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Japanese Scientists Find Mutant Butterflies Near Fukushima

Japanese scientists have looked at several generations of butterflies near the power plant and found some concerning "abnormalities."

A massive release of radioactive material is never good, but so far it's been hard to evaluate the precise effects of the collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on the surrounding environment. But this new study, published in Scientific Reports, is concerning. Japanese scientists have looked at several generations of pale grass blue butterfly populations in the affected area and have found physical mutations and genetic damage. In short: mutant butterflies.

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Pocket EPA: iPhone Gadget to Measure Environmental Hazards

New gizmo will measure local radiation, electromagnetic pollution, and whether or not food is organic.

It's a hazardous world out there. Some things we have control over—like the food we put on our plates—but other risks are harder to detect. Lapka Electronics sees an opportunity in our anxiety over contaminated environments and is soon bringing a device to market that holds some promise to mitigate the toxicity to which we're all exposed.

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How Radiation is Changing the Foods that You Eat

From red grapefruit to Asian pears, what radiation means to plant scientists and eaters around the world.

In 2006, Western Australia's Department of Agriculture and Food sent 215 kg of seeds—wheat, barley, and other vegetable seeds—on a 15-day spin around the world on board a Chinese Shijian-8 satellite.

Why send seeds into space? So that they come in contact with cosmic radiation, and so that radiation causes mutations and, potentially, new plant varieties.

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Eating Inside the Eden of Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone

Is it safe to eat the fruits and berries growing on land contaminated 25 years ago by a nuclear disaster? Looking forward by looking back.

Japan is just now beginning to see the food chain trauma from nuclear radiation around the damaged Fukushima plant. While the radiation may disperse in the vast Pacific Ocean, rather than pooling on land and in food crops, it's worth revisiting the food growing around one the 20th century's worst nuclear disaster—the exclusion zone around Chernobyl.

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Dietary Supplements: Suspect Seafood, Mustard Madness, and Tastebud Training

Today's round-up of what we're reading at GOOD Food HQ. Enjoy!

Even if Japan's seafood isn't contaminated by nuclear radiation, the fear of contamination could have lasting effects.

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Add Radioactive Water to Pennsyltucky's "Fracking" Problem Does Fracking Make Drinking Water Radioactive?

One of the hazards of hydraulic fracturing could be a toxic food and water supply—and not just in the epicenter of the natural gas boom.

The rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania can sometimes be defined by what they are not—namely, a locus of wealth, people, and political power like Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. It's still a wild place and a blank spot on the map, as author Peter Stark writes in The Last Empty Places.

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