Non-Science Fridays: Crazies

There are so many things I could write about today but this is just sitting in my head this morning: There are alot of crazies out there. By that I mean not people who are mentally ill, which deserve compassion, but those who are sane and act in crazy ways.

This was spurred by this post over at Enviroblog on a question they got regarding whether you should eat salt with iodine (i.e. is iodine a problem). This seemed like a bit of an obvious answer and while trying to be helpful I think they were using it as an vehicle to talk about the importance of getting enough iodine in light of the perchlorate-in-food-and-water issues we are having in this country. I'm fine with that, the issue needs more attention. What I didn't expect was the large and rediculous backlash against the post by people who said they loved the blog. I'll only include the first response but you should go over and read them all.

How can you say "Stick with the iodized salt!" - isn't it better to educate people how to find natural sources of iodine, instead of mass-medicating the nation without its consent by using factory-manufactured artificial iodine?

Okay, it's mass-medication but unlike fluoride, at the levels we're talking about there aren't any risks. Also, what's up with "factory-manufactured"? Is everything you use made by hand in the middle of a forest glen? I bet he also doesn't like "chemicals". Okay, I'll post one more:

Are you guys promoting Morton?
Table salt is a KILLER!

Hee, hee, hee. There are some normal people in there and people who agree aren't as apt to comment as people that disagree, but still, that's a whole lot of crazy. I find this all extremely depressing (but also darkly funny). People trying to carve out a moderate and well-reasoned path aren't supported very well, unfortunately. You talk about the risks of rocket fuel components (perchlorate) in food, water, and breast milk(!) and Kerr-McGee says you're scare mongering. You talk about how iodine is important to keep up thyroid function, especially in light of perchlorate exposure and the natural-exclusively-and-always-equals-safe crowd accuses you of being in industries' pockets. And the people in the middle just don't get worked up enough to make the kind of noise those on either side make. I've got no solutions; it's just an observation that the middle road is a lonely one and that probably has something to do with the increasing polarization of politics even though the actual population isn't polarizing along the same lines.

To brighten things up I'm back with your weekly aural pleasure. It's got a nice sound for Halloween week:

Enjoy your Friday! Eat a doughnut, or a salted bagel!

PS How come mongering is only used for fish and scares? How come there aren't cow mongers, or happy mongers or AngryMongers?

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Iodine in the salt has been excellent, you do not see nearly as many people with goiters now. I got that in time. If only they had started the flouride a bit early, my dental bills would be more reasonable.

PS How come mongering is only used for fish and scares?

Hmmmm .... scandal or war, anyone?

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 02 Nov 2007 #permalink

There are fishmongers. And whoremongers, although that is usually a bad thing.

By Cryptic Ned (not verified) on 02 Nov 2007 #permalink

Cheese and Iron here in the UK... mongers that is.

Well before the rise of big DIY/Home Depot stores you could get everything you needed for that sort of thing from the Ironmongers.

I think we should have vegetablemongers too... but I may be alone in that.

Thank you! Seriously.

The "Real Salt" people are my favorite, I think. That whole "no chemicals!!!" thing drives me batty, but sometimes there's just no reasoning with people.

Also, Bookmonger would be an awesome name for a book store.

I love this comment regarding table salt. This is following a rabid discussion how all trace minerals are removed from table salt so it is worthless.
"Then chemicals are added like Potassium Iodide, Tri-calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Carbonate, and Sodium bicarbonate just to name a few."
Oh no, not the dreaded potassium, calcium, magnesium and bicarb. No I think I'll take the unprocessed sea salt from our clean and pristine ocean waters.

As little as half a teaspoon of salt per day? I don't have anything against salt ("without chemicals, life itself would not be possible"), but that seems like a rather large quantity of table salt - probably about 4x what I use both in preparation and seasoning.

Just wanted to say I love your blog. The salt discussion has finally prompted me to comment - since a few months back I blogged about salt and the deadly consequences of not enough salt and/or too much water. A condition called hyponatremia or poisoning by water. Something I thought was only relevant to extreme athletes and marathoners, until I found myself sitting by my husband's hospital bed watching the saline drip, anxiously waiting for his plasma sodium levels to rise, and his swollen brain to recover.

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