The 1955 Atomic Diet experiments (preserving food through radiation)

 


Licking their platters and skillets clean, six crew-cut young men at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver have been thriving on an atomic age diet. The young men, all conscientious objectors to military service, are volunteers helping doctors discover the nutritional value and the possible dangers there may be in food that has been preserved by nuclear radiation. Since every ounce of the irradiated food is painstakingly measured, the test subjects must eat every edible drop or crumb left on the utensils.

So far, frequent medical examinations of the six subjects have un covered no harmful effects from their atomic diet, a result that matches conclusions previously reached in extensive tests with animals. While some foods, such as gelatine and strawberries, do not seem to stand up well under radiation, most others are preserved for months by the sterilizing action of the rays. Medical proof that the process is harmless to eaters would open the way for commercial use of atomic preservation processes.

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images and info provided by the LIFE Magazine / LIFE Magazine International / LIFE Magazine Atlantic ARCHIVE from the Zetu Harrys Collection

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