As part of the industry campaign to minimize the danger of the Fukushima disaster, a number of industry flacks have written volumes to try to allay the public’s understandable fears.
Then there was this.
A Tokyo-based Western journalist wrote in the Bloomberg Business News:
Almost every Saturday, my family goes to a yaoya, or market that sells produce grown to meet Japanese consumers’ famously picky standards for tastiness, crispness and freshness. As much as we love the quality, we often wince at the prices. So my wife and I are looking forward to the day when we can enjoy a real bargain — cheap spinach from Fukushima Prefecture.
Yes, Fukushima is where the March 11 tsunami devastated a complex of nuclear reactors, leading to partial meltdowns and the spewing of radioactive matter into the environment. And yes, spinach from a wide zone around the nuclear facilities was one of the first crops found unfit for sale — an ominous harbinger for agriculture in one of Japan’s most bountiful areas.
Perhaps, then, my hankering for Fukushima spinach sounds like the bravado of a daredevil or nuclear-power advocate. I am neither of those things.
Rather, as a resident of the vast metropolitan area including Tokyo and Yokohama that lies within a couple of hundred miles of the crippled plants, I have been trying to educate myself about the health risks — or lack thereof — facing my family.
The more I learn, the more hysterical the reaction abroad seems regarding the alleged dangers to anyone living here or venturing near. Hence my perverse glee upon finding out that leafy green veggies from Fukushima could conceivably be back on the market in a few months — perfectly safe, and presumably at low prices stemming from shoppers’ chariness.
The piece goes on in this vein for some way, but that’s all I could bear to send out.
If you want to read more, here’s the link: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-30/craving-spinach-after-fukushima-nuclear-scare-paul-blustein.html