> When a particle or photon of sufficiently high energy rips through
> water, it knocks electrons off the water molecules, producing OH
> radicals. These are so reactive that they chemically rip up anything
> they touch and are gone in a few milliseconds (probably longer if the
> food is dry). DNA is nicked, and this kills or weakens bacteria. Free
> radical chain reactions are initiated in lipids and proteins, and gives
> rise to radiolytic products. But these reactions are not unique to
Please give an example of what other process would initiate these
> Almost nothing is more violent in nature than the chemical assault
> launched by white blood cells, for example. This involves hypochlorite,
> nitric oxide, and free radicals. Ordinary respiration involves passing
> electrons among proteins, the handoffs sometimes go wrong, and free
> radicals are formed in your body. We are loaded with systems that
> detoxify these things.
So, we should not be concerned about increasing the stress on the body
by introducing even more free radicals? Seems to me that we should look
for ways to decrease the incidence of free radical formation...not
challenge the bodies limits simply because we want to justify a means of
industrial food production.
The oxygen-rich environment we live in is
> chemically violent. Molecular oxygen has enough affinity for electrons,
> that it can directly initiate free radical chain reactions in foods.
> Lots of nasty chemicals are formed, and we call it rancidity.
Sure, but we usually don't eat it.
> With all these things, dose is the critical issue.
Yes, I'm unaware of the long range studies done to assure that these
doses of unique chemical byproducts are safe for us all to consume on a
> > Those unique to the irradiation process are known as "unique
> > radiolytic products" (URPs).
> I see no mention of dose or toxicity.
Maybe no reliable studies have been done. So should we still feed this
questionable food to the children of the world and hope for the best.
It usually takes a few decades for the human empirical data to show that
the science was lacking.
> > Some radiolytic products, such as formaldehyde, benzene, formic acid,
> > and quinones are harmful to human health.
> The paper implies that these are the URP's, but they are not. And
> again, no mention is made of the levels found in food.
I think it says they are radiolytic products, not URPs. Is this
> > Benzene, for example, is a
> > known carcinogen. In one experiment, seven times more benzene was
> > found
> > in cooked, irradiated beef than in cooked, non-irradiated beef.
> What about the other experiments? And were the levels dangerous?
What about this experiment? I think most people would not be satisfied
with the "safe amount" of Benzene in their food. They would prefer none
or the lowest possible amount, reguardless of the official "safe
> > Some
> > URPs are completely new chemicals that have not even been identified,
> > let alone tested for toxicity.
> All the foods we eat are loaded with uncharacterized stuff at low
The fact remains that most people would rather eat the "uncharacterized
stuff" in a locally produced, organic food product than the
"uncharacterized stuff" in it's irradiated counter part. Of course, the
industrialized food system proponents would qualify these same folks as
"in need of food safety education."
> > In addition, irradiation destroys essential vitamins and minerals,
> > including vitamin A, thiamine, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, C, E, and
> > K;
> > amino acid and essential polyunsaturated fatty acid content may also
> > be
> > affected. A 20 to 80 percent loss of any of these is not uncommon.
> > [snipped...]
> Is this important in a normal diet?
Considering what the normal diet consists of, I'd say we need every
nutrient in it's proper relative quantity and highest quality. We
should try to reduce or eliminate all processes that threaten the health
giving nature of whole, fresh food.
What fraction of these in our diet
> do we get from meat anyway?
Lots of people eat alot of meat, I'd say they would rather have more
nutrients in it than less....but that's just a guess.
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