisMatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wouldn't eat anything from Japan.
Better to be safe than sorry.
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. No, it's not. If you wish to stock up at an asian supermarket, NOW is the time.
Edited on Tue May-31-11 10:16 AM by Poll_Blind
I will be purchasing a stock of nori, Nori Komi Furikake and any other products I wish to enjoy, including certain sauces and (gasp) my precious miso paste. After that, nothing. And certainly no more all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet sushi, which makes me sad because I love the shit out of sushi. Even nappy sushi.

I would direct you to take a look at this article for more in-depth information: How the Disaster in Japan Affects Seafood. Also, I'm a big fan of eel and so instead of using eel caught in Japan or asia, there may be some local varieties farmed here in the States to get my unagi fix.

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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. thank you for the article.
much appreciated.
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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. Greenpeace says it isn't
but what do they know, they only had to send the samplings to labs in France & Belgium, as they could not find any labs in Japan to do an analysis. Does anyone here know how much the Japanese hate Greenpeace due to their anti-whaling pressure on Japan?

Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast
Blogpost by Greg McNevin - May 26, 2011 at 4:40

Two weeks ago we released preliminary results from our marine radiation monitoring work off the coast of Japan, near the melted-down and leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. These results showed worrying levels of radioactive contamination in seaweed a staple of the Japanese diet.

After having difficulties finding a lab in Japan to do detailed analysis, we sent samples of seaweed, fish, and shellfish collected by our radiation monitoring teams both onshore and on the Rainbow to professional labs in France and Belgium. The results of the details analysis are back and we can say that the situation in the ocean along the Fukushima coast is worse than we originally thought.

The new data shows that some seaweed contamination levels are not only 50 times higher than safety limits far higher than our initial measurements showed but also that the contamination is spreading over a wide area, and accumulating in sea life, rather than simply dispersing like the Japanese authorities originally claimed would happen.

Other samples showed lower than expected concentrations of caesium, but much higher levels of iodine than expected, which raises serious concerns that contaminated water is continually leaking from the nuclear plant...

What I don't know is if any of the Fukushima area seaweed hits the market, as I doubt it. They appear to have been more careful with the sea, as so much of the Japanese diet depends on products from the sea. I would think the dried seaweed, being very easy to preserve when dried, found in US markets would be in the pipeline of distribution prior to the 3/11/11 disaster, but I really don't know.

Then there was this reassuring story from Washington last month. Last month:

Radioactive Seaweed Detected In Puget Sound, But Not Harmful

Richard Thompson
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News South Sound Bureau Chief Twitter | E-mail

Posted: 6:24 pm PDT April 11, 2011Updated: 7:42 am PDT April 12, 2011

OLYMPIA, Washington -- Radiation leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan has been detected in seaweed in Puget Sound, but researchers say there's no need for alarm.

KIRO 7 obtained samples of seaweed from Budd Inlet near Olympia two weeks ago. Professor Kris Starosta at Simon Fraser University confirmed the presence of radioactive iodine Monday. "We have seen iodine 131 in the sample you sent us," he said. "I think it's pretty clear by now this must be iodine 131 from releases from Fukushima."

The confirmation came on the same day Japan raised the crisis level at the plant from 5 to 7, the highest level on the international scale.

"I think it is surprising," Starosta said. "I guess I was assuming it wouln't reach this far, but it did..."

Don't worry, be happy!

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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. Depends when it was packaged. I suspect that much of what
is currently on the shelves was harvested, dried, and packaged before the Fukushima incident. I don't know how you'd tell, though.
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
6. No its not safe - I'm surprised you would even ask
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. Almost all packaged nori sheets are from Porphyra that's farm-raised in floating nets, Chinese.
Edited on Tue May-31-11 11:51 AM by HopeHoops
The common form is fairly inexpensive and is most likely going to be a Chinese product. The nets can be moved about and a lot of it is raised in pools now like shrimp (almost all of the stuff you'll find in the frozen section). Korea produces some of the sheets you'll find, and probably all of the ones that are toasted and seasoned with sesame oil and salt.

We probably use more nori than most Americans, but not a lot by Asian standards. Pretty much all of the other seaweed we get (like dulse) comes from Maine Seacoast Vegetables and is harvested locally off of the coast of Maine.

Historical Note: The TRADITIONAL method of harvesting Porphyra is to scrape it off of the mooring posts at the dock and apply traditional paper making techniques, including putting the sheets between lattices to dry in the sun. I like the newer processing methods a bit better.

Disclaimer: We're vegetarian. We make "sushi", but with things like avacado, cucumber, mushrooms, scallions, peppers, carrots, pickled daikon, etc. Damn good stuff. Even when I DID eat seafood, I wouldn't touch raw fish.

On Edit: The "almost all" in the subject line refers to that which you are likely to find in the US without paying a shitload for. Japan, I believe, still produces the greatest amount but most of what is sold at a reasonable price here is from Chinese sources.

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Left coast liberal Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-01-11 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
9. We now all need pocket Geiger counters to live in this world. :-(
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-01-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. true and last I heard here in the US they were sold out and had long

lists on back call.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-01-11 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
11. No - if you want to eat seaweeds buy them from Maine harvesters
and do not believe anything about the safety of Japanese seafood products
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