Is our food really safe?

Six months into the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No.1 power plant, this is a question many consumers have been asking — particularly those in eastern Japan who get most of their daily foods from Tohoku, the nation's agricultural heartland.

While readings of radiation in the air have returned to pre-3/11 levels in most areas of Japan — not including areas close to the plant and the so-called hot spots — the contamination of soil, which affects the food chain, could pose a long-term health risk, experts say. Iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137 were released in large quantities by the nuclear plant, and if they are accumulated in the body, they could cause cancer.