General Discussion 26

Food paranoia?

rainey | Dec 1, 200907:26 AM

I've read a few threads in which people ask about the safety of food and get responses. As you'd expect there's a range of opinion about what constitutes good food hygiene. I'd be willing to bet there are responses that fall into the factually "wrong" area on both sides of the spectrum. Still, and in my *opinion* there's a lot of overreaction.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't different standards on a continuum for what you'd eat yourself, what you'd feed your family, what you'd feed company and what you'd feed a fragile person. Or what a restaurant should be permitted to serve the public. In my case the "5 second rule" is more like a "5 or 10 minute rule". But I grew up with a grandfather who shot his own meat and saw the deer hanging on his garage for a week or so before he'd ever butcher them. And I ate baby veggies he picked for me from his garden even when dirt was clinging to them. I ate outside with dirty hands all the time when I was a kid whether it was picking up a sandwich I'd dropped in the sandbox or an apple I was picking from a tree. At 62 I still have a clear sensual memory of what dirt tastes like. And a treasured memory of drinking the coldest, most delicious water from a natural spring that I could see the frogs swimming in.

I also know what French bread that rested unwrapped in someone's arm pit on the way home from school tastes like. And stews that simmered under the cigarette that drooped from the cook's lip. And cheeses that aged unwrapped in caves with only natural geo-cooling. And vinegar that ferments uncovered in my pantry as I type And tomatoes from my garden that I have to wash bird doo from. I could go on.

My point is that no one should eat what they don't enjoy and feel good about. Ever. But some folks could be subjecting themselves to unnecessary anxiety and distress. That just makes me sad. It's also worth considering current research about typical contemporary American hyper-hygiene. Seems it subjects kids to exaggerated risk or incidence of allergy. The advice that follows from the research is let your kids have pets. Let pets in the kitchen. Let them expose themselves to things that *assault* their immune systems so that they have an opportunity to *build up* an immune system.

My thought has always been that it wouldn't be an overcrowded planet if we were that fragile. ...with a touch of that-which-doesn't-kill-us-makes-us-stronger thrown in for good measure. So this is NOT an accusation or a demand and it shouldn't be read that way. It's just a wish that folks who wish to could relax and enjoy and increase the sense of we're all just fine here. Consider it or ignore it as you see fit.

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