In some cases eating dirty can be healthy! Please consider:

Hand sanitizer.

Anti-bacterial soaps.

Clorox wipes.

Powerful chemical cleaning agents.

Pasteurized foods.

Pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers.

Wide-spread antibiotic use.

It seems in general in our society there is a “clean” problem. We are just obsessed with being clean! Of course it is good to be clean and tidy in general in your life. But is it really good for us to be so aggressively clean? Let’s examine a few of the benefits and drawbacks of such cleanliness.

  1. Pasteurized Milk.  Milk pasteurization became necessary at the beginning of the last century with the advent of feedlots. Instead of grazing on fresh grass in sunny fields, suddenly cattle found themselves in cramped, dirty quarters inside a mucky building being fed slop which was actually the by-product of liquor distillation. The quality of the milk suffered and of course so did its cleanliness! Sadly, most milk operations are still run in a similar way. Pasteurization is a boon if you’re going to consume such schlock. But a better choice is to buy certified raw milk. In Pennsylvania, raw milk producers much purchase licenses and be inspected by the state. Many of these farmers feed their cattle fresh grass in the summer and hay and minerals in the winter. The cattle are free-range in general and the milk is delicious and clean. Of course you should talk to the farmer and see how they run their operation. I have been drinking raw milk and eating raw milk products for over fifteen years, and I love it! Here is a resource where you can find a raw milk farmer in your area.
  2. The “Sterile Home” Syndrome. Of course it’s good to be clean. But systematically trying to eliminate all bacteria-good and bad-from our environments is folly. It can’t be done, first of all. No amount of cleaning will ever get rid of all microbes. Second of all,  research has suggested that it is possible to be too clean. It is possible that If you keep your environment too clean – by using too many bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, for example – then your immune system may become more sensitized to any irritant that comes its way. This can lead to more allergies and asthma, especially in children, who need to be exposed to a variety of microbes in order to educate their developing immune systems. Here is an interesting article on the subject. For more information on how to clean well without harsh chemicals, here is a good article.
  3. Eat Dirty! Author Anthony William has reported that it’s healthy to eat microbes that occur naturally on the above-ground parts of vegetables. These microbes are actually powerful probiotics for gut and immune health. So although I’m not suggesting that you don’t wash your food before you eat it in every case, I would suggest eating dirty, home-grown vegetables as much as possible. Just pull it out of the ground, dust it off, and eat it! This morning I had dirty baby radish greens from the garden out front. So easy to grow and very spicy and delicious!

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