How dangerous are germs really? We’ve been programmed by health conventions to do everything to avoid spreading and sharing germs but at the same time, if germs are everywhere and supposedly your desk is 400 times dirtier than a toilet, what’s the point?
Also, don’t our immune systems use germs to build resistances? It’s a whole mess. So let’s talk about eating things off of the ground. Don’t judge, we’ve all done it. Some people are defiant and gross about it, but if you drop a bowl of spaghetti on the floor, you’re telling me you throw it all away?
So where did the five second rule come from? It’s a staple on playgrounds across the land. Wikipedia refers to it as ‘folklore’ which is a bit of an overstatement but it does explain why there is no known origin for the phrase.
The bad news is that the five second rule is completely made up. It literally exists to legitimise gross people.
The good news is, however, that the bacteria found on the floor is potentially beneficial to our immune system. We’re not encouraging you to eat things that people drop but research suggests that regular contact with germs is no bad thing.
The crucial time for floor eating is when you’re a kid. Convenient considering that kids are the most likely to abide by the 5SR, in fact some will extend it to the 10 second rule be ensure that they give the food item a hearty blow as a sign of good faith.
This idea, as reported to Business Insider, comes from evidence that suggests “why children who grow up around animals and in rural areas appear to develop conditions like asthma less often than children who don’t“.
So maybe we should all stop worrying about the millions of germs that surround us every day. Germaphobes don’t live longer, they’re just more stressed than the rest of us.