Below is a list of nuked foods approved by the FDA. Labeling not required. The Bush II administration fought to suppress labeling of nuked food. The ag-industry lobbied for irradiated foods to be labeled “pasteurized.” In other words, there are foods in the supply chain that are irradiated with nuclear energy, infusing it with “safe-levels” of radiation, and manufacturers are not required to advertise it. Not kidding (click, but don’t forget to come back!!).
Look, the food supply chain is much more fragile than we know - even a one month heat wave can have massive effects on ag-commodity prices and supply chain pressure, see here.
With climate change impacting our food supply, the agricultural industry is starting to adapt to a new warmer realty. Irradiating food is one rather nefarious method of adaptation that I condemn with every ounce of my being. On the upside, the EPA is now reviewing climate impacts to US food crops, though they’re really doing anything about it.
Ironically, it was George Bush I’s climate change program (a little known act he signed into law in 1990, called the GRCA) was first to study the impacts of climate change on the US food supply, here. Bush II killed the food supply review program in 2001. Bush II’s FDA approved expansion of the food irradiation program in 2004 and 2008.
Krugman’s latest piece in the times is a short exploration of how climate is impacting food prices. He explains that droughts and floods that have destroyed a few crops, have world wide impacts on food prices. He points to the uprising in Tunisia (where a food vendor sparked the uprising) and to Egypt, where food prices are now sadly suddenly beyond the reach of the majority of citizens. He falls short in explaining why western countries, such as the EU and the USA, have not experienced similar spikes in food prices. If you know why prices are low for western countries, please email me.
This is an important snap shot of regional diets that will be impacted by climate change (FAO). When prices rise in countries that do not have alternatives, millions of families are hurt, and (it would seem) politicians are to blame. I wrote about how the Russian heat wave impacted world wheat prices, here. I explained that some countries will have to begin to switch their diets in order to accommodate shortages - a daunting task if the populations do not have ready market access to alternatives. I also wrote about possible solutions (printing food from a machine) being explored in a Cornell University laboratory, here. Printing food is exactly the sort of conveniences we saw in the Jetsons.