Radiation and Tea in Japan


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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby AdamMY » Dec 7th, '13, 22:12

Saladin wrote:

Thanks Adam. I'm just your typical dumb-guy just hoping to limit his exposure to as many bad things as possible.


Don't say that. We all need to try and make ourselves aware of what is happening in the world and be able to understand what is overhyped and what is a real threat. i.e mercury in fish is actually a real concern for a lot of people. Especially those that eat mostly fish as their source of protein. Then again the amounts of mercury shown to be dangerous are far easily obtainable by *normal* standards than radiation.

Honestly, while I may say that I am a bit annoyed by the general paranoia out there over radiation. I do understand it, as it is not something that is very easily understood, especially as most other naturally occurring harmful substances have not been turned into weapons of mass destruction. Nor has there been an entire generation taught to fear an item such as mercury through a long standing global escalation of powers (cold war and radiation).

But the truth is in short of meltdowns of nuclear power plants happening in your somewhat close neighborhood, or a sudden outbreak of nuclear war, the chances that you will be exposed to even half the known amount of dangerous radiation from every day items is very minimal. I hope this makes you feel better.

Also if it makes you feel better, when I heard the news about the Mashiko pottery centers, I have reconsidered whether or not I will be seeking out new pottery from those areas any time soon. (Sad as I was really starting to love those wares.)
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 7th, '13, 22:16

... and I ate a BIG banana! :mrgreen:

I do feel it is important to not bury our heads in the sand, remain vigilant, and not simply take governments' word on such issues. Fortunately there is enough of the private sector that are not going to take the governments' words as final.

The Turner article certainly is enough to freak out anyone who read it ... and is certainly quite different from other articles and news reports. How much is true and how much is overactive imagination and where does the truth really lie?

Does anyone really know?

Who can and will give us the true and definitive answers?

Who do we trust when trusts have been betrayed?

(And what does it matter when the world is apparently allowing terrorist states to enrich uranium? ... oops, the Mod dropped a political bomb. I will give myself a warning)
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 7th, '13, 22:20

Mercury and radiation may (or may not) pale by comparison to all the contamination in various forms that all the farm raised fish are exposed to. Stay away from the farm raised salmon, shrimp (virtually all Asian imported by US) and so on.

This situation is REAL today, not in a theoretical future.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 7th, '13, 22:48

Chip wrote:...(... oops, the Mod dropped a political bomb. I will give myself a warning)



:lol: :lol: :lol:

best,

..............john
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 7th, '13, 23:02

... oh but I am getting way off topic as this is about radiation and tea in Japan which I continue to drink basically all day. :mrgreen:
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 7th, '13, 23:14

John, as you know I have a heavy "science" bent...... and had to study the Fukuishima situation carefully as part of my job at the college sicne I was taking students there. So I learned a LOT in the process.

There is a HUGE issue with what has happend and is happening at Fukushima. There is a lesson there about the use of nuclear power, if anyone is listening. I'm no fan of nuclear power. We need geothermal, solar, wind, and tidal souces...... not more nukes. At least until we know a LOT more about how to handle it.

But there is a MASSIVE amount of fearmongering going on.

Let's disect the "journalism" there in the Turner article a bit and see how facts and writing skills can be used to distort the perceptions of the reader as to what is actually being said.

"On March 30, 2011, Mr. Lake Barrett, a former official with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and now an adviser to TEPCO, said "The environmental release is the growing challenge; you’re going to read more and more about it in the paper. Wait until the first cesium-137 shows up in Alaska salmon, which is only a matter of time." Mr. Barrett's warning was prescient."

So to add ceredibility to what follows, the writer selects someone who has some "credentials" to make a statement. Fine. That sets up the situation that can later be built upon. Then there is a quote that is nothing earth shattering. With sensitive enough instruments it is a certainty that Cesium 137 IS going to show up pretty much everywhere in the world from this event. Doh. The man knows his science and how the world works. Because of the cold war, we have some amazingly sensitive instruments to measure radiation.

What is NOT talked about there is the AMOUNT of cesium 137 that will show up in those Alaska salmon he mentions and what that detectible level really means. But they won't go there in this piece, because it does not serve the agenda that the writer is pushing.

So then the article goes on.........

"In 2012, out of twenty Pacific Tuna fish caught and tested from various points in the ocean, one hundred percent (100%) tested positive for radiation contamination! Researchers at Stanford University studied samples from 20 blue-fin tuna caught off California between May and August 2012 and said they detected radioactive cesium. They concluded the source of the contamination was the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant".

This again is a no-brainer. As I said above it does not take much understanding of science to know that the cesium is going to get all over the planet. Again the real ISSUE is HOW MUCH? But the article again deliberately does not mention this level detected. That is a deliberate tactic to instil fear. Because the mere word "radiation" is misunderstood by scads of peoople and it is inflamitory.

And by adding this paragraph right after the lead-in paragraph, there is an implication to the non-critical reader that the credibility of the guy mentioned in the first paragraph is somehow now transfered to this next part also. And that this is even worse than the first guy states........ not only salmon, but bluefin tuna. Again...... very deliberate considered writing.

So it goes on.......

