It was a problem the Saito family had never faced in all their years of farming: what do you do with radioactive spinach?
A few weeks after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant plunged into crisis on March 11, the Saitos were told their carefully cultivated spinach had been contaminated by radiation. But nobody told them what to do with the suddenly unsellable crop, says Kazuko Saito, who tills rice and vegetable fields near the Fukushima prefectural capital together with her husband and son.
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So the family could only pile the spinach in a corner of a field – along with broccoli also likely to have been contaminated with radioactive caesium – and watch it slowly rot.
“It’s still sitting there and any caesium will just go into the soil,” Ms Saito says. “The situation is laughable.”
Continue reading at Farmers in Fukushima count the cost