Radiation…Quick, Buy The Salt and Rice?

cup of salt photoRiccardo Bissacco/iStock 

It seems that the Chinese are all a flutter as of late. After the big earthquake in Japan and the exploding reactors, the locals are afraid that the radiation will be heading this way by air and by sea.  I was told by a frantic staff of Chinese coworkers that I need to race to the supermarket and buy as much salt and rice as possible.  The Japanese are going to pollute our air and water with radiation.   I didnt have the heart to tell them.. that their air and water was already polluted.

However, I was a bit confused.. so I asked Why? .. they said because the radiation is coming… I said .. No.. I understand that but I want to know why do I need to buy salt and rice. After a few people telling me they don’t know just go buy it… I finally just stood up and said..what do I do with the salt after I buy it… they said..Eat a cup of salt every day… and the rice is so you have food.

I said are you guys crazy? First, I am dealing with high blood pressure and eating a cup of salt everyday is going to basically kill me… I will take my chances with the radiation.  Thank you very much.

Of course, I had to google this nonsense on why eating all this salt was necessary. I found the following on CNN.com

Chinese shoppers in Beijing and Shanghai cleared salt from supermarket shelves Thursday amid fears of a potential radiation crisis from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Government officials and experts attempted to calm fears by emphasizing that radiation levels in 41 cities across China remain normal.

Staff from multiple branches of the French supermarket chain Carrefour reported that their supplies of salt have been sold out since Thursday morning in Beijing.

A Shanghai branch reported the same.

Small, local and independently run grocery stores in Beijing told CNN they have also run out of salt supplies for the first time in recent memory

One customer in the eastern city of Ningbo (this is thirty minutes from my home )told the nation’s CCTV that she had purchased a five-year supply to placate her family’s fears of radiation.

Iodide tablets were also snapped up at many pharmacies in Beijing and Shanghai, according to state-run China Daily.

In an attempt to dispel fears, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection released a chart on its website showing radiation levels in 41 cities across China fell within normal ranges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised individuals against taking potassium iodide tablets unless the government and public health officials recommend doing so.

Iodine in iodized salt is ineffective for preventing radiation effects, according to the World Health Organization.

It does not contain an adequate amount of the iodine necessary to prevent radioactive iodine from damaging the human thyroid gland. It would take 80 tablespoons of salt to make up one prophylactic, or preventative, iodide tablet.

Medical experts in Beijing say that radiation fears at this time are unfounded.

“Right now here in China there is no reason to panic,” said oncologist Dr. Philip Brooks of Beijing United Family Hospital.

“Outside the immediate radiation area of the nuclear facility in Japan, the first thing is to stay calm and to realize there has been no significant exposure or expected exposure in the immediate vicinity now.”

Brooks said there is no need to take precaution, and if the situation changes, the public will be notified.

“There is no medicine to be taking, they should not be taking potassium iodide,” he said. “They should be just learning the facts.”

Salt sold in China is largely iodized in step with a national policy to prevent iodine deficiency disorders.

The nation’s major salt supplier, the China National Salt Industry Corp., assured a worried public that there are rich salt reserves to meet demand in the country and hoarding salt is unnecessary, Xinhua news agency said.


Chinese salt buyers 

Evidently, the Iodine in the salt is supposed to help you when the radiation comes for us.  The last time I saw so many people in a panic to get to the supermarket was when I was in Florida during hurricane season.

My hubby and I are not rushing to buy salt, especially since the price has shot up from 1 rmb to 30 rmb. We are also pretty sure we have enough rice and it isn’t necessary to stock up on more.

Some people were mumbling about how the Japanese are always trying to hurt China. I guess the Chinese will always think that the Japanese are still trying to kill them… this time with the exploding reactors.   When I asked several people what do you think about the earthquake in Japan… the answer I get from every one of them is …. NO COMMENT….wow…. harsh isn’t it.

until next time…..


9 thoughts on “Radiation…Quick, Buy The Salt and Rice?

  1. Jules

    Jo, you never fail to crack me up. I too am glad you acted with common sense and did not just follow along with the mass hysteria. Did the article really say a woman has a 5 yr supply of salt? heheheheh. Iodine tablets are pretty much sold out every where online and some places are selling 5 tablets for $200+, the price gouging is mind-boggling. I can’t believe not one person spoke on the earthquake, I guess they are practicing if you don’t have anything good to say then say nothing at all.

    1. No one over here wants to say .. anything good or bad about the earthquake… it is like they are afraid to say anything…. a little strange… since before it happened.. they were all loud about how they hated the Japanese.

  2. deb

    LOL, thank goodness you have common sense as far as the salt is concern. They must not be aware of the fact salt is not exactly our best friend.

  3. Pelo

    The panic doesn’t suprise me. I heard a while back the Chinese were obsessing over the fear of catching swine flu. Folks here in the US got a little frantic, too. According to cable news, some of us were hoarding iodide tablets.

    Tell the folks not to worry. I just read on line that the radiation has already hit the shores of California, and no one has keeled over yet.

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