Beware of Chemical Miracle Cures: Fluoride, A Case Study…Sort Of

This is not a Harvard Business School Case study; it’s a Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen case study. Which means I tell it like it is!

About 50, maybe even 60, years ago, my grandfather, J.I. Rodale, went on a revolt against the dental medical establishment of the day. (He wasn’t just an organic pioneer, he was a health pioneer too). He believed that adding fluoride to our water systems to provide a miracle cure for cavities was dangerous and, frankly, stupid (take that Harvard!). As the founder of Prevention magazine, he believed that true prevention comes from the food we eat, and the exercise we do, and the way we choose to live our lives—either healthfully or…stupidly. In general, he was against the idea that artificial synthetic chemicals can be good substitutes for the real thing, whether in the food we eat, or in the soil which grows our food—hence, his work as an organic and health pioneer.

But Papa (as I called him) was easy to make fun of. Firstly because he wasn’t a doctor or a scientist. Secondly, because he was a Jew at a time when Jews were not allowed to join country clubs. And third, because he loved to poke fun at things himself. He wrote plays in his later years, and one of them was called A Fluoridation Comedary Dromedary. But he was right about a lot of things. His very outsiderness gave him insight into things that have proven more right than wrong over the past decades—even though he spent his whole life labeled a quack.

A few weeks ago I was having breakfast with a lovely older doctor gentleman who was lauding his own great work on the idea of preventative health. He spoke at length about how kids have better teeth now because he brought fluoride to the water in our local region. The idea of chemicals possibly being harmful to children wasn’t on his radar. I kept my mouth shut. After all, fluoride has been shown to prevent cavities, right?

Why is living organic important to you?

Well, my grandfather must have been working overtime from wherever Jews go after death, because just this past week I saw the following study results in our daily library report:

Too Much Fluoride May Lower Kids’ Intelligence

Previous studies have suggested an association between high levels of fluoride in drinking water and reduced intelligence, but data is limited. Researchers collected blood samples and IQ tests results from 512 children, aged 8-13 years, from two villages in China. After adjusted for age and gender, blood fluoride levels were found to be significantly linked to IQ, with increasing fluoride levels linked to lower IQ scores. Children’s family income and parent’s education level were not related to IQ scores. These results suggest too much fluoride in drinking water may not be a smart idea. Environmental Health Perspectives (Online 17 Dec. 2010).

And even the EPA is calling for reduced levels because, God forbid, our kids are starting to get spots and holes in their teeth from too much fluoride!

How many times must I explain that our kids should not be the guinea pigs to someone else’s chemical experiment!?!?! Whether it’s fluoride, agricultural chemicals, plastics, or antibacterial chemicals, something is messing with our kids’ health and intelligence, because despite all our spending, all our efforts, and all our good intentions, our children are getting sicker and their school scores are getting worse. The majority of these chemicals are unnecessary, untested, and unsafe. And the only people benefiting are the companies that make them. Isn’t it time to stop the toxic poisoning of our kids and our planet?

Gulp! Cancer Causer Found In Tap Water from 89% of Cities Tested


Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

Many thanks to Emily Drew for the Green Star.

Emily Drew
Emily Drew4 years ago

I ONLY use flouride free toothpaste and have NEVER had a cavity! Say NO to flouride!!!

Dar S.
Dar S.5 years ago

i'm from hawai'i and we do NOT have fluoride in our water. i recently read an article that said we have the highest number of people in the nation with all of their own teeth after a certain age, 50 maybe (age not teeth!!)?

Dar S.
Dar S.5 years ago

i'm from hawai'i and we do NOT have fluoride in our water. i recently read an article that said we have the highest number of people in the nation with all of their own teeth after a certain age, 50 maybe (age not teeth!!)?

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

Thanks I have no choice but to drink it as I have city water but I do filter my water thru charcol as it enters the house. I hope this helps some.

Shane P.
.5 years ago

Just get rid of fluoride!!!!!!! its does nothing but decay teeth!!! i know it does... do what i did, find someone ya don't like, knock there teeth out and ready a few buckets. fill one with your fluoride water and other without fluoride tap water and the last one, pure clean water fill with minerals. wanna know what happen? the tooth with the fluoride water started to decay within a day, turn black within 3 days, the tooth with no fluoride tap water started to decay within 6 days and the last one, the pure clean water that was fill with healthy minerals didn't decay even after a month.... that says somin to me, how about you?

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer M.5 years ago

Thankfully we have well water! No added fluoride for us. I am still on my old Tom's toothpaste, but I'll be switching to fluoride free when it's time for a new tube! Just because something has been done a certain way for a long time doesn't make it the right way. I really don't appreciate that our government allows these kinds of chemicals to be used in our food and hygiene products!! I thought there were lots of federal agencies created to protect us? They aren't here for protection, they're here to help cover up the deadly stuff they are giving to us and our children!! Terrible.

Mary B.
Mary B.5 years ago

So. Maria Rodale, you are related to J.I. Rodale! I was wondering about that. I began reading Prevention way back in my 20's when J.I. was all about challenging convention and it was a soft paper little magazine chock full of country lore and wisdom and wonderful articles and your granddaddys special contrarian viewpoints. I loved it and obsorbed every word. When he died and Robert took over, it got more modern and was joined by the organic farming magazine. Was Robert your father, or an uncle, perhaps? I remember being shocked to learn that he died in an auto accident in Russia. After that, I lost track of the magazine for several years, but encountered it's new incarnation later, but by then it had lost it's personal feel. Are you associated with its production these days? J.I. may have been called a quak by the status quo in those days, but his little mag educated a whole new crop of young people on how to live a simple, wholesome life, unrelient on 'modern' drugs. I was part of the Boomer generation that 'went back to the land' and experimented with passive solar houses, organic gardens and natural everything.We were part of a generation that popped in from a different time period. J.I.'s mag along with Mother Earth News and the Whole Earth Catalogue were our mentors and source material.I tip my straw hat to you and your family.

Danuta W.
Danuta Watola5 years ago


Joyce N.
Joyce N.5 years ago

Hmmm, what to believe these days. What I do know is, our city water sucks.