Many of us have been engrossed in the extraordinary Chernobyl television series, starring the unsurpassed Jared Harris. So it is not a trivial question to ask something like which foods would become more radioactive as a result of exposure to radioactivity?
The easiest way to find out is by exploring some studies conducted in the "city of survival", a fictional city built in the desert of Nevada, United States, where hundreds of atomic bombs were exploded.
Beware of cod and embrace the frozen ones
Project 32.5 , a fifteen-page report published in 1956, was intended to test the resistance of frozen food to a nuclear explosion. To carry out the study, they were covered with ice and buried in shallow trenches, 387 and 838 meters, respectively, from the place where a 29-kiloton bomb was going to detonate, as well as other supplies were stored in home freezers. from the city of survival, 1.4 kilometer from ground zero.
29 kilotons, to give us an idea, is twice the power of Hiroshima . So it was more than enough to cover everything in radioactivity. But not all foods absorbed it equally, after waiting two and a half days before digging up the food, as Pierre Barthélémy explains in his book Unlikely Science Experiments :
Cod fillets turned out to be the most radioactive, ahead of peas. The strawberries did not show any abnormalities. (…) An analysis showed that the nutritional properties had not been diminished, except for a decrease in the levels of vitamin B9 in frozen French fries. A team of volunteers also guaranteed that there were no notable differences in taste, texture and appearance compared to control foods.
What about food from the freezers? Well, they didn’t show any sign of radioactivity. However, the report warns that the consumption of foods exposed to radiation "should be avoided as far as possible during the first two weeks, except in cases of urgent need."