The Nuclear Accident in Japan: Impacts on Food

The full impact of the Japanese nuclear crisis remains to be seen, but the health risks posed by radioactive contamination are well documented. In 2006, the National Academies of Science issued a definitive report on radiation exposure that concluded that even low levels of radiation can cause human health problems, including cancer, heart disease, or immune disorders.
The United States imports around 80 percent of its seafood as well as an increasing share of its fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, the FDA inspects less than two percent of these imports, leaving consumers at risk to a host of food-borne issues, which now includes potential radioactivity.
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Radioactive emissions from Japan have been detected throughout the United States, from California to Colorado and as far east as Massachusetts. Monitors in the Carolinas have detected the presence of radioactive iodine, the first time this material had been detected there since the Chernobyl accident 25 years ago.
A major avenue for exposure to radioactive contamination comes through food and water. Decades after the Chernobyl accident, the United Kingdom still maintains restrictions on large sectors of the country’s sheep production because radioactive cesium—dispersed through wind and rain—still contaminates grazing lands.
The U.S. imported around 150 million pounds of food from Japan in 2010, a small percentage of what Americans consumed, but not an insignificant amount. Imports from Japan included nearly 600,000 pounds of crab and anchovies and nearly 5 million gallons of bottled water, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages containing water, products that may be potentially higher risk if contamination continues to spread to the ocean and fresh water sources.
American consumers could be at risk through consumption of food products from other countries that experience radioactive fallout from the nuclear accident in Japan as well.

What We Recommend

  • The FDA should immediately ban all food and water imports from Japan, expanding on the FDA’s original step of restricting imports of milk and produce from the region near the accident site.
  • The EPA should increase its monitoring in the United States of air, water, precipitation, and milk for radiation.
  • The data generated by this environmental monitoring should be used by the FDA and the USDA to design sampling programs for soil, water used for irrigation, livestock or crop production, crops including leafy greens, and meat and milk in areas of the United States that are affected by radiation.
  • Congress should provide adequate funding for food inspection, both at home and abroad, instead of attempting to cut both USDA and FDA’s funding, which would weaken their ability to meet their current obligations even without the additional burden posed by this nuclear accident.
  • Congress should rethink our agricultural and trade policies, which encourage importation of an increasing share of our food from countries with weak regulatory regimes. If radiation from Japan ends up affecting these countries’ food systems, regulators there will not have the tools to ensure that food production is safe.

Learn More

from Food & Water Watch

Tandem & Triandem Breastfeeding through Pregnancy.

the way my mind organizes these memories is into two distinct categories: nursing while pregnant during the 1st half of the pregnancies, and nursing during the 2nd half of pregnancies.

pgc #2 (nursing 1 toddler, 8 mos at conception, 16 mos at birth)

fear (can this really cause a miscarriage?)
guilt ( who am i shortchanging more - the baby that needs milk or the fetus that the ob says i am putting at risk?)
thirst !
love/affection for nursling
fierce protectiveness (i'm going to try to do everything i can not to take this (milk) from you.
relief (found LLL!)


burgeoning confidence (this isn't as hard as i've heard!)
gratitude (body is making enough milk for toddler and keeping fetus healthy!)
fear and hope (i hope this pgc doesn't make you wean before you would otherwise)
worry (can't feel letdowns any more and it's becoming painful, is this normal?)
pain (it feels like gravel is passing through my nipples when you nurse !)
triumph and pride (you nursed through the whole pgc and i hung in there despite the cpl wks of discomfort! yay for us!)

pgc #3 (nursing one boy aged 3 and one toddler aged 1)

concern (can i nurse 2 thru a pgc and not be increasing the risk of miscarriage?)
gratitude (a reason to sit down and rest when i have to nurse you both)
surprise (i really feel tightening of the uterus and an urge to pee as soon as you start nursing)
fierce devotion ( i won't let the imminence of a new baby change the way i nurture you)
pride ( i don't know very many ppl who've nursed 2 children while pg !)


pain (oh, there's that gravel in the nipples again - i'd hoped that was a fluke !)
claustrophobic (oh no, here they come to nurse again and i'm so big and uncomfortable i feel like they're smothering me)
restless (are you done yet?)
skin crawly (what happened to the way they nurse ? suddenly they feel like they're all teeth and scrapy cat's tongues !!)
bargaining (if i can make it through just 10 more minutes, they won't wean b/c of the pregnancy)
relief (once you've nursed for a little while and i can hear you gulping, all the discomfort goes away and i am so glad to be breastfeeding you both still)
triumph and terror (neither of you weaned through the whole pregnancy and now i have a third!)

pgc #4 (nursing 4 yr old, 3 yr old and 6 month old)

determination (i've done 2, 3 can't be that much harder, besides the oldest hardly nurses much anymore)
concern (can nursing 3 finally be enough to adversely affect the pregnancy?)
thirsty !
have to pee as soon as they latch on
ever present nausea this pgc increases during nursing
suffocation (are they ever going to get off me ? i can hardly breathe)
hot flashes during nursing
skin crawly
underarms prickling as soon as they latch
panic (why is it so horrible this time, is something wrong w/ my hormones? with my pregnancy?)

