Environmental Science:
How the World Works and Your Place in It


Worksheets and Reports for Issues & Investigations Features

Student Edition

Teacher's Manual

Issues & Investigations

Teacher's Notes


Study Guide

PowerPoint Presentation

2002 Links
2007 Links

  • 92 pages, saddle-stitched, consumable
  • Designed to accompany Issues & Investigations Manual and provide necessary keys, maps and charts
  • Included on the Teacher Component disc as Word files

Below is an excerpt from Worksheet 3.7.

3.7 An Environmental Issue Worksheet

The Effects of Gamma Rays on Your Groceries
  1. What is irradiation? _____________________________________________________

  2. State the advantage of irradiating each of the following foods.
    Strawberries __________________________________________________________
    Grapefruit ____________________________________________________________
    Poultry ______________________________________________________________
    Ground Beef __________________________________________________________

  3. Some people are allergic to preservatives that retard food spoilage. Salad bars no longer use sulfur to prevent the “rusting” of lettuce because of the possibility of an allergic reaction that can be fatal. But much dried fruit is preserved with a sulfur compound. Irradiation could eliminate the need to use sulfur and other chemical additives.
    Given a choice of a package of dried fruit treated with radiation and a package treated with sulfur, which would you choose? ___________________________________________

  4. Imported mangos and papayas may be infested with fruit fly eggs and larvae. Both of these fruits are damaged by the only approved chemical control (methyl bromide).The government has tightened restrictions on the use of methyl bromide, because it is a suspected carcinogen. The alternative hot and cold treatments are not satisfactory.
    The use of FDA approved irradiation can prevent the invasion of the Mediterranean fruit fly. An invasion of this pest could cost fruit growers millions of dollars. If you owned a chain of grocery stores, would you prefer to buy chemically treated or irradiated mangos and papayas to sell to your customers? __________________________________________
    Explain your decision to the news media. _____________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

  5. The World Health Organization has concluded that the irradiation of food is not a health hazard. Should foods, such as wheat and rice, sent to Third World countries be irradiated? _______
    Explain. ______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

  6. The Food and Drug Administration currently requires food that has been treated with radiation to be clearly labeled with the words “treated with radiation” or treated by irradiation” and with a “raduara” symbol—a flower inside a broken circle. Restaurants are not required to disclose that they use irradiated products.
    Do you think that restaurants should be required to tell their customers that food has been irradiated? ________
    Explain your position. ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

  7. What are some advantages or disadvantages of irradiating food that haven’t been mentioned? ___________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

  8. In your opinion, do the benefits of irradiated food outweigh the risks? _______
    Support your position. ___________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________