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May 18, 2013 07:12 AM

Germs as our best friends

Interesting article by Michael Pollan in this weekend's magazine section of the NYT.

Should make all the germophobes cringe.

So maybe we shouldn't worry about the 5 second rule. Pick it up off the floor, brush it off and eat. You're helping the body out. I'm going to worry even less about how pristine the kitchen is. Sanitized food isn't good food anyways in my view. Just pulled some asparagus from the garden and ate a few stalks as is. They were great. Going to have some more with lunch and maybe I should just use them raw in a salad. Got to feed the microbes.

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  1. I really enjoyed this article. Fermented foods seem worth exploring. Never tried kimchi but it is tops on my list.

    2 Replies
    1. re: globocity

      I'm planning on making some this weekend. I use lower amounts of garlic and red pepper than usually called for. I find it keeps the smell down but the flavor is still really good.

      1. re: globocity

        I eat kimchi at least once a day, I love it!

      2. Americans obsess about cleanliness, even lacking any proof that it's truly next to godliness. :-) There's much here to think about. For example, birth by Caesarian and bottle-feeding seems to prevent infants from acquiring the mother's immunities and may be a cause of allergies, bio-intolerances, and worse. The idea is that nature's way is almost always best, since it's evolved over eons so that we can survive. Makes sense to me.

        1. It's well-known that most bacteria, by far, are benign or helpful. Nevertheless, some are pathogens, and some of these can be extremely harmful, even deadly. It is not obsession to be aware of these and to adhere to safe food handling practices to avoid being infected by them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: GH1618

            Seems to me that the greatest danger of infection isn't in the home but at the food processing plants. No matter how obsessively you wash your hands, it won't protect you against e. coli in the ground beef. You're probably immune to the microorganisms living in your home and workplace, or else you'd be sick all the time just from breathing.

          2. I have a very high germ threshold. The 5 second rule to me is more on the order of minutes and while I always wash and prep appropriately for others, for myself I often forget to wash things and I'm doing OK.

            1. Very interesting article with lots of useful information on everything about the microflora in our body, even for some like me who had already been reading extensively on the subject.

              The best parts of the article, for me, are the practical suggestions on lifestyle and food choices (mostly on the last page), to help culture the microflora.

              Thank you for mentioning this.