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For Japan Locust Eaters, A Plague of Cesium? via Japan Realtime

But Hajime Fugo, the vice president of Tokyo University of Agriculture of Technology and a physiologist specializing in insects, worried the locust-eating tradition may fall into extinction should connoisseurs shun the bug amid deepening anxiety among consumers over food produced in Fukushima, fearful of radiation hazards.

With a Geiger counter in his pocket, Mr. Fugo, along with two students, in October went to Iitate, a village located over 30 kilometers away from the nuclear plant and where hot spots of high radiation have been discovered. There they collected about 500 grasshoppers, a cousin of the locust which was in short supply in the area because local rice fields were barren. The radiation in the air varied from 2.5 microsieverts to a little over 3 microsieverts per hour at the time.

About 4,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137 was detected in the grasshoppers, all 500 weighing a cumulative one kilogram. The levels far exceed Japan’s regulatory limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram.

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