Feb 26, 2016

Scientists happily surprised to find truffles free of Chernobyl radiation

Posted by in categories: food, nuclear energy, particle physics

This will make friends Vladimir and Marina happy.

Mushrooms and game meat in European regions where Chernobyl fallout was most intense still have excess radiation, but Burgundy truffles get the green light; foodies rejoice.

It’s been 30 years since the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine in which a fire and explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant unleashed a slew of radioactive particles into the atmosphere. Swept along by winds and settled by heavy rains, radioactive particles, especially caesium-137 (137Cs), polluted large stretches of the European continent. And we all know the problem with radioactive things, they’ve got lasting power.

“Much of the continent’s topsoil layers are still radioactively contaminated,” says Ulf Büntgen, Head of the Dendroecology Group at the Swiss Federal Research Institute (WSL) and lead author of a new study measuring something dear to a foodie’s heart: the contamination level of Burgundy truffles (Tuber aestivum), like those pictured below.

Read more

Comments are closed.