1.Irradiationof Food. Nearly all of the produce found in supermarkets and grocerystores today has been irradiated. What is food irradiation and whatare its said benefits and risks? How do you know what foods have beenirradiated? Is there an associated health risk with this kind offood?
Food irradiationis a process used for preservation and other purposes. It involvesexposure of food to radiation rays with the alleged intention ofkilling invasive pests such as bacteria, delay ripening, improverehydration, increase juice yield among other purposes. The debate onthe suitability of irradiation of food is a sensitive topic thatdraws support and opposition in equal measure. As a result, theprocess is legal some countries and illegal in others. There are anumber of organizations and professional bodies that oppose foodirradiation for various reasons that have helped shape opiniontowards process.
The department ofagriculture (USDA) is one such organization that says that foodirradiation is not a safe option to sanitize food as it is likely tomake food radioactive which is very dangerous when consumed.Additionally, the process is more costly given that irradiationfacilities are expensive to set up and very few. Additionally, theprocess does not prevent post irradiation contamination. Irradiationis also opposed on the basis of good agricultural practices that callfor organic production methods.
The support forfood radiation is headed by a section of major scientificorganizations and health bodies. The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) supports the process but limits the amount of irradiation forspecific food types. The FDA sets maximum exposure at 4 kilo grays.The benefits of using this procedure include extended food shelflife, no chemical residues on the food, limited to detectableproblems, suited to large quantity food suppliers, more effective insanitizing food especially raw food and irradiated food is labeled toenable consumers choose. It is for this reason that consumers have achoice to consume irradiated food if they feel that it is safe to doso or choose to stay away from such foods if they believe that thefood is not safe (Food Haccp. (2014).
Food Haccp.(2014). Pros and Cons of Commercial Irradiation of Fresh IcebergLettuce and Fresh Spinach: A Literature Review – Part V.Conclusions. http://www.foodhaccp.com/1news/020909f.html
Acheson, D.(2014). To Irradiate or Not to Irradiate: What Are the Risk-BenefitArguments in Relation to Food Safety?http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/3/375.full
2.GlobalWarming. What is global warming? Is there really global warming? Howdo you know? What data can be found to support your viewpoint? If manis causing global warming why might the glaciers have melted endingthe ice age since man was obviously not yet on the scene creating thevast pollutants claimed to cause this enigma? Who touts globalwarming? Do scientists all agree? Richard Lindzen, an MIT professor,has been studying this topic for years (before it was a topic).Follow the money may be the modus operandi.
Global warming isthe defined as the gradual rise in global atmospheric temperatures.The rise has averaged (1.4 °F) since early 20thcentury. The cause and effect of this upsurge in temperatures is anissue of contention. On one hand, a section of scientists argue thatthe rise in temperatures is attributable to human activities on theearth’s surface which lead to excessive amount of CO2and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Scientists includingJoseph Mare and Gary Engler who are also backed by intentional bodiessuch as The Geological Society of America, IPCC (IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change), American Meteorological Society amongothers have released alarming evidence of global warming e.g. changesin precipitation, CO2 concentration in some parts, rise insea levels, melting of glaciers among others. They opine that whilenatural processes such as transpiration and combustion havecontributed to global warming, human activities on the earth’ssurface such deforestation, increased use of fossil fuels, such ascoals and gas among other practices contribute about 90% to thechange in temperatures (NASA, 2014).
In response, another section of scientists argue that global warmingis just a creation of the corporate world for commercial reasons.They argue the process is natural and part of global climate cyclesthat have been witnessed in the past such as the glacier melting thatended the ice age. This group of researchers which include RichardLindzen believe there is nothing to fear and the figures released arealarmist. Studies by Lindzen suggest that climate change is not aresult of global warming but rather changes in clouds.
From thearguments presented by the two sides, I believe that climate changeis real. Evidence of the ground in form of droughts, famine, risingsea levels, disappearing glaciers and erratic weather patternsindicate that the global warming is real. These problems have onlyexacerbated in the last few decades to coincide with increasedgreenhouse gas emissions. I thus believe that global warming is realand something needs to be done to reverse the situation to preservehumanity.
UCSA (2014).Global Warming: Confronting the Realities of Climate Change.http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/
NASA, (2014).Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree.http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus