If you’ve seen the film  Food, Inc., you know that our industrial food system can be severely unsanitary. With the cramped conditions in which animals are bred, raised and slaughtered, it is no wonder that diseases such as E. coli spread so easily and end up in supermarkets and fast-food outlets. Because cattle ranches supply fertilizer to produce farms, such diseases can be spread to our fruits and vegetables as well.

Instead of solving the basic problems of sanitation in the food industry, a recent solution put into effect by food producers to prevent the spread of such bacteria is to irradiate food. According to research conducted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), food irradiation uses high-energy gamma rays, electron beams or X-rays—all of which are millions of times more powerful than standard medical X-rays—to break apart the bacteria and insects that can hide in meat, grains and other foods.

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