Irradiation - The
use or application of ionizing radiation for the
sterilization or preservation of food. Food is
irradiated using radioactive gamma sources, or high
energy electron beams. The gamma rays break up the
molecular structure of the food, forming positively and
negatively charged particles called free radicals. The
free radicals react with the food (or our bodies) to
create new chemical substances called "radiolytic
products." Those unique to the irradiation process are
known as "unique radiolytic products" (URPs). Some
radiolytic products, such as formaldehyde, benzene,
formic acid, and quinones are harmful to human health.
Benzene, for example, is a known carcinogen. In one
experiment, seven times more benzene was found in
cooked, irradiated beef than in cooked, non-irradiated
beef. Some URPs are completely new chemicals that have
not even been identified, let alone tested for toxicity.
In addition, irradiation destroys essential vitamins,
including vitamin A, thiamin, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic
acid, C, E, and K; amino acid and essential
polyunsaturated fatty acid content may also be affected.
A 20 to 80 percent loss of any of these is not uncommon.
A compilation of 12 studies carried out by Raltech
Scientific Services, Inc. under contract with the U.S.
government examined the effect of feeding irradiated
chicken to several different animal species. The studies
indicated the possibility of chromosome damage,
immunotoxicity, greater incidence of kidney disease,
cardiac thrombus, and fibroplasia. In reviewing
Raltech's findings in 1984, USDA researcher Donald
Thayer asserted, "A collective assessment of study
results argues against a definitive conclusion that the
gamma-irradiated test material was free of toxic
properties." Studies of rats fed irradiated food also
indicate possible kidney and testicular damage and a
statistically significant increase in testicular tumors.
One landmark study in India found four out of five
children fed irradiated wheat developed polyploidy, a
chromosomal abnormality that is a good indication of
future cancer development. We think it makes a lot more
sense to focus on producing “clean” food, rather than
trying to clean up “dirty” food.
Locally grown - Products grown within a close
distance that reduce food miles and builds the local
economy. Today, the average grocery store product
travels about 1500 miles from start to finish.
So... What’s the best
That’s easy; Eating certified Organic, pastured,
free-range, humanely raised, sustainably & locally grown
products assures you of the purest, safest, healthiest,
most environmentally sound, tastiest products.
At Windy Ridge Poultry we are “all of the above” !
If your diet isn’t perfect, don’t panic. Do the best you
can. Every little bit of improvement will help you and
the earth and is worth the effort.