The Instigator
Hail2theking
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
BrandonA
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Food Irradiation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 419 times Debate No: 52127
Debate Rounds (5)
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Hail2theking

Pro

Food Irradiation: exposure of food to electron-stripping energy sources.

Due to exposure to irradiation, this issue raises health concerns. One concern that is overlooked, but deserves to be addressed, is the health and safety of workers. Workers in tons of fields do dangerous work, including military, police, fire department, nuclear plant workers, and so on. Irradiating food might raise concerns regarding the health for people who do such a thing for a living. However, while valid concerns, they are not serious. For one thing, what makes working dangerous is if there were to be any accidents or disasters. For irradiation facilities, severe accidents aren't possible. (http://uw-food-irradiation.engr.wisc.edu...) Also, unlike uranium at a nuclear power plant, irradiation facilities give off gamma rays, which can be recycled or regenerated, and they have no radioactive waste, which minimizes exposure to radiation from both workers and the public. So if the facilities are safe, then how could anyone justify an argument claiming irradiated food to be dangerous?
BrandonA

Con

Though food irradiation may aid in your health, there are still many downfalls to using, because it doesn't only help your health, but it indirectly make it worse for your health because of bacteria and other stuff.According to Joseph McAllister, radiation could cause resistant strains among the bacteria and cause more issues than even before the food was irradiated. The radiation used to irradiate the food could possibly mutate the bacteria which can become more lethal and be more dangerous against a person before irradiated food had taken place. Possibly in the future, the bacteria could eventually become resistant to the radiation, as many organisms will adapt and evolve, even though it will take time, it could eventually happen, and become resistant to the radiation, making the bacteria harder to kill. Because of this, the bacteria may become immune to many antibiotics used to get rid of the bacteria and then can infect through a person with very little resistance because of its increased protection. So through time it is possible the bacteria will be harder to kill and can be more dangerous to a person and can become a larger issue.
Debate Round No. 1
Hail2theking

Pro

Though my opponent claims that food irradiation could cause more infection problems, the truth is far from it. the website (http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au...) states that food irradiation kills infectious bacteria that often collects on the crops. And while the dangers of irradiation are proven, the dangers of pesticides are. Food irradiation reduces the need for pesticides, as it kills insects and bacteria that gather on the subjected foodstuffs. It also is capable of killing pests, such as worms and caterpillars, and making the food incapable of housing any pests that might come again. Even if the overall safety of food irradiation might be questionable, the portion regarding bacteria and parasites is indisputable.
BrandonA

Con

Even though it may kill off dangerous bacteria doesn't mean it's still healthy, for example, food irradiation also kills the bacteria that creates a smell for when the food is rotting and doesn't prevent the aging of food according to (http://www.epa.gov...) By irradiating food, there are many hazards that could be brought upon the food and can harm someone very seriously. Food irradiation is not a healthy or safe way for crops to grow or other food products, like meat or dairy, and is not a not a safe process to use. Irradiation does not eliminate pesticides or any other chemicals, so fruits such as apples if pesticides or other chemicals are used on them, they will still be on the food product. Contamination can occur if the food is packed and transported in unsanitary conditions, so bacteria can still be on the food if it is not handled correctly and if it hasn"t, then you run the risk of several hazards, and could still have the possibility of getting ill form the bacteria as long as it is packed and transported wrongly.
Debate Round No. 2
Hail2theking

Pro

It's my belief that smell isn't the only factor when considering if food is spoiled or not, so it would not be a huge loss if it didn't allow food to give that particular odor. And while true that it can't stop aging, it can slow down the process, and also preserve nearly all of its nutrients. (http://uw-food-irradiation.engr.wisc.edu...) Another point to address is the claim that irradiated food could cause harm if processed and shipped improperly. While true, this applies to all foods, not just irradiated foods. And since food irradiation is more up in the air, making it monitored more closely, than if anything, shipped irradiated foods are more sanitary than standard foods.
BrandonA

