Friday, 22 June 2012

Bio-food gives us dirt ...

The Postulant sent me an interesting and, from my point of view, amusing article today. Essentially it suggests that so-called 'Bio Food' obtained at Farmer's Markets may be far better for us than the highly sanitised and quality controlled stuff we get in the supermarket. The reason?

It's loaded with dirt and bacteria which helps keep ur immune systems primed and ready.

This is something I've long argued. The current fetish with sanitised everything has laid us open to all kinds of infections for which we have, now, no immunity. Yet, in our parents generation, some of the things that currently kill children and even older folk, were common and certainly not killers - unless they happened to attack someone already weakened by something else. Salmonella was one such. It comes in eggs among other things and, if you had a dose of it in childhood, you'll probably notice a mildly upset stomach if you catch it again. But, no more. Because everything is now sanitised, we don't get mild doses of anything which would help us develop immunities. Now, when we do get an outbreak, it's usually a serious one.

I said I found this amusing, and, in a sense, I do. Having grown up in Africa, and having visited many Third World countries, I get a laugh every time I hear one of the earnest Food Hygene types banging on about 'Healthy food.' Frankly, they haven't a clue.

I think this is, once again, an area where well intentioned meddling has created a situation where the consequences are unintended, but include a loss of vital immunities to fairly minor ailments and the development of some pretty serious allergies because of dietary changes.

When will we learn ...


  1. There was an typhoid incident in Zim where family and friends were buying food off sellers at the roadside and the growers only water supply was their toilet for washing the food so it looked presentable. Problem was, they were blocking the toilet and washing the food, then unblocking and refilling, rinse and repeat so to speak.

    Whilst over there, people were having bloods taken, over here I was forced to crap in a pan three times to have it examined. The humiliation of doing that, and having to report to the matron and say, "er, yeah, I've left you a sample in the toilet" was not to be missed!

  2. Yes, there are some limits and one does need to take precautions out there, but your average Farmer's Market in the UK probably doesn't have the same potential for a major epidemic!

    I can just imagine the 'sampling' procedure ...

    1. We just spent the weekend here with mild food poisoning after eating Jalapeno dip purchased from Morrisons. The lid came off the tubs and there was no hermetically sealed plastic across the top. At the time I thought this was unusual. Now I'll not eat anything that comes like that again.

    2. The 'upside' is you probably now have some immunity to what ever it was, unpleasant though it was acquiring it. One does have to be careful if the 'seals' have been broken.

  3. What you say does make a lot of sense, Gray Monk.

    My husband and I had a discussion about that a few years ago; He has travelled a lot more extensively than I have, thanks to a three decades + military career, and he remarked that there are a lot less "nitpicking" problems originating from foodborne impurities in some really remote countries because the people do have enough exposure that their bodies can find a "cure" for future contact with the same "bugs".

    The human body is wonderfully equipped for looking after itself when given the opportunity to do so.