Brandon Beattie brandon+plug at
Thu Feb 22 10:41:56 MST 2007

On Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 09:45:35AM -0700, Michael L Torrie wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-02-22 at 09:25 -0700, Daniel C. wrote:
> > On 2/22/07, Charles Curley <charlescurley at> wrote:
> > > Well, you're already radioactive. But being exposed to enough
> > > radiation can increase your own radiation. That's in addition to the
> > > other damage that radiation can cause. For most people, most of the
> > > time, it isn't an issue. If the old BYU reactor was properly run and
> > > cleaned up, it shouldn't be an issue. I've never heard of anyone
> > > refusing to play squash at the University of Chicago.
> > 
> > So, my real question - does irradiating food to sterilize it make the
> > food itself radioactive, or increase its radioactivity?
> Nope.  You're confusing your terms here.  There are different forms of
> radiation.  When I go outside, I am bombarded with a full spectrum of
> radiation.  Everything from radio waves to UV to visible light to IR.
> It's all hitting me.  This is called RF radiation.  It can cause
> ionization of tissues at certain wavelengths, and has been known to
> denature DNA, sometimes causing cancer (UV).  But it doesn't make you
> radioactive.  Something is radioactive, typically, when it emits
> particles like neutrons, alpha particles, etc (the matter is breaking
> down).  Some of these emissions of particles can make substances they
> touch radioactive too.
> When your food is irradiated, it simply uses lots of RF radiation at
> certain frequencies to kill bacteria.  This is not unlike a microwave
> (different wavelengths though) heating food.  There are radioactive
> substances involved in the machines that generate the RF radiation
> needed to irradiate food, though.  That's because radioactive substances
> often can be used to produce certain wavelengths of RF.  But that has
> nothing to do with the food.  There are a few people out there that
> don't understand that and spread much FUD over this issue.  Some
> prominent authors even.
> The military first experimented with irradiating food, as they wished to
> find a way to make food store for many years.  So they first
> experimented with rats.  The rats were fed a steady diet of irradiated
> food and water for several weeks or months.  They were healthy and
> showed no ill effects.  Then one day a worker somehow accidentally fed
> them non-irradiated food and water.  The rats all died within hours.
> The reason they died is left as an exercise for the reader.

The rats immune systems were so weak because the irradiated food they
were used to was so pure that the body couldn't handle typical bacteria
or other germs in regular food?

More information about the PLUG mailing list