Dirt vs. Dirt

Okay, so I’ve talked on and on about food. While I’m aware that I have a slight obsession with food at this point, I have noticed another wasteful trend.

It would seem to me our culture has a little bit of a germ phobia.

Look under your sink. One time use wipes, kleenex in all sorts of plastic wrapping, and of course, chemicals so harsh it would take you longer to read the warnings than it would take you to actually clean anything.

But if you look closer, its not just our cleaning habits that exhibit an intense fear of germs; this is also exemplified in take-out containers from restaurants (with strict rules on not bringing your own containers), and of course, the plastic wraps and seals found on literally everything in the grocery store. Don’t be fooled, those seals aren’t for freshness, they’re for peace of mind.

Which leads me to my next questions: Shouldn’t we be able to tell when food has gone bad without all the excessive wrapping? Are we really that paranoid about germs that we need to be burning our walls and hands?

I’m going to be very honest here- I’ve never been that bothered by “germs”. Don’t give me that look, of course I wash my hands. But I was definitely that kid who ate dirt on a regular basis, and I’ve never really lost that mentality of dirt versus “dirt”.

Dirt Vs. “Dirt”

There’s two kinds of germs in my head: real germs, and shadow germs. When I used to cook with raw meats, I was always very careful of cross contamination, but that never required harsh chemicals- just some hot soapy water and enough cutting boards/knives to switch out. Salmonella is an example of what I believe to be a real germ. An example of a shadow germ would be trading out a piece of silverware that’s fallen on the floor or making your employees wear plastic gloves and throw them out after every use. What germs could you possibly be picking up in that time frame? Maybe its just my “there’s too many people in the world anyways” thinking, but I really don’t see the death toll rising with the frequent skin contact.

This sort of reminds me of the medical diagnosing computer program that out performed human MD’s in every possible way and still wasn’t put into practice because patients couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea of a computer handling such sensitive topics. Its a human thing, a cultural thing, and that’s exactly what our germ phobia is- in my opinion.

I’m not saying that germs don’t exist everywhere, I mean, you really could get sick from anything. But I think this overall idea of the germ always being there is similar to always saving your money in case you need it for something later. You’re so busy watching your back, you’re losing track of where the actual threats are. You aren’t learning anything about sanitation of cleanliness, you’re just a zombie following the rules, you know?

I use the handkerchiefs my mom pulled out of the closet with a smile on her face- “Now just make sure you wash it often!”- and I made the switch to a Diva Cup months ago (it served me so well abroad, I cannot recommend enough making that switch ladies. Seriously). I now find the idea of garbage gross, because really, it is. It’s just a bunch of germs that we’ve let sit there.

So yeah. Think about that, wasters.

All the best,
The Dirt Mouth

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