This is a story that dates from last winter but was brought to my attention once again by my friends Yukari Steinwedel and Nagi Wind. It is a rather disturbing story and events that still occur today. Please, read to the end. ＜日本＞following
Can I eat my cabbage ?
I am a temporary worker who measures the radioactive concentration of food products at a radiation measuring place for people who grow their own food.
Today, an old lady came here, and she said “People told me to come here. Would you please measure my napa cabbage ?”
She was very polite and a decent person like all old Japanese.
“I’m sorry, I brought a big napa cabbage and didn’t cut it into small pieces. I was told that I am meant to prepare it in an approved manner.” she said.
This was her first time.
We must not cut her napa cabbage in small pieces by ourselves. So we crushed it in the container and measured it. After three hours, the Old Lady returned. She bowed her head more than once and asked us whether her napa cabbage was safe or not.
Fortunately, answer was “ND” so I told her that this napa cabbage was “ND”
But she did’t understand the meaning of “ND”, so I tried again and again to explain to her what “ND” means. She had no understanding of “Becquerel” nor “Sievert”.
Finally, she just asked me the same question that most ask…
“Can we eat it?”
Our instrument can only measure γ-rays. We cannot measure α-rays and β-rays.
It was impossible to explain that we didn’t measure α or β
So I said to her, “ Grandma! This napa cabbage’s measuring is LOW! LOW! It’s a low Cesium”
The Old lady had a big smile and must have had a good feeling.
Then, she asked “Everything’s going to be all right, isn’t it? It will be OK for my grandkids to eat my napa cabbage, right?”
I found it very difficult to answer…
I didn’t know how to explain to her about Radioactivity…
So I started to explain to her. Thirty minutes…probably she didn’t get it.
The Old lady was crying.
She said “I live alone, nobody tells me anything and even though sometimes TV show says ‘It’s OK’ and there is ‘No problem’ , I couldn’t trust them all.”
But she had great confidence in my explanation and shook my hands for an eternity while she kept crying.
And she said “Thank you for taking such good care of me. I’ve never taken kindness of heart like you’re doing.”
“Grandma! I wish for you to live a long and healthy life. Keep smiling!” I replied.
I was totally speechless, then I cried beside old woman ‘Grandma’
After a short time, she smiled me back and then she said “It just feels good to be alive now.”
“But I wanted to give many vegetables I made for my grand kids during my life.”
Japan, What are you doing?
Thank you for Nagi Wind Yukari Steinwedel
Live from Lalaland