"In British Columbia, Canada, Pacific Herring have been found to be bleeding from their eyes, mouths, fins and tails. Independent fisheries scientist Alexandra Morton is raising concerns about a "disease" she says is spreading through Pacific herring causing fish to hemorrhage. “I did a beach seine on Malcolm Island [near Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island] and I got approximately 100 of these little herring and they were not only bleeding from their fins, but their bellies, their chins, their eyeballs. “It was 100 per cent … I couldn’t find any that weren’t bleeding to some degree."

Now this part is AMAZING in it's blatant attempt to connect two disparate things that do not have any documentable connection. So....... this next part has no linkage to the radiation at all, and the article does not SAY that it does. There is nothing in the piece to show studies have proven that this is something that is being caused by the radiation mentioned previously. It is deliberately left to the READER to draw the connection. Nowhere do they state that the radiation is the cause........ but most reading this piece will make that connection. Some good writing skills there.

This is fearmongering journalism at its best.

No, we shouldn't be adding any more radiation into the world from nuclear plants than the already natural exposures that exist from stuff like granite and cosmic rays. But understanding the magnitude of the hazard posed by an event like Fukushima here in the USA is also improtant.

A couple other somewhat related pieces of info:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/fukushima.asp

http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/fallout.asp

Now the folks in Fukushima Prefecture........ THAT is a different story. They DO have something to worry about. Japan has something to worry about.

best,

...............john
Last edited by JBaymore on Dec 7th, '13, 23:35, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 7th, '13, 23:20

AdamMY wrote:Also if it makes you feel better, when I heard the news about the Mashiko pottery centers, I have reconsidered whether or not I will be seeking out new pottery from those areas any time soon. (Sad as I was really starting to love those wares.)


Adam,

Nothing there to worry about. They are very aware of the issue over there and are not firing with the local wood. And the only reason that the might ever be an issue with the local wood is the concentration factor of raw wood to wood ash. And you'd have to have a significant deposit of shizenyu (natural ash glaze) to even have much physical ash on the pieces.

And even if someone did... the level of radiation again would be VERY low. The issue is ALL about the magnitide. (See that chart I posted for perspective.)

best,

..............john

PS: I am an official advisor for the Mashiko International Pottery Association since the beginning of 2013.... so I'm "in the loop".
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 7th, '13, 23:26

Chip wrote:... oh but I am getting way off topic as this is about radiation and tea in Japan which I continue to drink basically all day. :mrgreen:


As do I. And I also use new Mashiko (and other Japanese ) wares. A lovely new (2013) shizenyu (natural ash glaze) yunomi by Matsuzaki Ken (Mashiko) graces my table by the computer at the moment.

best,

...............john
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby AdamMY » Dec 7th, '13, 23:35

JBaymore wrote:
AdamMY wrote:Also if it makes you feel better, when I heard the news about the Mashiko pottery centers, I have reconsidered whether or not I will be seeking out new pottery from those areas any time soon. (Sad as I was really starting to love those wares.)


Adam,

Nothing there to worry about. They are very aware of the issue over there and are not firing with the local wood. And the only reason that the might ever be an issue with the local wood is the concentration factor of raw wood to wood ash. And you'd have to have a significant deposit of shizenyu (natural ash glaze) to even have much physical ash on the pieces.

And even if someone did... the level of radiation again would be VERY low. The issue is ALL about the magnitide. (See that chart I posted for perspective.)

best,

..............john

PS: I am an official advisor for the Mashiko International Pottery Association since the beginning of 2013.... so I'm "in the loop".



Good to hear, I will give them a look again... I've been branching out form my Hagi *cave* lately. And Mashiko is incredibly unlike hagi, so a nice change of pace.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Saladin » Dec 8th, '13, 00:40

Thanks John, I agree that piece of writing was very sensational indeed. I guess I'm pretty easily spooked.
Adam, some of the best pots ever made (imho) were made by Mashiko potters who are no longer alive, so plenty of nice new and old works to collect.
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Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby amaranto » Dec 9th, '13, 23:37

This podcast episode addresses the topic of radiation in Japan in regard to tea: http://www.myjapanesegreentea.com/podca ... n-in-japan

I thought it was interesting to hear the perspective of someone deeply involved in the tea business.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby chingwa » Dec 13th, '13, 13:07

That was pretty interesting, especially concerning the info about organic teas... the difficulty (and cost) of certification as well as the rather common acceptance by Japanese farmer's that organic teas don't have the same flavor as non-organic teas.

It's kind of a double-whammy preventing more farmer's from jumping on the organic bandwagon.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Puerlife » Dec 16th, '13, 07:56

Thanks for posting, OP. I found this link on the stickied radiation thread and listened to it and learned a lot from the operator of Yunomi. I think I'll be ordering from them next year, too.
http://www.myjapanesegreentea.com/podca ... n-in-japan
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby ClarG » Feb 17th, '14, 20:26

OK I ordered some Japanese green tea both sencha and genmachia from the company Ryu mei.

It was grown in Uji, in Kyoto is organic, and has passed many qualifications.

I looked up radiation tests done on tea from this region and there's not radiation found on any of the tea grown here in Japan.

I know I'm exposed to more radiation by traveling and going through airport security, and via a cellphone than from tea.

Has anyone ever ordered from the company Ryu mei before?
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Feb 17th, '14, 20:44

Great, good luck with your order ClarG!

I have ordered from Ryu mei maybe twice. Very nice owner and they also have nice teawares.
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