There is no question that there is a great deal of controversy on the subject of food irradiation advantages and disadvantages. With food irradiation, the goal is to establish safe food supplies. In doing so, people will be able to maintain confidence in the foods that they have eaten. However, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider.
Food irradiation also suffers from something of an image crisis. Although people are in fact exposed to radiation all of the time, any concept that has the word “radiation” can serve to make them nervous. However, when it comes to the subject of food irradiation advantages and disadvantages, you are going to find the subject to be far more complex than mere perception.
List of Advantages of Food Irradiation
1. Immune Deficiency Benefits
Those who suffer from a disease that depresses the immune system, which can occur through meds or the disease itself, can become ill from the most general food contaminants. With food irradiation, you have something that will remove those contaminants.
2. It Kills Dangerous Organisms
The best food handling measures in the world aren’t a guarantee that all of the dangerous organisms will be avoided and/or removed. Food irradiation obliterates ninety percent of these organisms.
3. A Proactive Measure Against Insects
As most of us know, moths and similar insects love grains. Storing them in your home certainly isn’t going to deter them. Food irradiation makes the products less appealing to the insects. This in turn makes it less likely that the insects will leave eggs in the grains, which can cause a variety of health problems.
List of Disadvantages of Food Irradiation
1. No Promises
One of the problems with food irradiation is that there is no definitive way of killing all of the organisms that can come into contact with our foods. Some organisms are in fact resistant to the mild radiation that is utilized.
Studies going back several decades come to the same conclusion over and over again. Irradiated foods can cause health problems with a variety of animals. Rare cancers, chromosome abnormalities, and even premature deaths can occur.
3. Colors and Textures
Both vitamins and minerals are at risk through irradiation. Worse yet, the textures and flavors can also be altered through this process. For many people, these changes are unpleasant. The smell of beef after irradiation is one example.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.