Round, rough-skinned pears fill our Fukushima City apartment. Before the pears it was enormous, impossibly succulent peaches. Apples will be next.
Prior to the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant six months ago, people all across Japan would send seasonal Fukushima-grown fruit to their relatives and neighbors. But now those outside Fukushima are too wary of possible radioactive contamination in produce grown here — and the fruit piles up.
The locals live with the risk. With a surplus of crops growing in the adjacent countryside, the fruits circulate in Fukushima like proverbial American fruitcakes at Christmas. We conspired to regift a box of pears to one neighbor, but they beat us to it and gave us another box. So we eat them all.
Since May, my partner Junko Kajino and I have been filming organic farmers who search for solutions to protect the Japanese food supply and recover their land and livelihoods from the nuclear fallout. Our days revolve around exploring the impact of food contamination. But we still have to eat. We drink bottled water and avoid the most notoriously contaminated items — beef, milk, green tea, mushrooms. ... Read more