...to think of all the food I've wasted.
June 13, 2007 10:27 AM   Subscribe

 
*sends to mom*
posted by mediocrates at 10:27 AM on June 13, 2007


But... but... but... I thought MythBusters busted this one already!
posted by absalom at 10:32 AM on June 13, 2007


absalom you beat me to it-- I immediately thought of MB.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:33 AM on June 13, 2007


As did I, when I heard it on the radio yesterday. But I routinely break the five-second rule all the time, so...

I'm was pretty sure all those germs I thought I was ingesting would simply build up my immune system, making me safe from all sorts of diseases I otherwise would be afflicted by. I guess it's time to go back to eating random insects I find about the homestead!
posted by The God Complex at 10:37 AM on June 13, 2007


The folks on MythBusters aren't very thorough researchers, they tend to focus more on entertainment than good science (hence all the explosions).
Anyway, I still won't eat it once it hits the ground. Ewwww
posted by waxboy at 10:40 AM on June 13, 2007


One thing the MBs didn't think to test was the Blow Procedure. If you drop a piece of food on the floor but blow it off really well, germs can't survive. Proven fact.
posted by DU at 10:41 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


...more on entertainment than good science..

More than scientists, sure. I mean, they are basically doing it in their spare time. But they focus a lot, lot, LOT more on good science than any other entertainers.
posted by DU at 10:42 AM on June 13, 2007


If I drop it on the floor I'll eat it without a problem. Unless it has dirt on it. If it has dirt on it I will brush or wash it off, and then eat it.

I'd hate the thought of wasting food simply because it touched a surface that wasn't a plate. A little floor spice doesn't hurt. It contains vital nutrients. Like dirt. Eat dirt, it'll make you happier.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:43 AM on June 13, 2007


It's safe to eat from the floor - the rats and cockroaches do it all time and they don't seem to suffer from it...
posted by DreamerFi at 10:46 AM on June 13, 2007


I hate bad science writing. Here's the same idea with better writing, and the five second rule paper from the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Also, the 2003 research mentioned in the article was a high school science project which won an Ig Nobel Prize.
posted by peeedro at 10:47 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


My version of the 5 second rule is pretty lax. It's actually a 30 second rule. 30 seconds from the time you decide to pick it up. If recovering the food takes more than 30 seconds, it's a bad omen, you probably don't want it that much anyway, and it's not worth the effort.
posted by lostburner at 10:53 AM on June 13, 2007


Well *that's* a relief!
posted by gomichild at 10:55 AM on June 13, 2007


Hell, if it's on the floor more than 30 seconds, something will come along and eat it anyhow...
posted by LordSludge at 11:06 AM on June 13, 2007


LordSludge has it: the 5-second rule is completely irrelevant at my house because if I haven't picked it up in 5 seconds, it has been eaten by dogs.
posted by malthas at 11:16 AM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


rather, "this extension of the 5-second rule is completely irrelevant"
posted by malthas at 11:17 AM on June 13, 2007


If you drop a piece of food on the floor but blow it off really well, germs can't survive. Proven fact.

There's this awesome show on Philly public access where these totally stoned out black Israelites discuss the dietary laws. On top of explaining why you shouldn't take your girl to the Red Lobster and stuff her full of "sea roaches" they take the time to outline why you can't just pick a piece of food up off the floor and say, "Praise the Lord!" or just blow on it before popping it in your mouth.

Ever since I either say, "Praise the Lord!" or just blow on a piece of dropped food before popping it in my mouth. I can't stop myself.
posted by The Straightener at 11:18 AM on June 13, 2007


I think the rule should be if something you've eaten off of the floor makes you sick, it's your own fault so no complaining or saying the "rule" said it would be safe.
posted by Zephyrial at 11:29 AM on June 13, 2007


If I drop food and then pick it up, I instinctively blow on it. I have no idea why; I know it doesn't "blow the germs away" or anything like that. It's like some life-long version of cootie shots I give to my food.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:07 PM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I skip all the drama and just eat everything straight off the floor.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:16 PM on June 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Huh, I always thought the blowing was for hairs, dust, and dirt. I'm not so worried about the germs, but hair in my mouth is gross.
posted by stopgap at 12:17 PM on June 13, 2007


I know lots of people who consider tableware "dirty" if another person even *touches* it on a food-facing surface. Blows my feeble bachelor mind...

malthas: [I]f I haven't picked it up in 5 seconds, it has been eaten by dogs.

