Americans should have more poop in their diets, writes a doctor at Slate. Like superbugs and anti-bacterial products, we’ve become too successful at cleansing our food supply of all manner of contaminants—so that kids, for example, “have zero experience with routine gut infections, and when they encounter one that has slipped past our pipes and filters, the result can be catastrophic.”
A secondary problem is that the current trend toward a more nutritious, “natural” food supply, combined with modern distribution networks, means one bad batch of spinach or frozen patties can end up on tables all over the country.
Why is this public-health problem so difficult to solve? This is America, after all, replete with wondrously harsh chemicals that can kill anything. Why can’t we scrub away the bacteria our guts don’t get along with?
Maybe we are taking the wrong approach. Rather than trying to make our food and water ever cleaner, we should focus instead on making sure it’s dirty enough to assure our good health.
Rather than frantically throwing money at new ways to eradicate the pathogens that reside in shit, we should fund the boring scientists who focus on untangling the intricacies of the gut’s immune system. Labs, answer this: How much shit can we safely eat and, as importantly, how much must we eat to remain healthy?
Oh, and good morning.