In a recent New York Times piece, Human Food Project founder Jeff Leach argues it's time to dirty up our diets. New evidence suggests that the rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders in the past few decades is due, at least partly, to our obsession with sanitation and aversion to dirt.
More from Leach's piece:
As nature's blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established "normal" background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies. This research suggests that reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world would help avoid an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders.
Leach will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday to talk about bringing dirt back into our diet.
"We have a long evolutionary history with microbes," he said. "Up until the last .001 percent of human history, we were covered in dirt. When you remove a major component of our microbes - the yuck factor, triple wash, shower all the time etc - we find that many of the microorganisms trained our immune systems. When you remove it, it doesn't get trained."
Rob Knight, Knight Lab principal investigator at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will also join the discussion.
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