Yes, dogs. Packs of wild dogs. Which is why I can never have children.
posted by LordSludge at 12:37 PM on June 13, 2007


Here's the thing, most floors just don't have pathogenic bacteria on them. Unless you're the kind of person who spills chicken juice and doesn't clean it up, any bacteria that the food picks up will probably be harmless. I'll eat it unless it drops into that corner under the counter that never gets swept properly and is furry when I pick it up.

Now the kitchen sink on the other hand is a wretched hive of bacterial scum and villainy. I'll throw out lettuce leaves that so much as brush against the side when I'm washing them.
posted by TungstenChef at 12:57 PM on June 13, 2007


I eat food off the floor all the time. I drink milk that has been sitting outside for hours. When I find unwrapped bars of candy lying on the ground, I eat those too. My body is a temple. A temple filled with garbage.

I chalk up my lack of allergies to everything except Tide laundry detergent to this very fact. I am already so full of badass shit nothing I ingest could possibly survive.
posted by Anonymous at 1:03 PM on June 13, 2007


Well it depends on what adheres to the material before you eat it.

Earlier today I actually saw someone eat something off the floor of an elevator. This girl, pretty cute actually was eating Fritos and chatting with a woman who empties out trash cans in the office. She dropped a chip, then bent down to pick it up, and joked about it with the Janitor. She adjusted her shades and then ate the Frito. I was shocked. Not that she'd done it, but that she'd done it in such an obvious way, in front of someone she knew, and a stranger (me). In a way I admired her courage.

It's odd that today that happened, then later I saw that video pop up randomly on youtube, and now There's a mefi post on the very topic. Talk about synchronicity.
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on June 13, 2007


Here's hoping science can also help us find out the truth behind the "he who smelt it dealt it" paradox.
posted by grubi at 1:38 PM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, is it just me who knows the five second rule as relating to farting? If you cut one, you remain where you are for five seconds, that way you don't take it with you in your trousers. Into the lift, the bedroom, the boardroom, whatever.

Just me.
posted by imperium at 2:23 PM on June 13, 2007


Hey. Let's leave farts to Fark.
posted by kozad at 2:30 PM on June 13, 2007


I'm not really all that concerned by this. What is dropped and eaten makes my immune system stronger and grosses my friends out. Tasty food + stronger immune system + entertainment bonus.

Related to the Ig Nobels, The Journal of Improbable Research is one of my favorite things to read ever. Personal favorites are "Postal Experiments" and "The Morphology of Steve" [pdf].
posted by Tehanu at 2:43 PM on June 13, 2007


This doesn't apply in France.
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:26 PM on June 13, 2007


"Unless you're the kind of person who spills chicken juice and doesn't clean it up..."

I knew there was a good reason to stop sacrificing chickens in my dining room.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:49 PM on June 13, 2007


*eats the dropped cookie*

HAHAHA YEAH! IN YOUR FACE, MYTHBUSTERS!

*drops dead*

Hey, uhm, I'm in SF near a certain few disused military complexes, if, you know, someone might want to invite me to come watch something about some weird TV show or other. I'm hella nerdy! But I'll just stand there, i swear - and I come pre-equipped with my own first aid kit and boilerplate life-and-limb liability release forms! and goggles!

Or maybe, uhm, meetup?

And, err, I also would enjoy challenging the "brown note" test. Me know speakers. Me make proper boom. Tri-amp, cross-over, EQ, BBE-style time domain audio optimization for tri-band, large excursion high energy cones, ported and ducted. Industry standard for most excellent PA configuration with a fine touch. Will provide analog synth for flexible sinewave source. Geometric configuration of alignments and enclosures of test as "busted" self-defeats; Resonant opposition in drivers/cones due to cross-faced juxtaposition and enclosure design. Energy lost due to configuration, many hot and cold spots due to transient interference. Dig?

posted by loquacious at 3:55 PM on June 13, 2007


"Here's hoping science can also help us find out the truth behind the "he who smelt it dealt it" paradox."

Umm, I'm pretty sure a team of Swiss physicists won the Nobel for their work answering this with the "he who denied it, supplied it" theorem...
posted by stenseng at 4:07 PM on June 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was shocked. Not that she'd done it, but that she'd done it in such an obvious way, in front of someone she knew, and a stranger (me). In a way I admired her courage...
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on June 13 [+] [!]


I believe this is a situation in which sweet high fives from strangers are called for.
posted by blasdelf at 8:15 PM on June 13, 2007


Living in South Africa, I have often seen people eating out of garbage cans and bags. I have watched from my garage as poor folk explore the contents of my own garbage bags, waiting by the curb, and eaten things found there. I have seen children eating the leftover bits of hamburgers, from discarded fastfood bags, found in public trashcans.

5 seconds on the floor? LOL!
posted by Goofyy at 12:08 AM on June 14, 2007


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