Crap: It's Healthier Than You Think
Is super-sanitized food good for us in the long run or is it giving us weak digestive systems? Kent Sepkowitz of Slate magazine gives reasons "Why Americans should ingest more excrement."
No, you don't have to eat the stuff out of a bowl, but a pathogen or two won't kill you. Sepkowitz explains the current situation with our mostly squeaky clean food supply.
Our food is hosed and boiled and rinsed and detoxified and frozen and salted and preserved. Recently, we have begun to irradiate it, too—just in case. As a result, when our bodies encounter the occasional inevitable bug, they're unhappy. Our centuries-long program of winnowing out all the muck has turned us into sissies and withered the substantial part of the immune system mediated by our intestinal tract.
Instead of obsessing over killing all possibly harmful organisms in our food, Sepkowitz suggests that scientists should find out how much crap we can safely eat and how much we need to eat to stay healthy.