Excerpt from a guest post over at ex-skf, one of my favorite sources for the latest on the Japanese situation:
I live in Osaka and sourcing clean food for our toddler son has become the biggest concern of ours, after monitoring the fallout plumes and contamination in our vicinity (which thankfully, seems to be quite limited compared to California, my home state). We have always been interested in buying healthy food and have belonged to COOP for many years.
Basically, the story is this: the further north and east you go, the less likely the COOPs are to disclose testing results as this might well embarrass their long-standing farming/food sources, while to the south and west, this is less likely to happen as their food sources are generally less suspect.
Often, when I read your blog, which I admire and recommend widely, the reports of contaminated food are then commented on by the readers as proof that sourcing food is dangerous and tricky, when actually, if one knows the resources, it is not the case. COOP generally charges 10-20% more than your typical retail supermarkets, but the more radical of the COOPs (like Shizenha) go further by indicating exactly who is tested and what is found. If those who are really concerned about finding safe food for their families are aware of this, they can also benefit from membership to the more transparent COOPs (others probably do exist which I’m not aware of). As of this week, Shizenha will allow shipping to the northern parts of Japan (for a bigger, refundable membership deposit of 20,000 yen vs. the regular 10,000), in an effort to obviously shame the other COOPs who are more hesitant to state reality as it really is, into being more forthcoming with the testing results.