It's been awhile since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima occurred (March 11, 2011) and many people who gave up eating fish from the Pacific ocean are returning to their favorite seafood restaurants. Actually, only one of the original 5072 popular fish houses in Pacific Palisades, CA remains open. Forward thinking owner of Gladstone's At The Beach quickly changed its name to Radstone's in April of 2011 in hopes of mocking what many experts predicted would nuke the seafood industry. Their unique approach to allaying the fears of longtime patrons has proved effective. Every Radstone's customer is greeted by the owner who is dressed in a stylish lead plated tuxedo. From there each patron walks through the famous "Silkwood Shower" tunnel and is quickly dried by a series of tanning bed booths. Once seated patrons are asked to enjoy a complimentary cocktail cryptically named the Fookie Freeze - drink 'til your fingers fall off. Each entree is served with a personal Geiger counter and a nifty little chart which explains the radiation counts. The readouts can be printed or you can use the audio button to hear the number of clicks produced representing the amount of ionization events detected. Only once in the three and a half years since the Fukushima disaster has the clicking at a table of 10 drowned out the band that was playing. Turns out that the table of 10 was a bunch of Ukrainians from Chernobyl playing a prank on fearful Americans. They all had ordered steak but were doing body scans on each other. As ridiculous as this story may seem let me introduce some
more "facts" that I actually did research on: One U.S. expert can probably speak to the science of the spread of radioactive isotopes in the Pacific Ocean better than anyone: Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He states "that only certain fish off the Fukushima coast are unsafe to eat, and that seafood from the U.S. West Coast is virtually unaffected." Of course Woods Hole is located in Massachusetts and Buesseler's ongoing hatred of everything west coast leads me to believe other research is needed.
Other research: To date, the FDA (False Data Administration) has no evidence that radionuclides from the Fukushima incident are present in the U.S. food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern. Of course they are the government agency who approved Thalidomide, Fen-phen, Prozac, yada yada... Once again I felt that more research was needed.
More needed research: Higher-than-normal levels of radiation have already been detected in tuna and kelp in various places along the North America west coast, from Canada to southern California, most likely as a result of radiation contamination brought from Fukushima by air currents. But a big blast from the destroyed nuclear plant is arriving by sea now.
In the research done for this blog as well as my lifelong aversion to fish I am not able to draw any conclusions as to the truth of any of this. I can without reservation say that I feel deep sympathy for all of the citizens of Japan who must endure the very real effects of this disaster. They don't have to worry about eating fish. They have to worry about everything they consume; the air they breathe; their children; going outside; pregnancy and the likelihood that what their government is telling them is actually 1000 times worse than what's being reported. Now that I put it that way, it's kinda like living in the U.S.