Con

Irradiating food does leave the macromolecules unaffected, like protein, carbohydrates, fats, and even minerals, but it is not the same for vitamins. http://www.livestrong.com... has stated that through the process of irradiation several vitamins either are reduced or just eliminated from the food overall. Vitamins such as thiamin, or vitamin E and C are affected, and all three of the vitamins are incredibly important, and by getting less of theses vitamins can be lethal for someone's health. Of course, its always possible to take vitamin supplements, some people won't do their research and they will be getting insufficient amounts of the vitamins without them even knowing. The macromolecules are not affected luckily which are incredibly important to have the correct amounts of, but so are vitamins and its important to have plenty of them.
Debate Round No. 3
Hail2theking

Pro

Vitamins are crucial, as they are what make fruits and vegetables as healthy as they typically are. However, vitamins aren't necessarily destroyed. In fact, they're well-preserved. Take into consideration the components it takes to keep food viable before it spoils. At least one of those components is vitamin content, in which case, those are still consistently present, considering how irradiated foods take longer periods of time to spoil. (http://uw-food-irradiation.engr.wisc.edu...) Also, their nutritional value is still preserved, as my source states. Even if vitamins were depleted during irradiation, it would not be very many.
BrandonA

Con

There are many advantages to having irradiated food, but there all health related, but one other thing is that that the cost will be increased, and some people would be willing to pay more, but others will not. Since the process of irradiating food will be harder, and more expensive, then the food product will cost more. Of course, paying more for the food could possibly prevent doctor trips, and medication, but in the scenario that some mistake is made, most likely in transporting the foods, then extra money spent on the food will not help you too much. Of course the price change will be little, http://uw-food-irradiation.engr.wisc.edu... estimates to to be 2 to 3 cents per pound, which is not much, but when here bought in bulk, such as like grocery stores, then it would be a lot more expensive and if a mistake does occur, then lots of people will be affected because of the contamination, if not packed or transported properly.
Debate Round No. 4
Hail2theking

Pro

As the debate comes to a close, it's important to know facts, as well as know what you're dealing with. As such, some of these points I will state may not be proven completely factual until more research is conducted. That said, the argument of my opponent states that food irradiation could be expensive, due to being a long, complicated process. This is potentially the case, but it may not be. The reason for stating the latter is because as http://mightylib.mit.edu... states, irradiated food and products have potential medical uses such as sterilizing medicines and bandages, which could help to receive government funding, depending on how beneficial it is. Speaking of government, the government seldom allows for any hazardous products to be mass-produced, so when you have agencies such as the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture,) FDA (Food and Drug Administration,) and CFSAN (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,) closely monitoring irradiation and still giving it the OK, I'd say we're doing something right. Irradiated food also receives the same type of processing and shipping as standard food, so if contamination and could occur, the only ones who are to blame are those who fail at their jobs to ensure all foodstuffs are shipped safely. As this debate closes, it's important to reassert the facts that as far as anyone is concerned, food irradiation is not only safe, but also extremely beneficial. With this closing, I thank my opponent for his professionalism and challenges, and those whom have taken their time to see this debate through and assert a stance on the topic. Always have an open mind, but don't be afraid to stand by your opinions, either.
BrandonA

Con

Many advantages towards our health had been shown, there are slight health disadvantages, but can be easily cured, such as using vitamin supplements, but as stated before, irradiated food will last longer, which sounds great, but does have a huge issue. Farmers rely on two things to continue selling their foodstuffs outside of nature (weather, water, etc.) and that is on their products being consumed or going bad. If products can be kept for a lot longer, for example, many households will eventually have to throw food out,ions, apples, bananas, and much other fruits and vegetables and end up having to go buy more. It may be thought of as a waste of money, but this way farmers can sell more of there products and earn money to continue in financing in producing foodstuffs. If the food lasts longer then the farmers will have less income because people will not have to throw out food that has gone bad. The reducing of aging is significant, it can be much more efficient to slow down the aging, and save foods, but the food industry is huge, especially in the U.S. and they will all lose money, some companies can afford, but the smaller businesses will take a bigger toll on selling less food.
Debate Round No. 5
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