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. 


  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!!

  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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