Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bikinis, Coconuts, Bread fruit and keeping your garden safe from radioactive Fallout

So what does a Bikini have to do with keeping your vegetable and fruit gardens safe from radioactive fallout from Fukushima? Surprisingly a whole lot. One of the primary sources we have regarding the research and mitigation of radioactive fallout on edible plant and animal life  is from atomic testing on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

The 'short' of the research shows that "single application of 2000 kg per ha of potassium can be effective in reducing the cesium-137 uptake in coconut meat (and juice) to about 5% to 10% of the pretreatment level."

The research also indicates that Silica clay  based soils are better at binding C137 and Sr90, than are calcium carbonate based (coral) soils. The addition of potassium to the soil may aid in blocking the uptake of C137 and Sr90 into plants. For Pu239, Pu240, and Am241 the soil type did not matter much.

"The uptake of 137Cs by plants is enhanced because of the absence of mineral binding sites and the low concentration of potassium in the coral soil. 137Cs is bound to the organic fraction of the soil, whereas 90Sr, 239+240Pu and 241Am are primarily bound to soil particles."

For specific detail data on the uptake and concentrations of Cesium-137 (137Cs), Strontium-90 (90Sr), Plutonium-239+ 240 (239+240Pu) and Americium-241 (241Am)  in reef fish, pork(by organ), tuna, pumpkins, rain water, well water, corn, chicken(by organ), crabs, muscles, turtle, eggs, pandanus fruit, pandanaus nuts, coconut juice, coconut milk, citrus, coffee, tea, banana, squash, et al, and the resulting uptake by the islanders;  follow this PDF link.

For detail data on how this fallout is taken up by Humans (by organ) follow this PDF link.

The key of it is, I will NOT  be eating island food products, (or any food products)  grown in calcium carbonate type soils from north of the equator. Oranges, Pineapples and Coconuts are now in what I call the  "radioactive food group"

In a closing note, the whole "X" family is willing to travel to Bikini Atoll  as consultants should P. Allen Smith, or the original cast of the "Victory Garden" like to shoot a radiological gardening episode.


  1. Thanks for this great post. Can you tell us what other foods are in the "R F G"? Thanks.

  2. Kim,
    Some food belong because of the soils they are grown in, others because they are known to take up certain minerals.

    I would say anything that is advertised as being natural high in Potassium or Iodine, is in the Radioactive Food Group list. And of those, any grown in calcium carbonate soils are of greater risk. Of course, the closer to Fukushima the worse it is. Foods like chocolate might get a double hit because of the milk content.

    Someone with a little GIS mapping skill could probably whip up a map showing the problem areas and foods. It might be a good idea to look for that kind of map on Ag Administration site, before it got deleted.

  3. Thanks, Ms. X for the info.
    As you turn up more information, please share.