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Dirt with Dessert: We're Too Clean, and It's Killing Us


We’ve become too antiseptic with our food production. Dirt, as it turns out, may be the answer to the rise in allergies and autoimmune disorders.

As we’ve turned to food that is more and more commercialized and processed, we’ve slowly scrubbed all the microorganisms found in dirt from our diets. We’ve traded it instead for antibacterial hand soaps and fruit so “fresh’ that it bounces from the ground rather than going splat.

With Americans eating more and more processed foods and apples and tomatoes and lettuce that has been rinsed and re-rinsed instead of foods coming straight from the ground, they’ve also all but eliminated their exposure to the tiny organisms found on their food, tiny microorganisms that may have been the answer to giving us strong guts.

As my husband pointed out when we were discussing this issue, when you visit other countries you’re always warned against drinking the water, and yet, the locals drink the water without issue. It stands to reason that their gut has been building up resilience just by being exposed, but your squeaky-clean gut is not.

While I’m not suggesting we all go eat a handful of dirt, I am suggesting that perhaps we need to reconsider how we eat. Simply eating food from the farmers market, where you can easily find dirt on the tomatoes, the carrots, covering the beets, could be the answer to a healthier you.

Read more on The New York Times.

**Read more from Shaina on Food for My Family! Follow Shaina on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates! PLUS, check out her new cookbook, Desserts in Jars!

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