Is wild food toxic?

A few people have asked my opinion about this article including Melissa (below), because my book included a thought experiment on vegetable toxicity. The point of that chapter was to demonstrate that, because we know so little about plant chemicals, it’s easy to construct a narrative that makes veggies look very scary.

May 26, 2013

As always with me, I’m of two minds about this – it’s complicated! This, by the way, is why there’s an asterisk in the title of my book; Basically I think that Jo Robinson is right.* Continue reading

Fluoridation Fails in Portland

The Firehole River is full of pure, naturally occurring fluoride 12 mg/L, a truly dangerous level. Photo by Larry Grant The Firehole River is full of pure, naturally occurring fluoride 12 mg/L, a truly dangerous level. Photo by Larry Grant

I have a familiar set of feelings totday, as I go over the reactions to Portland’s voters turning down a measure to add fluoride to their drinking water. On the one hand I’m sorry the measure failed. On the other, I can’t help but feel offended when I hear people sneering about those benighted, anti-scientific wingnuts who appeal to nature and want water that’s and “pure.” Hey, that’s me you’re talking about, and I’m on your side. But the real reason this stings is that this measure lost because fluoridation activists failed to understand and respect people like me. It would be nice to see some humility and soul searching in response to this loss, rather than more of the insolence that brought it about. Continue reading