New Year – Fluoride free

Fluoride has been a hot button issue with me for 30 years – probably more.
I remember being disappointed after my first child was born when my doctor (who I respected) told me to give him fluoride drops but not vitamins.
I remember getting in the fight to keep fluoride out of the city where I lived.
I remember moving to the healthy Hill Country of Texas and finding that fluoride was in the water here and entrenched in the belief system of our utility management.

Since then, I have bought water at local Reverse Osmosis machines and hauled it home in 2-gallon containers. The water was great for drinking. But I couldn’t haul enough for cooking – so I used a faucet filter that took out the chlorine, but left the fluoride.

I have blogged about fluoride in the past and don’t want to rehash the arguments. You can do your own research. Here are my two objections in one sentence each.

1.  I think it is wrong to medicate a whole society with a substance that even dentists admit only benefits babies in the womb and small children whose permanent teeth are still forming.
2.  Fluoride pulls calcium out of bones, contributing to osteoporosis, so devastating to women over 50.

Because of my husband’s back, he could not lift the water bottles. Because my darling daughter is short, she couldn’t lift the water bottles. Unless my Strong Son or my Son in Love were here, I was on my own. I sometimes pictured myself as a woman from Bible times or from a third world country bringing jars of water home from the local well.

About a year ago a friend of mine bought a Berkey water filter. She also was concerned about fluoride’s relationship to osteoporosis. I asked if the water tasted as good as bottled water and she said “yes!”

I talked to my husband about getting a Berkey, and suggested it would be a good Christmas gift. Surprise! A Berkey was under the tree!

The start up procedure was more complicated than I thought it would be. There are four filters and they have to be rinsed and primed before you can start drinking the water. That took longer than the instructions indicated. But once everything was set up, it worked beautifully. And it tastes just as good as bottled water.

It is stainless steel, so it looks attractive on my countertop. I didn’t have to have holes drilled in my countertop like with a home reverse osmosis system. The filters will last for years – they don’t have to be replaced as often as RO filters.

The best thing is that I have as much fluoride free water as I want. Whenever the flow through the spigot starts to slow, I pour another gallon of water into the top tank. I have water for drinking, water for making tea, water for cooking. I am soaking black eyed peas in fluoride free water this morning for tonight’s dinner.

A secondary benefit is that if a natural disaster shuts down our water supply. I can put any kind of water – from the neighbor’s swimming pool, from the river, from rain water off the roof – through the filter and it will be safe to drink. The only exception is sea water. The Berkey filters are not designed to remove salt.

Of course Berkey has a website, and you can do your own research. They are not cheap, but they aren’t outrageous either. My husband paid just under $290 for mine.

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