The Mushrooming Issue Of Radioactive Swedish Pigs

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Riddick
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The Mushrooming Issue Of Radioactive Swedish Pigs

Post by Riddick » 10-20-2017 12:36 PM

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Three decades after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, radiation is still turning up in some unexpected places: for instance, in the wild boars tramping through the mountains of central and northern Sweden — almost a thousand miles away.

The wild boars are being irradiated by their own food: the wild mushrooms they depend on during cold winter months. About a quarter million wild boars are estimated to live in the wilderness throughout the country.

Boars in the north of Sweden were hunted to extinction two centuries ago because they were destructive to agricultural land. But their population has exploded since then. The growing population forces creatures further afield in search of food, leading to them to eat more mushrooms.

Ulf Frykman of Calluna, a local environmental consultancy, believes deeply-rooted nuclear mushrooms are to blame for the high traces of radiation in wild boars. The creatures root for food in the soil, which exposes them to iodine and cesium-137 traces that remain in soil long after they’re gone above ground.

Frykman expects to see more boar with extreme radiation levels as populations continue to increase and more such animals make their way north over the years. Meanwhile, growing awareness of nuclear pigs might make hunting for these creatures unattractive, and that’s problematic, too.

Experts seem to agree that some cesium in meat can be reduced through specific cooking techniques. If you happen to be in Sweden and prefer not to mess with the cesium, your best bet is probably just avoiding wild boar meat altogether.

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