Monday, April 17, 2006

The gamma game

How helpless are we at the hands of corporate greed. Not satisfied with breeding and genetically modifying food for shelf life, of loading things in trans fats, homogenising and vacuum packing for the convenience of the food market monopolists, we now have irradiation of our foods. Many of us have been blissfully ignorant about this, assuming that, of course, it was not legal in Australia. After all, we have been onto trans fats for ages. They are only a trace in our ingredients (albeit that even a trace is too much). But, surely, we don't want to nuke our food. Not our fruit? No, please, not our fruit. But here we have it - a thriving irradiation industry in Queensland with beautiful fruit and other fare travelling along conveyer belts to get the good old gamma rays. Oh boy, are they sterile. There is nothing better than a sterile mango. Who knows what evil diseases may breed beneath that pristine natural packaging! Kill, kill. Electron beams for greater shelf life.
We don't need our fruit fresh. We just need it long-standing. Old fruit is good fruit. Or so the supermarkets would have us believe - since they, clearly, are the market motive for this appalling treatment of our foods.
And so it seems there is yet more to fight about. Rights being stolen behind our backs. Rights to presume that fruit is nature's bounty. Well, nature's bounty nuked for posterity.
They find no ostensible human damage in this treatment of food - so far. But of course they don't know much. They don't know how this treatment may or may not change the cellular properties of fruits. Or what effect this may have on humans in the long run. Who cares about the long run, anyway? It is all about profit right now!

No comments: