Science: Back to the Laboratory

For the last six years, the Army Quartermaster Corps has been boasting about steaks, eggs, and other perishable foods preserved by the glamorous atomic-age process of putting them in plastic envelopes and shooting gamma or beta rays through them. The foods looked fine, tasted pretty good, and they could be kept edible without refrigeration practically forever, because all the microorganisms in them had been done to death by radiation. The Army proudly fed irradiated meals to newspapermen, top brass, and 20 Congressmen. Last week, with some embarrassment, the Army announced that it was shelving a $7,500,000 irradiated-food plant at Stockton, Calif,...

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