Remember the earthquake off the coast of Fukushima two years ago? It led to a tsunami and a meltdown at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. We already knew that the resulting flood from the tsunami washed large amounts of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. However, right after the disaster the company that owns the power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), claimed that none of the radiation was leaking into the ocean. Well, in July, TEPCO admitted that radiation may be leaking into the Pacific Ocean. We now know that, yes, radiation is leaking into the ocean. 300 tons of radioactive water a day in fact.
It's an ongoing problem that TEPCO is still struggling to deal with. In the meantime, here are the issues surrounding the shocking news.
1. Contaminating your food
Did you wonder why the tuna at Metro was all of a sudden on sale? It’s probably because pacific tuna has been found to be contaminated by the radioactive water it inhabits. Halibut, Mackerel, and sardines have all been found to be similarly effected. Make sure you watch what you buy from the seas, especially if its glowing green.
2. Clean up will take forever
It is estimated that it will take up to 40 years to clean up the radioactive mess in the wake of Fukushima. While we wait for the cleanup crew to finish their job, the debris from the incident is headed for the western coast of North America.
3. TEPCO has no idea how to handle it
Today, the chairman of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority told the president of Toyko Electric Power Company he needs to get it together and figure out what to do with this situation because they don’t seem to have any plan in mind. Example: the protective barriers created around 11 storage units at the nuclear site failed to contain contaminated water after heavy rainfall last week during a typhoon. That's not good.
4. Increase your risk of cancer
TEPCO reported in July that there were spikes in the amount of cesium and strontium in the groundwater at the plant, both of which are known to increase the risk of cancer in humans. By eating fish exposed to both substances, you're increasing your risk of developing cancer. These elements can also stunt the mental and physical growth of youth if they eat contaminated fish.
5. Good news
There are two sides of the story though. There are some people who think the effects have been blown a bit out of proportion. David Suzuki maintains that he will continue to eat West Coast fish. According to him, research has shown that fish caught off the west coast of Canada is safe to eat. The radiation from Japan will take three years to reach the Canadian coast. While the contaminated area spreads, currents off the coast of Japan dilute the radioactive material to below WHO safety levels. So while it seems true that 42 species in the immediate area in the Pacific Ocean are considered unsafe for consumption, and fisheries in that area have remained closed, fish caught closer to the Canadian coast are safe to eat.
What do you think, Montreal? Are you going to stop buying Pacific fish? Or is the risk nonexistent for fish caught off the western coast of Canada? Let us know in the comments.
Attention party animals: on September 11 from 1 to 3 p.m., Montreal's corgis and their owners will be gathering in a downtown park for a special day of fun and fluffy butts.
Organizer YATAI MTL is launching the pooch party after successfully hosting a Shiba Inu gathering in June as part of Montreal's first-ever Japan Week celebrations.
Among the highlights of the Shiba gathering was the presence of "Kombu the Corgi" an adorable fellow "who tried to infiltrate" the Shiba-only affair and underlined the need for a corgi party, reads the invite.
To keep the event from being too overcrowded – as it's sure to be the social event of the year for Montreal's corgis and their people – guests must pre-register and organizers are only disclosing the venue a few days in advance.
Admission is free and the event will be postponed until September 12 in case of rain.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
A startling 46% of seafood samples sold in restaurants and grocery stores in four major Canadian cities were mislabelled, according to a report published Wednesday by the non-profit group Oceana Canada.
Often, low-cost knockoffs were pawned off as fancy fishes; out of a total of 94 samples, all 24 of butterfish, yellowtail and white tuna were mislabelled and over half of the samples labelled snapper was actually tilapia, "a much cheaper" fish.
Furthermore, there were 10 occasions where products labelled butterfish or tuna turned out to be escolar, a fish that "can cause acute gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and nausea and is banned from sale in several countries," according to a news release.
Despite promises to tackle the issue, seafood fraud has been an ongoing problem in Canada. Oceana's multi-year DNA testing study found the Canadian city with the most fake fish was Montreal, where 52% of the samples were mislabelled, though Ottawa and Toronto did nearly as poorly, with mislabelling rates of 50% each.
Sayara Thurston, a seafood fraud campaigner, highlighted the need for better traceability systems to detect foul fish before they hit our dinner plates. "Buying fish shouldn't be a guessing game. Canadians deserve to have confidence in the seafood they eat."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
If you aren't already psyched to watch Canadian athletes win gold at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, here's a whole new reason to be eager for Olympic glory: free doughnuts.
For every gold medal Canada wins, Laval-based pastry chain Mr. Puffs is giving away five free honey and cinnamon or sugar and cinnamon Puffs, which are bite-sized Greek-style doughnuts, at any one of their stores.
This means that you, too, can enjoy the sweet flavour of victory from the comfort of your own home, without the need for incredible natural talents and years of body-shredding, sweat-inducing training.
According to the company website, Puffs are traditional Greek doughnut holes (called loukoumades), invented thousands of years ago by the ancient Greeks and enjoyed by Olympians of old.
If the win happens after 9 p.m. or overnight then the prize is valid the next day, so keep an eye out for news of athletic victories.
To win, all you have to say is, "go Canada, go!" at the cash register. The promotion ends August 8 and doesn't apply on any delivery platforms, so you'll have to make the athletic feat of getting to the store.
Montreal food lovers missing their glory days of restaurant hopping rejoice: YATAI MTL, a festival dedicated to Japanese food and culture, is back with Japan Week, a mixture of both online and in-person events from June 7 to 13.
Opening night on Monday, June 7, at Café Osmo (51, rue Sherbrooke Ouest) at 5 p.m., will feature a Japanese mini market and "official opening of the association between Café Osmo and the Japanese counter Marusan," according to a press release.