People are very concerned with RADIATION IN THEIR FOOD and Water.
Yet there is no good and cheap way to really do it. You can do some testing with a regular Geiger Counter, and if you get a positive, that food needs to be disposed of. There are complications, and course the food sample should be completely dried and crushed as your results will be so much better. Water blocks radiation, so the water in the food will block much of what you could otherwise detect.
There are also some common elements in food which are mildly radioactive, the most prominent being Potassium. Your Geiger will detect these as well as other trace elements.
It can be hard to get a statistically significant sample. Your Geiger will also not be able to tell whether you are receiving Alpha, Beta, or Gamma radiation from the food.
So this is a big problem with testing food.
The solution? A high quality Gamma Scintillator (GS) with analysis and reporting abilities. Of course this only detects Gamma, not Beta or Alpha, but Gamma can tell you a lot about what isotopes are in the food based on the energy levels detected.
The downside---Very Expensive and requires training
The solution? Crowdsourcing, with more than just a feel good payback. For those donating $50 or more, I will run (1) food sample and provide a report with interpretation.
It will take some time to roll this out, make a budget estimate, pick equipment and training, do the crowdsource and hope, and then purchase, train, and test.
I will need to come up with some "rules" AND I AM LOOKING FOR FEEDBACK/IDEAS SO PLEASE SEND THEM VIA EMAIL OR VIA THE COMMENTS
Some of my starting thoughts for NukePro Food Testing LLC
- Samples would be prepared and mailed in to a PO Box in mainland USA.
- I want to keep things as simple and non-bureaucratic, but also adhere to professional standards such as maintaining a "chain of custody" on handling the test materials.
- Sample sizes would need to be set and might be related to the type of sample.
- Only dried solids will be accepted at this time. At this time I am thinking that it is only food products and maybe soil, perhaps Fiesta Ware or slightly radioactive ornaments.
- Sample would need to be fully dried out, not just for water shielding, but these might be in the mail for a week, and might sit in the lab for weeks waiting on testing time, so we can't have stuff rotting.
- Any known highly radioactive material, such as from an imaging machine or an opened up smoke detector SHALL NOT be sent to the lab.
- Duration of test time, would probably be around 1 day of run time in the GS. The longer the better, but you have to be realistic. Only 1 sample can test at a time.
- Turnaround time would be related to other business activities and the number of samples in queue to be tested. It could be days or weeks.
- The test would be a wide ranging test, meaning that anything throwing off gamma energies would be detectable.
- Would Radiation fade over time? Most of the Isotopes that worry us in terms of ingestion will be fairly long lived isotopes with half lives in years, so these wouldn't fade much at all while waiting for testing. If sender had a big suspicion of a short lived isotope like I-131 they could note that on their Data Submission form and request expedited testing.
- Test report would be emailed out as a PDF with some interpretation
- Liability related to contaminated samples would need to be addressed.
Drying: A description of recommended drying methods will be provided, as well as guidelines on how dry is dry enough. The dryer the sample, the less blocking of radiation by water particles and the more detail on the test results. It is likely that microwave drying will be just fine, as Microwave is not an ionizing radiation, and although it will make free radicals in food and maybe other nasty effects, it will not change the amount of radioactive elements in the sample.
A online template "Test Sample Descriptor" will be provided and filled out by the Client which can also be a PDF printed, filled out, and sent with the sample.
This Test Sample Descriptor shall also be scanned to NukePro prior to mailing the sample. We will respond with an approval to send and a sample ID.
- Product name
- Date purchased
- Where bought
- Expiry date on product pkg
- If known where food sourced from, or at least where the product package says the food is from
- Date sample dried
- Date sample put in mail to the Lab PO Box.
- People growing their own food and want to test the soil
- People growing their own food and want to test the food
- Seafood Eaters who hate to give up on seafood, but are concerned
- Concerned parents who want to make sure the food they are giving to babies and kids are safe during the especially important developmental phase.
- Commercial food producers who want to be sure their products are safe
- Commercial food producers or sellers who want to advertise "Radiation Tested and It's Clean"
- Anyone in Japan who worries about how much their government has been lying to them
- Anyone in USA who worries about how their government lied to them about Fukushima, and then jacked up the allowable limits, and promised Japan we would continue to buy their food.
The below is simply a storage space for my developmental work
from a test lab