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Saturday, May 22, 2010

A little dirt does the body good.

Farm kids can relate. 

I recently came across an article in the Wall Street Journal called "Can Dirt Do a Little Good?" The article discussed the recently released movie "Babies," which documents the life of four babies from across the planet growing up in vastly different living conditions.

In a nomadic family in Namibia, Ponijao drinks from muddy streams, chews on dry bones and uses her many siblings' body parts as toys.
On a small family farm in Mongolia, a rooster struts around little Bayar's bed, a goat drinks from his bathwater and livestock serve as babysitters. 

By contrast, Mari, growing up in high-rise, high-tech Tokyo, and Hattie, whose doting parents live a "green" lifestyle in San Francisco, both have modern conveniences and sanitation.
As farm kids my sister and I were always playing outside and in the dirt. A little cow poop didn't hurt anyone. Bathing was still a regular habit, but we were definitely exposed to the elements. This was also long before the time of over protective mother's who went through a bottle of hand sanitizer a day.

The article states that although children in the developed countries have a higher survival rate, we have traded this for other problems such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes.

Also, according to Clinical & Experimental Immunology:



  • Children who grow up on farms have low rates of allergies and asthma.
  • Having one of more older siblings also protects against hay fever, asthma, multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes.
  • Infants who attend day care during the first six months of life have a lower incidence of eczema and asthma.

So maybe us farm kids are just a faster stronger breed. We got the added advantages of dirt under our finger nails and meat and potatoes for supper every night. 

2 comments:

  1. Great post Crystal...I totally agree! There is such a thing as GOOD bacteria and those cleaners that claim to kill 99.9%...not so cool! I hardly know any farm kids that have major allergies and I have always said, carrots from the garden taste better with the dirt on!!

    http://www.farmerstropywife.com

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  2. Really useful information you shared i inspired so much from your blog.keep updating your blog i hope i will find some new info when i will return again.thanks

    Managing Diabetes

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