Jill Sparrow

Eating a bit of dirt

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My relative, Emily Ward of Garden Street, was born in 1894 and used many of these terms in her everyday speech. One of her favourites was, "You'll eat a peck of muck before you die!"  As a child I had the idea that a peck was something akin to a pinch of salt and I was amazed to find out just how much it was.

 

In Emily's lifetime, before everything became sanitised virtually out of existence, I suppose her words were true. She lived to be 90.  Perhaps we've gone too far with it. Allergies galore. Perhaps that peck of muck made us more resilient.

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Too right, Jill. Most people nowadays are just too clean. They are never exposed to the real outside world in infancy and childhood but are constantly wrapped in (figurative) cotton wool and everything is sterilised, disinfected or otherwise treated to avoid exposure to reality.

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Jonab and Jill you are right, two of my grand children when they visited use to go in my garden with me and I let them eat plums apples and pears off the trees, and  also tomatoes cherries strawberries ( not all at the same time) and their mother use to run out in a panic each time "wash them first". The worst was when they picked peas and ate them straight away, I always use to forget to tell them they had to wash them, I was never in her good books, but kids have to experience all many things in life.

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Sad really, children today talking about anaphylactic shock if they so much as look at a potato. In my day, they were weighed loose on the scales, still covered in the earth they grew in. Tipped into mum's shopping bag, no plastic involved.  We ate rhubarb straight out of great aunt Lily's garden, unwashed. Still alive...and kicking!

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I never wash any fruit or vegetables that I eat raw. I can't imagine that washing will remove any harmful bacteria. Surely to be safe they should be sterilised in boiling water or dipped in a disinfectant. I wouldn't eat raw meat. I did order steak tartare in France once before I realised what it was. When the waiter came to break a raw egg over it I chickened out!   

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Jill, your spot on there, too much cotton wool, although people statistically live longer nowadays, it's down to advancement in medical research. There's illnesses and diseases around now that would be sniffed at years ago.

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4 minutes ago, Waddo said:

Jill, your spot on there, too much cotton wool, 

My gran always said that you eat a cwt of dirt before you die. Didn't realise what she meant until much later!

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I agree with the previous posts.  I've eaten plenty of fresh picked stuff in my  time without washing it first.  The problem as I see it is that you may not use any chemicals in your respective gardens.  Anything you buy at the store may well have been sprayed with insecticides, fungicides etc.  May well be GMO too.

Could this be the reason for the big increases in cancer,  autism, and other ills that we never even heard of as kids?

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1 hour ago, philmayfield said:

wouldn't eat raw meat. I did order steak tartare in France once before I realised what it was. When the waiter came to break a raw egg over it I chickened out!   

Mixing your meataphors there!

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I wouldn't bother washing fruit picked straight off a tree in my garden, but would probably wash carrots pulled out of the ground.

However, I would definitely wash loose fruit at the supermarket as they are handled by lots of other people before me AND I'M NOT SURE EVERYONE WASHES THEIR HANDS AFTER VISITING THE TOILET!!   I know most women do, but Paul tells me that several men don't!  (Sorry if that sounds sexist)

I'm not so worried about soil as I am about  E-Coli.   Would you honestly eat an apple which had been handled by someone who'd just come out of the toilet with unwashed hands?

 

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The vast fields in Spain where lots of veg intended for the RU market is grown do not have convenient toilet facilities, therefore the pickers just "go" where they can and the story is that they do not choose areas of bare ground. 

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You're wrong there, Phil!

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9 minutes ago, philmayfield said:

What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over Margie! 

You took the words right out of my mouth Phil.

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We’re surrounded by ‘germs’ all the time. Sometimes we’re unlucky and catch a cold but there are very few cases of bubonic plague these days.

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I'm not overly concerned with ordinary household germs, but the bacteria that live in your gut (that's the correct terminology btw) are good and helpful as long as they stay in there!  It's when you ingest them that the trouble can start and you end up with food poisoning with the accompanying diarrhoea and vomiting.  This can be very dangerous for babies and small children and can even be fatal in some cases.

That's why staff in restaurants go on Food Hygiene courses.   I went on one several years ago and the things I learnt there I've never forgotten...

 

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/food-poisoning

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I think different people's constitution also has a bearing on this.I can give you a perfect example, my wife and I go to India for the winter, now me, I was dragged up in st Ann's (no comment please) and worked in the construction industry for over 40years, the missus, good upbringing, hygeinically (real word?) perfect and worked in catering. Both eat the same food, drink the same liquids and generally have pretty much the same stuff throughout our stay. The first week or so, she gets Delhi belly, bearing in mind, India is not the most hygienic place in the world, then settles down, me, no problem. I put it down to not being isolated from all the germs that we had when a child. 

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Fruit just get a cursory polish on me shirt no matter  where it's from...

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Most of our fruit sold here is local but I still wash it, not because I think it has dirt on it or is dusty, but because we live in the middle of vineyards and the vines are sprayed a few times a year. Nothing poisonous, its to keep the fruit from going mouldy. Think its copper sulphate they use . Verde rame in italian. So its washed off the fruit. 

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I think thats what it is. I only know it as verde rame ( green copper ) in any case where a variety of fruit is grown you don't know what they spray the trees with and the wind however  slight , blows.

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Bordeaux mixture, (copper sulphate) was used as a fungicide on fruit, including grapes extensively, I thought it had been banned years back????

 

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