Why I invoke the five second rule

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 28 February 2017

Have you ever dropped a piece of food on the floor, shrugged your shoulders, and then picked it up and ate it anyway? I know I have. Not usually in front of other people though.

Here are 3 reasons why eating a little dirt is not really that bad for us and surprise, it might actually be good for us!

  1. Exposure to dirt increases our exposure to different microbes.
  2. Our health depends on maintaining a robust and diverse community of microbes in our gut.
  3. If the immune system is deprived of microbial exposure, it remains sloppy and immature,  and ultimately unable to fight off diseases properly.

Never before have children grown up so clean. Phrases like, “Don’t play in the mud!” or “Don’t touch that, it’s dirty!” have become second nature. Hand sanitizer is present everywhere you turn in schools, it can be found easily in mom's purse,  and it's even hanging off of children's backpacks.

We need to unlearn the thought that dirt is bad.

By preventing babies and children from following their innate impulse to get dirty, we shield them from the microbial exposure that is essential for the development of a healthy immune system.

Now I would love to hear from you! What do you think about the idea of letting kids get dirty to benefit their immune system? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.

4 Replies to “Why I invoke the five second rule”

debbie whillans

Love it! Could not agree more. Thanks for the share…

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You are welcome Debbie! Thanks for your comment.

Jane Spilchen

As a gardener we always have dirt on our hands & tools, both indoors & outside
gardening. I always believed your “health is in your hands” now I will not worry so much about that. Thanks for the info.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Thanks for your comment Jane!

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