The organic peaches, pears, grapes and apples Kinju Watanabe grows in Fukushima City have shown no detectable radiation, despite soil contamination in the area of 2,000 Becquerels per kilogram, and other farmers’ fruits testing at 40-80 Bq/kg.
Although grown in contaminated sectors, Fukushima organic produce distributor Takehiro Makuta says all the food he distributes has tested “ND,” not detected—below the detection limit of the measurement device, not necessarily zero.
Some researchers theorize that bacteria and fungi that flourish in organic soil prevent the crops from absorbing cesium, or transmute the cesium into non-radioactive barium.
Uncanny Terrain is a documentary about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis, and an online community fostering dialogue on food safety, sustainable agriculture, alternative energy and disaster response. Please keep the conversation going by making a tax-deductible donation.