Is it safe to eat seaweed from either Korea or Japan?
August 17, 2011 7:11 PM   Subscribe

I love snacking on the roasted seasoned seaweed available at Costco - but is it safe to eat in light of the Fukushima meltdown? The only product information I can find says it is a product of Korea. Should I avoid eating seaweed originating from any particular location?
posted by invisible ink to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here in Korea, seaweed sales have been booming after the earthquake- the high iodine levels are perceived as helping protect one's self from the effects of radiation--which aren't really an issue here. At all.
posted by holterbarbour at 7:16 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's the latest update from the FDA on their efforts to monitor food imports from Japan for radiation. I don't think I'd be concerned at all about the safety of roasted seaweed from Costco.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:44 PM on August 17, 2011

You do realize that the Fukushima problems are on the opposite side of Japan from Korea don't you? They are about 800 miles apart. My son lives in Japan at the southern end and he has no problem with any of the foods that are available at his end of the country.
posted by Old Geezer at 8:41 PM on August 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

It should be perfectly fine. There are still many uncertainties, but at least please spread the knowledge that any product that has even the slightest of over exposure to radiation (In accordance with the strict standards of Japan) will not be in the market in Japan, much less outside of Japan. Farmers of Strongly affected areas like Ibaraki and Fukushima are suffering from having to dispose all their goods, and the least we can do is to acknowledge that, and understand that the ones we can obtain should in most case be perfectly fine. So even if you find things from Japan in your country, buying it would not only be safe, but would contribute to fighting against the unfounded discrimination some parts of Japan are having to face.
posted by snufkin5 at 4:12 AM on August 18, 2011

Best answer: I was actually working on monitoring the radiation arriving in BC from Japan. As part of it we managed to get our hands on some seaweed from Japan. There was some radiation in it, but no where near a dangerous level. We were not yet at the point we could put numbers on the radiation, but we had to put it in out detector for 60 hours, inside a 1.5 ton lead shield, to collect enough gamma rays to look at- and I still wasn't able to accurate describe some of the peaks they were so tiny. I mean, the tiny amount of uranium decay products in the lead shield & concrete walls was *far* larger then the radiation in the seaweed.
We also were not at the point we could say the radiation was from Fuckashima for sure- The US did a lot of weapons testing near Japan at one point, so this could be from that.

Now this was just at one point off the coast, but yeah, we didn't see anything dangerous. If you want I can memail you more information.
posted by Canageek at 7:24 AM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

They're fine.
posted by icollectpurses at 2:22 PM on August 18, 2011

Korean seaweed is definitely safe (and delicious--in fact, it's a must-buy for Japanese tourists is very different from nori)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:25 AM on August 19, 2011

Korean seaweed is fine.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:50 AM on August 26, 2011

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