Be a healthy human - eat dirt!

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10 years 1 day ago #32150 by Organix
This article from Radio NZ today makes for interesting listening :)

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10 years 1 day ago #429973 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Be a healthy human - eat dirt!
Made me chuckle as in many ways I agree with him. My children were never protected from germs and bugs and in fact have photos of them chowing down on dirt. Every time I see an ad selling "kills 99% of germs" type cleaners i.e. washing down babies highchair - I cringe! Imagine what all these cleaners are doing to the water treatment plants in their job!

Living in urbanville, there are far to many random cats and dogs to be able to selectively find a bit of dirt that I would want to put in my mouth! Think I will hold off on that given I NEVER get sick!

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10 years 1 day ago #429979 by Stikkibeek
And they all used to say that "you eat a peck of dirt before you die" Well in my opinion, there is no need to hasten the process!

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 19 hours ago #429988 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Be a healthy human - eat dirt!
There are many claims as to what we should be eating to ward off cancer, diabetes and every illness under the sun.
Most of these are unscientific, unproven and very confusing if you actually listened to what people said.
The best one is the causes of asthma and what to avoid.
Many of these 'theories' deserve the sceptics bent spoon award and this one is probably in that category.

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10 years 18 hours ago #429996 by Organix

muri;428232 wrote: There are many claims as to ....
..... sceptics bent spoon award and this one is probably in that category.

Alexander Fleming probably got a similar reaction from the blinkered skeptics but look at the drugs industry his discovery fostered :rolleyes:

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9 years 11 months ago #430059 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Be a healthy human - eat dirt!
I actually dont think the two are comparable.
You just have to read the soil tests done on properties which were horticultural and I dont know you would be wanting to eat the dirt.
I remember quite clearly our first sunny day after months of winter chill in norway, with the kids out rolling in the snow, eating it, playing and throwing it. Lovely clean pure white snow.
A week later we heard that the Chernnobyl cloud had passed overhead and that many who were out in that snow had radiation readings.
All summer we read the radiation levels in our locally grown food, particularly the fast growing small things like mushrooms and berries, these were the worst and that summer we didnt eat any of those things.
Who was taking readings here when the French were doing their testings?
The half life of some of these elements are decades, not days

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9 years 11 months ago #430071 by Organix

muri;428313 wrote: I actually dont think the two are comparable.....

......French were doing their testings?
The half life of some of these elements are decades, not days

Down here in the southern hemisphere we haven't had any nuclear reactor meltdowns and the French testing was underground so little or no contamination at our latitude. (The Fukushima disaster is far from over but that's a whole different nightmare [:0])

The most significant contaminant we can expect in NZ soils is DDT due to the ignorance that prevailed a few decades ago but otherwise generally our soils would have to be some of the least adulterated in the world. If individuals then choose to degrade their own environments with agrichemicals then the odd bit of soil ingested is probably the least of their health problems :rolleyes:

The 'antibacterial' industry fosters fear of the unknown to promote its products in the same way that the insurance industry does. It's becomes a matter of common sense as to what degree you subscribe to such scaremongering.

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9 years 11 months ago #430144 by spark

Organix;428325 wrote: Down here in the southern hemisphere we haven't had any nuclear reactor meltdowns and the French testing was underground so little or no contamination at our latitude. (The Fukushima disaster is far from over but that's a whole different nightmare )

The Brits conducted some above ground nuke tests in the pacific during the cold war, they also conducted some in the outback of Australia. Today Australia has an "open pool" type nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights near Sydney that produces radioactive isotopes for medical and industrial uses.

Thankfully, generally the most "active" (and dangerous) radioactive isotopes have the shortest half-lives, which means that they don't stick around for very long (eg Iodine 131, has half-life of about 8 days - 6 months after a nuclear accident, 131I contamination will be less than 1 millionth of what it was on day 1).

The least active radioactive isotopes have the longest half-lives, which means that they stick around practically forever, but the rate of radiation emission (and danger) is very low. (eg Potasium-40, which is 0.0117% of all potasium, has a half-life of 1.3 Billion years - an adult human body contains about 160 grams of potassium, hence about 0.000117 x 160 = 0.0187 grams of 40K whose decay produces about 4,400 disintegrations per second, every second, for the rest of your life...)

Some soils contain naturally occuring high levels of radioactive isotopes (eg Thorium in South Westland), and we humans add to soil levels of radio-isotopes by burning coal and applying superphosphate (which both can contain thorium, uranium, and other heavy metals). If you consider that coal typically contains 1 to 4 ppm of uranium, and the quantity of coal collectively burnt by humans, then you have to ask the question of where does all that uranium (and the other heavy metals) end up?

Organix;428325 wrote: The most significant contaminant we can expect in NZ soils is DDT due to the ignorance that prevailed a few decades ago but otherwise generally our soils would have to be some of the least adulterated in the world.

Don't forget about cadmium contamination (from superphosphate), lead paint and elemental based agrichemicals (eg arsenic contamination in the soil around old sheep dips). If you are in town, land that used to be used for old gas-works is also possibly contaiminated (from the coal that they used to use to make the gas).

Cheers

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