Letters to the Editor – May 2010

More Feedback on Fluoride from Readers 

I read the fluoride article (Vitality: March 2010), and was so inspired by the words of Aliss Terpstra. I support you in your fight against the ignorant and stubborn who continue to make profits off of damaging the world. Thank you for all of your research and awesome retort to the dentists who “blindly promote it (fluoride) regardless of logic, ethics and science.”
Thank you for standing up!
– Evaleen Doyle

Dear Aliss,
Just a big thank you to Aliss Terpstra, for her response to the letter published by Robert Thompson regarding fluoride in our water supply (April 2010). I have always felt dismissed while discussing this issue at my dentist’s office. The dental hygienists, in particular can get downright hostile when I question their use of fluoride. Thank you for your detailed response – I’m thinking of photocopying it and distributing during my next visit to the dentist! Thanks for challenging your readers!!
– Gwen

If any person and especially all dentists have been misled and like to re-educate themselves on the dangers of fluoridated water, please do go to the Fluoride Action Network online at web address: www.fluoridealert.org/
– Cordially, M. Jakob

Dear Editor,
I read with interest the article on water fluoridation in the March issue of Vitality, and the letters to the editor in the subsequent edition.
I live in Oakville, Ontario and the latest Halton Oral Health survey (2005-2007) reported that 48.5% of the 9 and 13 year olds in Oakville had dental fluorosis. The overall rate of fluorosis for all of Halton Region was 34.5%. Fluorosis is very obvious in young adults here. The last survey also showed that Milton, which is only about 50% fluoridated, had a much lower dental decay rate than the rest of Halton which is 100% fluoridated. In fact Halton Hills had more than double the dental decay rate of Milton, and Oakville’s rate was 53% higher. Not what we are told to expect!
Halton’s Board of Health voted to stop water fluoridation (5-2) in November 2008, but unfortunately when the vote went to the full Regional Board it was put on hold awaiting Health Canada’s next report. Meanwhile the fluoride is still added.
Dentists do not have less work because of water fluoridation. They have a large amount of cosmetic dentistry due to dental fluorosis and it is very lucrative. Dental veneers can cost $1000 dollars a tooth, so having eight or ten teeth fixed costs a small fortune, which many cannot afford.
Lately dental decay rates have been going up in young children in fluoridated and unfluoridated cities all over North America. Low vitamin D levels in pregnant women due to increased sun avoidance is one probable cause. Also children and teenagers are drinking soft drinks and sweet juices in unprecedented amounts, which contribute to many health problems including dental decay.
Fluoride may have its place in topical dental applications to prevent cavities, but taken internally it is a toxin and dental fluorosis is a visible sign of its toxicity. It is also affecting internal organs that we cannot see, like the pineal gland, the thyroid gland, the bones, the kidneys and more. It’s time to stop this unhealthy practice.
– Diane Sprules, BSc, MSc

Chile Versus Chili – A Mexican Stand-off

Dear Pat Crocker:
I’m probably not the only one who has contacted you about an error in your March 2010 Vitality article “Fiery Late Winter Meals”. Throughout your entire article, not once, not twice, but throughout the whole article you have incorrectly spelled “chili” and even at the end of your article, it indicates that Pat Crocker is a Chile-head.
Ms. Crocker, the correct spelling is chili, and NOT “chile” as you have it.  Chile is a South American country as you perhaps aware.  “Chili” is the name of the food/pepper and its different forms of food preparation, i.e. chili con carne, red bean chili, etc. NOT “chile”.
You may wish to know this for future – to save yourself a ton of embarrassment!
– Anonymous Email

Pat Crocker Responds:

You say chili… I say chile… It’s an interesting point that you make and one that you seem pretty fired up about. Thanks for bringing the issue up because it serves to reinforce the confusion about the whole Capsaicin clan.
As Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach explain in their book, The Whole Chile Pepper Book (Little, Brown & Co., 1990), “Why do we spell chile with a terminal e instead of an i, as some dictionary and stylebooks do? The reason is simple: clarity. We wish to avoid confusion, so chile, the original Spanish spelling, refers to the plant and the pod; while chili refers to the dish chili con carne, a curious combination of the Anglicized chili and the Spanish carne or ‘meat’.”
More than half of the Spice Encyclopedias on my shelves, including my personal favourite Jill Norman’s Herbs & Spices: the cook’s reference; DK Publishing, 2002, line up on the chili side of the frying pan. Interestingly, the Herb specialists, notably Author O. Tucker, PhD, and Thomas DeBaggio, authors of The Big Book of Herbs (Interweave Press, 2000) start to move the pendulum back over to the chile camp, but it is the cookbook authors who really come out blazing for the big e. Here’s my personal stash of flaming-hot cookbooks that give the thumbs up for chiles:
Big Flavors of the Hot Sun. Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, William Morrow & Company, 1994.
Chile Pepper Fever. Susan Hazen-Hammond, Gramercy Books, 1995.
Hot, Hotter, Hottest. Janet Hazen, Chronicle Books, 1992.
Hot Wok. Hugh Carpenter & Teri Sandison, 10 Speed Press, 1995
Real Women Eat Chiles. Jane Butel, Northland Publishing, 2006.
Salsa Cooking. Marjie Lambert, Quintet Publishing, 1994
The Chile Pepper Book. Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press, 1994
The Great Salsa Book. Mark Miller, 10 Speed Press, 1994
Turn It Up! Janet Hazen, Chronicle Books, 1995
Who knew that (on my shelf) there would be only one brave chili title among the chileheads? It’s Chili by Linda Doeser, Parragon Publishing, 2004.
So chill out. Do what I do when confronted with a true conundrum: go take a bite out of a Jalapeno or Anaheim and let the sizzling, tongue-searing, sinus-clearing, throat-stinging, red-hot heat set your brain awash in endorphins. I promise that soon you won’t worry about waging the vowel war.

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