I picked up a rice ball at the convenience store. Mmmmm One of my greatest joys of the day is choosing which flavor of rice ball I’m gonna have.
As I was standing outside in the nice warm sunshine chewing, I idly examined the package. There was a new image printed onto the plastic wrapping. It said, “Made with rice from Fukushima. Let’s support Fukushima’s people!” (Fukushima wo ouen shimashou!)
I stood there chewing.
And I thought.
“Oh. Fukushima rice. Support Fukushima……..WHAT?!”
I was seriously disturbed for the rest of the day. One one hand, the economics of Fukushima are going to hell because not only do some people have no homes and no jobs, but the surrounding farmers trying to make a living are getting their animal meat and produce banned because there’s radiation detected in it. They can’t make a living.
But…um….that’s because THERE IS RADIATION IN SOME OF THE FOOD. Last time I checked, that was a bad thing? So….does that mean I should be like “Weeeeee I’m gonna munch down your radiation-tainted rice balls, because I’m ready to sacrifice my body so that the economics of Northern Japan can survive.
THEN I read THIS ARTICLE on Twitter:
Yokohama mums against radiation: The fight to remove contaminated food from the school menu
Yokohama mums against radiation
Late last week, the Japanese government lifted a ban on shipments of beef from Fukushima, bringing minor relief to farmers whose livelihoods were threatened by the discovery in late July that over 4,000 kilograms of cesium-contaminated beef had hit the shelves at Japan’s supermarkets. Toshiko a housewife from Yokohama, began studying all she could about the known effects of radiation on the human body.
To paraphrase, she asked her daughter’s school if they were buying produce from west of Japan, and they said no, they always used Fukushima produce in school meals and had no intention of stopping because it would cause economic damage and suffering to the region if they altered their policy.
All the parents finally were outraged.
‘I think it’s an awful national habit that we Japanese have,’ she continues. ‘During the war, Japanese people would willingly sacrifice themselves if it was beneficial for the country. That was the norm, the virtue. That mentality lives on. The government has passed the buck to the people of Japan, saying, “Please eat the Fukushima vegetables. Poor Fukushima people. They need your help.” Yes, of course we have to help the industries and economy of Fukushima, but is it okay for our children to eat that produce, get sick and die young? Should we let them develop cancer? That’s a completely different argument.’
Okay, I can’t believe this!! I always check produce and where stuff comes from in the grocery stores….but I actually didn’t believe that I’d find anything from Fukushima, but apparently there IS stuff everywhere.
On top of that, I’ve been seeing advertisements for sight-seeing spots in Northern Japan, saying, “Let’s enjoy the beauty of Northern Japan and support Fukushima at the same time!”
Right. Have fun with that up there. I ain’t goin’ up there for MY vacation. Reports have already come out that say areas the government said were fine, were actually contaminated with high levels of radiation. The government is trying to raise the minimum safety limit. Um, IS THAT A GOOD THING? NO. The radiation is still dangerous, and raising the limit means that officials can say “Well, it’s below the limit!” So that means if I can only bench press 100 pounds 5 times, my coach says “I’ve now decided that you can lift 120 pounds 5 times. SO what’s wrong with you, hurry up and lift it.”
That doesn’t change the fact I’m gonna strain myself.
;_; It’s such a sad situation.