Food and Vitamins

The Dose Makes The Poison

Water is an important necessity in the human diet. But over-hydrating can lead to water intoxication.

Over the last few weeks I’ve made several batches of cucumbers and onions doused in a mixture of vinegar and sugar. Because vinegar is a food it can be easy to forget that it can cause harm to a person who drinks a cup a day.

And then there’s caffeine. I’m not a caffeine junky but I know plenty of people who must start their day with a few cups of coffee. Did you know that caffeine is 28 times more toxic than glyphosate?

A common way to measure toxicity is LD50. It’s the amount of a chemical required to provide a “lethal dose” to 50% of the test population. A lower value means a higher level of toxicity because it takes a smaller amount to be lethal.

I created this chart using data from Cornell University to show how the toxicity level of glyphosate compares to several other things. In addition to caffeine, table salt, Vitamin D, and Aspirin are other consumables that many humans eat or swallow that have a LD50 value representing higher to infinitely higher levels of toxicity than glyphosate.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicides we use on our farm. Having access to this targeted action product allows us to effectively eliminate weeds that would cause problems in our fields, without harming our crops. It is lower in toxicity than ingredients historically used for the same purpose. Please know that my family and other farmers are not overloading our fields with glyphosate or any other chemicals. For one we care about our farm, our land, and our environment. And secondly, these things are expensive and we can’t afford to buy anything we don’t absolutely need for the health of our crop. Technology today allows us to apply at variables rates across a field so we can be sure our chemicals are doing what they are supposed to in areas where needed without being overused where they aren’t needed.

It’s hard to wade through all the information out there. I’ve talked about that before. You read news reports and you get concerned. Especially if you have children or family members you are responsible for. I’m a mom, I completely relate to that! When you see reports like that scare you, please take time to verify credibility and accuracy before you let it influence your decisions.

Read the full article on The Real Housewives of Rural Illinois blog.

Brett and Krista Swanson

About Krista

Brett and Krista are both the fifth generation in their families to farm. They farm with Brett’s parents and family and live on the farm near Oneida, Illinois, with their three daughters: Bianca, Karina, and Susana, and one son: Brock.

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