~2nd half ~

guilt (i hope you guys don't know how much i hate this, this pgc)
cyclical pain (every few wks the gravel-thru-nipples pain is back!)
contractions (constant during nursing this pgc)
gagging (nausea increases enormously during nursing)
resentment (why do none of you ever wean during pgc like the stats say so many do ?)
more guilt (i love you, i want to nurse you as long as you want to nurse, i'm sorry i'm not enjoying it any more)
bargaining (i will give you a sucker if you'll be done nursing for now)
violent fantasies (dear husband, if you tell my children to go ask me for milkies again like my breasts are yours to give out like party favors when you want to bribe or distract them, i am going to wait until you sleep and hurt you slowly and creatively for a long time)
constant worry (surely this time it's going to make the baby come too early, that must be what all these hormonal signs mean)
relief and triumph (i made it again and nobody got hurt or emotionally scarred or weaned!)

pgc #5 (nursing 2 yo and 1 yo)

nervousness (what if it's as bad as the last pgc?)
self-reassurance (it can't be as bad - i'm only nursing 2 again and they are older and on solids so won't need to nurse as much)
tired tired tired
grateful (for the chance to sit down and rest while nursing)
guilty (this pgc is such a surprise, i didn't want to possibly cause you guys to wean, i really hope it doesn't make you wean)
fiercely protective
weepy / emotional


pain (gravel through nipples again but only for a short time mid-pgc, not recurring like last time)
random contractions
smothering (i'm so big and you guys are so big, i feel crushed under all of us)
determined (not much longer and we'll have our family all completed and i'll have no regrets if i can stick it out one last time!)
extreme weepiness
confusion (why am i so weepy when they nurse ?)
more weepiness (why am i so confused i don't even know why i'm crying ?)
profound gratitude (i'm so lucky i've been able to do this so many times, i have to cherish this, it won't last forever)
pride and triumph (made it again, about to be nursing 3 again)

whew! i have to print that out for posterity, it was very intense going back there, i thought about it all day and am so surprised i clearly r/m how very different the experience of bfing was w/ each pgc ! i just wanted to add that no matter what i went through while bfing during pgc, it was all worth it when the older nurslings got their 1st feeding of 'new' milk after the birth. every one of mine almost completely gave up solids for a cpl days when my 'new baby milk' came in and it was sheer heaven to hold them (one at a time on the 'toddler boob') next to the newborn and hear them gulping and sighing in unison w/ eyes rolling back in ecstasy as they stroked the new baby's silky head. if i am lucky enough to be able to prepare for it when my time comes to leave this earth, this is the memory i will conjure up and take with me, it is the very essence of why i work to help women breastfeed.

** update**
I went on to nurse the 3 children above for another 9 months. Then I went on to nurse my last 2 for another 3 1/2 years, until my daughter self-weaned at age 5 1/2.

our 5th child is almost completely self-weaned now, at 5 yrs and 5 months. he is only asking about every 2-3 weeks. we've come full circle and after over 13 years of breastfeeding children without cessation with 11 of those years nursing 2 or 3 at a time, i can look back and say i have never done anything more worthy or rewarding in my life, except perhaps giving birth to them. i will never have to look back with regret and wonder if i'd done it just a bit longer, might they have gotten more benefits? i haven't had to deal with bottle issues, or pacifier issues, or insecurity or object-attachment issues. i am completely convinced it all but eradicated sibling rivalry issues toward new babies coming into the family. i know it saved my last child's life, as there is no formula on the american market that he wasn't allergic to. it wasn't always easy and it wasn't always natural, but it was always the right thing to do. the added bonus of them remembering nursing very clearly is hopefully an increased likelihood that they will grow up to be devout breastfeeding advocates, as well! :-)     Green and Bitchy: the beginning of the end

Skinny Lou Allergy Cookies !

in the last 3.5 years of trying to find foods safe enough to feed my multiple allergy child that are also tasty enough to keep him interested, i've perfected a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe. i've been tweaking and simplifying it multiple times all along. the less ingredients, the better, but i wanted him to have the same ooey gooey, sweet and chewy delectable goodness that my other kids are lucky enough to get with "normal food". he loves them - he will literally eat over a dozen a day if i let him. and since they are bean, applesauce and coconut based, i can let him! :-)

i knew i'd reached and possibly even surpassed my hopes when i started sharing my latest incarnation of this recipe. people who don't even have dietary restrictions or allergy concerns rave about these cookies. it has gotten to the point that every time i make a batch, i know the neighbors will want some, the friends we walk our dog with, the chiropractor, the pediatrician, etc... and i am always making a ton extra for everyone else that loves these.

people are always saying to me, "you could sell these!" "you should market these!" "i would pay for these, no problem!"
so i've finally taken their advice and begun selling and shipping my cookies. i mostly do it through my facebook page or email, but will also be opening an etsy store soon, if orders stay at a stable number. i am also very interested in a financial partner that can help me professionally market them.
our pediatrician actually has a contact he thinks might be interested and i am waiting to hear back on that.

in the meantime, i've looked into the laws and rules and decided to start selling them on my own and building a customer base and collecting reviews and feedback! so here is the basic info on the cookies - if anyone wants to place an order, feel free to email me at ''. or friend me on FB under the same email addy. i tend to bake on mondays/tuesdays and ship on tues/wed.
basic info on the cookies is:

these cookies are 100%:
dairy free
egg free
corn free
soy free
gluten free
peanut free
tree nut free
seed free
GMO free

these cookies are made with organic:

gluten free oats
bean-based flour
allergen-free, corn- free chocolate chips
coconut milk
coconut oil
sea salt
brown sugar
(also a little organic cane sugar & baking soda).

1st time orders get a 'tester' price of $12/doz.
send me a pic of someone eating the cookies
(or just the cookies if you are camera-shy)
and a review, and you get a 2nd order for $12.
after that, normal price is $14/dozen
(and that includes shipping w/in continental U.S.)

please feel free to email me w/ any questions, i know i'd have to really look into this and know all about cross-contamination precautions and every ingredient before buying for my son!