Most of us agree that fluoride does not contribute to good health and should be eliminated from our diets. However it’s usually impossible to find out what foods actually contain fluoride – since it is not required to be included on product labels.
It’s so sad that green and black teas are LOADED with fluoride. Granted, some brands of tea have more fluoride than others, though there’s no way of knowing which teas are low in fluoride and which are high – without expensive fluoride testing equipment and the knowledge of how to use it. Some people tell themselves that organic teas are low in fluoride but there is no research numbers that support that notion. And since fluoride content doesn’t have to be on the label, we have no idea what’s in the stuff.
Personally, I replaced green and black teas with yerba mate, herb teas, and yes, coffee – all of which have multiple research reports of having very low to no fluoride content.
The fluoride content of processed meats is high because almost always it’s mechanically deboned. That means bone scrapings or bone dust ends up in the meat. Since fluoride is stored in bones, this raises the fluoride level of mechanically deboned meats – a LOT! And mechanically deboned meat includes tasty treats such as lunch meats, burgers, wieners, cooked sausages, chicken nuggets and pureed meat baby foods.
How much fluoride does mechanically deboned meat have? A single serving (71 g or 2.5 ounces) of mechanically separated pureed chicken baby food contains 0.6 mg fluoride.(6) Mechanically deboned beef and pork contains 4 – 19mg per pound of meat. (1)(2). That’s more than enough.
Grape juice AND wine are quite high in fluoride – because of the fluoride-based pesticide called cryolite that’s used in growing the grapes. We know, for example, that Gerber’s White Grape Juice comes complete with 6.8mg fluoride/liter; We also know that Welch’s white grape juice has nearly 2mg fluoride/liter(3). And topping off our juice tour, we find that California Wine has up to 5mg fluoride/liter. (4)
You might be wondering, “But maybe MY glass of grape juice or wine hasn’t been exposed to Cryolite!” Right. Maybe not. And maybe. Since again, it’s not required to be put on the label, we have NO way of knowing. There are no clues. We’re in the dark about what we’re consuming.
And if grape juice and wine are high in fluoride, of course raisins are too! (4)
Then of course there’s the sulfuryl fluoride fumigations that crank up the fluoride content of any and every food product present during warehouse fumigations with sulfuryl fluoride. Packaged foods and fresh fruits and vegetables are in warehouses that are fumigated every few months. These fumigations legally result in up to 70ppm (or about 32mg/pound) fluoride “in or on” food products.
And wheat can end up with up to 130ppm (or about 59mg/pound) from these fumigations. Sorry, that’s not on any label you’ll ever find either.
• Processed cereals, for babies and big people, and canned fruits and vegetables tend to have higher fluoride content owing to the use of fluoridated water in processing them.
• Canned fish and shellfish, especially sardines, show up high in fluoride, especially those that contain fish bones. A three-ounce serving of canned sardines has about 0.3 milligrams of fluoride. (7)
• Fluoridated salt: Some countries intentionally fluoridate their salt – similar to other countries that fluoridate their water. The US and Canada do not fluoridate salt. Red and black salt and items containing red and black salt (especially rock) are high in fluoride.
• Teflon is a fluorine compound that, when overheated, releases some of the Teflon into the air. The fluorine compound also merges with the food in the pan.
• Prescription medications: The anesthetics enflurane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane contain fluorine as do many antidepressants, antipsychotics and other prescription medications.
As any fluoride-avoiding consumer will tell you, testing the fluoride content in ANYTHING is not popular.
The equipment for conducting your own testing is expensive and different types of items to be tested require differen
t types of equipment. Before you know it, you could spend your own inheritance PLUS your children’s and your neighbor’s – just on your own personal set of fluoride testing equipment.
But if I had the money, that’s what I’d do. I’d just LOVE to figure out the fluoride levels in our foods. I’m tired of wondering and guessing.
Arsenic is not allowed in foods. If arsenic were allowed in foods, it would most certainly have to be labeled accordingly. We need to have the fluoride content of consumables put on the label so that we know what we’re eating.
1 Field RA, et al. J. Animal Science 43 ,755 (1976)
3 Stannard, J.G., et al. Fluoride Levels in Fruit Juices. The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. Volume 16. 1991.
4 Burgstahler, AW et al. Fluoride in California wines and raisins. Fluoride; 30: 142-146, 1997.
5 T oxicological Profile for Fluorides: Draft Profile for Public Comment. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Service.
6 Fein NJ, Cerklewski FL. Fluoride content of foods made with mechanically separated chicken. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Sep;49(9):4284-6.
7 Kendall, A. Facts about Fluoride. University of Florida, IFAS Extension. FCS 8798.