– Joe and I were talking about mineral deficiencies in our soil and water.
Joe said “You mentioned fluoride. Lack of fluoride affecting teeth is so well known that the dentists and the toothpaste makers pretty much look after that” — I interrupted “except for poor people who do not go to the dentist!” Joe stopped for a minute, then went on “Iodine and chlorine are a lot like fluorine, same chemical family. We get lots of chlorine in ordinary salt, but shortage of iodine happens lots of places. So they put it in table salt, so everybody gets enough iodine. Most places put fluoride in the water. But those are shortages we know about. Who knows what we will discover in future”.
I got up and poured some more coffee, and threw some eggs in a pan; Joe is pretty sloppy about when he eats, so I am pretty sure he hasn’t had any breakfast. Me, I have to eat regularly or I get real grouchy. While I am cooking, I think out loud “You know, I remember back in the 60’s somebody had an analysis done on local feed, maybe a sheep or cow was sick or something, anyway it came back that our soil lacks selenium, causes a disease in sheep and maybe cows too, so the larger farmers used to give their cattle an injection of selenium and some other stuff every fall. Don’t know if they still do. I make sure there is some selenium in the mineral supplement I give my goats, just in case.”
Joe looked thoughtful. “I didn’t know that, are you sure?”
Chalk one up for me; I am ahead of him for a change.
“Pretty sure”, I said, “It’s more than just those old soil and feed tests. Dryden gets Wabigoon Lake water tested for everything that God invented, and a lot that man invented, and I had a chance to look at one of those reports. Sure enough, zero selenium in the lake water. Wabigoon Lake has a lot of our clay in it, so I figure our soil must be zero too. Guess I should have told you about that, it might be good for your cows too”.
Joe thought some more. “I read a paper a few years ago, talking about statistical connections between disease and minerals, one mineral was linked to colon, lung and breast cancers; I remember it because that is the kind of cancers we have here. Come to think of it, maybe it was selenium.”
“If that’s so, wouldn’t the Board of Health be all over it?” from me. Joe says, “Well, probably the science isn’t all that firm yet, but it sure is interesting.”
“Yep”, says I, “Sure is”