A local supermarket chain is having delusions. It thinks it's Whole Foods, the natural food emporium that sprouted (to coin an expression) in Texas and since has spread to almost every part of the country where people routinely recycle, eat whole grain breads and fight cholesterol with oat muffins and oatmeal. (Parenthetically, what would a store called "Half Foods" look like or feature?)
There is a difference between Whole and the local wannabee, and it ain't price. On price they can agree. More is better. The Wannabee brags that it sells irradiated meat. Not admits. Brags. It's fresher! It lasts longer! No E-Coli! And they advertise it as if it were health food. Is it safe? Maybe. Is it harmful? We Report You Decide, to coin another expression.
Here are some things to consider. The FDA lets processors beam 450,000 rads of gamma rays, electrons or x-rays at each piece of food. That's 150,000,000 times the radiation in a typical chest x-ray. Of course, you'll be assured that the cow you're eating did not have lung cancer. And, no, there won't be any malicious bugs in your burger.
The government, the WHO and the processing industry all will tell you this is a health benefit.
Well, then, why don't we just irradiate the air to get rid of greenhouse gases and pollution. Oh. Wait. It probably would put more pollution in the air than it removes.
It's like the doc who advises a patient with a cold to take a shower and stand in front of an open window because "we can't cure the cold, but we CAN cure pneumonia."
Well, we can't seem to kill e-coli. But we CAN cure radiation sickness. And it's almost a sure bet that your health insurance will cover that.
We could also zap water and flour. The water will be a bigggggg seller if bottled. The irradiated flour? Mix it with the irradiated water and that green glow in your Wonder Bread? That's not mold.
--When you hear about "States' Rights," worry. Governor Sanford of South Carolina went on a mystery vacation, Governor Schwarzenegger of California can't bail the leaky scow fast enough, the New York State Legislature is in some bizarre gridlock because of party switching. Maybe "State" is an outmoded concept.
--JD Power ranks the Mini Cooper last on the list of 37 cars in its owner satisfaction survey. The car sure is cute, an attention getter. But it's not so cute when things go wrong, despite its ever-so-British heritage and it's ...um, German engineering.
--The fatal crash of two commuter subway-like trains in DC had to have a mechanical or electrical cause. But when the pilot of a plane or the engineer of a train dies in a crash, the cause always is labeled "human error." This might be, too, when they finally figure out who has jurisdiction over the investigation.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®