Water is pretty much the only thing we drink in our household. I love the taste of the Lake Michigan water that comes out of our faucet. It is crisp and clean tasting, and before we leave the house we always fill up a jumbo Klean Kanteen to keep us hydrated. Not only is water the healthy and cheap choice, but avoiding packaged beverages saves a lot of waste from the landfill.
We recently added a Big Berkey Water Filter to our kitchen. Considered by many to be the gold standard in water filtration, the Berkey is so effective that I could drink water ladled water directly from Lake Michigan! Even though our tap water tastes great, I started looking into a water filtration system when I became concerned about the fluoride added to most municipal water supplies. While the American Dental Association insists that approved fluoride levels are safe for human consumption, I am skeptical. Most countries do not add fluoride to public water (more people drink artificially fluoridated water in the U.S. alone than in the rest of the world combined). And, fluoride does not just affect the teeth – it can affect bones, brain, glands and blood sugar levels.
But, what really motivated me to add a Big Berkey to our kitchen was a Harvard study that found that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have significantly lower IQ scores than kids who live in areas with low-fluoride water. I don’t think the supposed benefits outweigh the risks for my family.
I asked our dentist about fluoride, and even he admitted that fluoride has no positive impact on the dental health of people over the age of 7. If that is the case, then why are cities adding this non-essential medicinal supplement to our water supply? My kids don’t drink sugary pop or eat sugary cereals, they brush teeth twice a day with regular toothpaste, and we visit the dentist regularly. I just don’t think we want to take the risk when we are cautious in so many other ways.
My interest in the Berkey didn’t stop at fluoride. A recent study found 18 unregulated chemical contaminants in water samples from 30% of our nation’s water utilities. The chemical toxins included eleven perfluorinated chemicals, two solvents, a herbicide, an antibacterial compound, a metal toxin, an anti-depressant and caffeine. Eek! Fortunately, our Big Berkey filters out this spooky stuff.
The Big Berkey has been a wonderful and seamless addition to our daily life. I perched it next to our kitchen sink for easy refills, which I have to do only once a day thanks to the Berkey’s large tank. The kids can easily reach it, too, so they are drinking a lot more water. And, it is made from stainless steel (not plastic, which I avoid whenever possible). Hooray for Big Berkey!
For more information about fluoride, check out two opposing teams and make your own informed decision:
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