Sweet Somethings: US Honey Contains Radioactive Fallout From Nuclear Testing

You may want to think twice before using honey to sweeten your tea, or serving yourself a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats.

That is, of course, unless you don’t mind a little radioactive contamination with your cereal.

It’s true. According to a new study (via Science Alert), some honey in the United States still has traces of something known as cesium-137 — used to test atom bombs during the height of the Cold War of era of the 1940s to ’60s.

But you don’t really need to be afraid (or so they say). If the radioactive element impacts anything at all, it strictly would be the environment — or more specifically, soil.

The study was led by William & Mary geologist Jim Kaste, who reportedly gave his students an assignment during spring break — go measure the amount radiation in fruit and nuts. After much experimenting, it was revealed that cesium-137 exists in honey.

And apparently, we can blame the bees for yet another annoyance to our society.

“To make honey, bees concentrate nectar from flowers into a liquid five times as concentrated,” Yahoo wrote. “This has the effect of also concentrating any contaminants picked up by the plants.”

Overall, this is nothing to worry about. But hey, honey, it is kind of cool. At least something sweet from the 1940s still exists in our society.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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  1. C’mon Sam, honey is one of the healthiest food items you can eat. Have a sore in your mouth? Rub honey on it and it will disappear. Kids have a cough? Give them a teaspoon of honey.

    The Mayo clinic conducted a comprehensive study and found that giving children honey is more effective than any children’s cough remedy. That’s debunking an entire $Bs industry. And not just really fancy, very expensive honey – the bear at your local grocery store performs as well as and most-times better than any children’s cough medicine. If you can get locally-sourced honey from a farmer’s market, even better.

    So let’s not bash the bees. Radioactivity is everywhere. And also, that pic looks like a yellow jacket. No offense to our Georgia Tech brothers and sisters, but please…

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