The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Fit to Eat

On the road again in Fukushima, following the continuing problems of the explosion at Daichi nuclear plant a year ago.

Talked to and watched the people at a farmers’ market in Miharu yesterday, (above) check food for contamination. Many farmers in the area have lost their livelihoods due to nuclear contamination that is too high to make their crops sellable yet too low to receive any or much compensation from TEPCO.

Most of the customers at the market  are local refugees from the temporary housing areas nearby who cannot get to Koriyama to buy their groceries. The saddest thing we were told yesterday was that farmers who know their crops will probably not pass the test do not even come to have it checked and are slowly disappearing from the community.

More later



3 responses

  1. Nathan

    You do realize there was no nuclear explosion at Daichi, right? Saying so is so completely ridiculous and ignorant I am assuming it must be a typo. There was an explosion at the nuclear power plant, but it was not nuclear explosion!

    May 7, 2012 at 12:09 am

  2. OK Nathan it was a hydrogen explosion that released nuclear material. No it wasn’t a nuclear explosion as fusion or fission did not occur. Have edited out the word to make it more factual but think the semantics of the fact that a explosion did happen and it caused radioactive contamination is neither ridiculous nor ignorant. It was a lazy writing (I was very tired) but I fail to see any other way to describe the reality that the explosion was most definitely nuclear in character because of the radiation released. Though the massive energy release of a breaking atom was not seen it was hardly your common or garden explosion either was it? Thus I think, though not strictly accurate as per the dictionary definition, the difference you high-light so aggrievedly is a little petty as meltdowns caused atom decay and radiation appears to have been spread into the sea and atmosphere by explosive force initially later allowing a plume to develop and be extended by winds and weather to contaminate the area.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:26 am

  3. The news of the contamination of foods with radioactive substances leaking from the Fukushima nuclear reactors damaged the mutual trust between local food producers including farmers and consumers. Everywhere in Japan banners and stickers were found with: “Hang in there, Fukushima!”, numerous harmful rumors on Fukushima products could be found online. Many rumors that were discriminatory to Fukushima and other messages slandering Fukushima people could be found on the Internet. The source of cesium was found to be rice straw that had been feed to the animal. But a notice of the Japanese government that was sent to cattle-farmers after the nuclear accident made no mention to the possibility that rice straw could be contaminated with radioactive materials from the plant.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:51 am

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