by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC
Sometimes I think we really are losin’ it. Whenever we (the proverbial one) come up with a good idea, we immediately jump on the more is better wagon and usually end up screwing things up. For instance: If soybeans are good for us, then let’s concentrate them into a powder that we can coveniently drink down with fruit juice instead of making breakfast, right? Actually, soy, in it’s natural (and traditionally fermented) state, IS good for us, but soy protein powders? Nope. We just changed it into a phytochemical overload. Fruit is good for us, but fruit juice – not so much. Movies, cell phones, TV? We all know the answer to that one.
So, when we figured out that washing our hands more frequently helped reduce colds and viruses, we were on to something valuable. But when we started to go berserk over anti-bacterial formulas and devices, we depleted our immune response, increased bacterial resistance, killed the good bacteria that we need, contaminated our bodies and environment with chemicals and overall, started messing with nature’s plan. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)
The voice that saw the light against anti-bacterial products has been slowly getting stronger, but unfortunately, so has the paranoia about germs in general. Keep in mind, the anti-bacterial craze is fueled by industry! Antibacterial wipes just popped up outside of supermarkets so you can wipe the handle of your grocery cart before shopping. Soaps are getting stronger, hand-sanitizers are sold as an accessory, fast-food places are now wrapping plastic silverware in more plastic, and dental floss is packaged by single use. There’s a new toothbrush sold with a santizing holder that sits in your bathroom. Many people now shun hand-shaking.
Are we any healthier from all of this ? Studies show not. If you look at the bigger picture, the same people who won’t use an open bottle of ketchup on the table are eating that burger and fries packed with transfats, pesticides and other chemicals. The more our immune system is challenged by our daily habits like food intake and lifestyle, the less resistance we have to bad bacterias. Simple as that.
If we could put the same amount of obsession into eating and drinking organic and healthy as we do to smearing our world with chemicals to kill bacteria (both the good and bad kind)….well, we could all relax a little and act more sane.
I’m not exaggerating. There are people who wash their hands 25 times a day, and/or wipe down everything with sanitizer before touching – even in their own homes and cars. It’s becoming a form of collective obession. And it’s not doing any of us any good.
Let’s get a grip, guys. Because there’s nothing like a good handshake.