Thursday, October 9, 2008

Manure is GOOD for you!

Fighting cancer with filth

IT WOULD be wrong to call dairy farming a shit job. But workers on dairy farms do have to deal with vast quantities of manure. In fact, they inevitably end up breathing in a lot of dust consisting largely of dried manure, along with all the bacteria that grew in it. That sounds unhealthy, and in some ways it is, but it does have one benefit: dairy farmers are as much as five times less likely to develop lung cancer.

As strange as it sounds, epidemiologists are starting to uncover some unexpected links between our exposure to dirt and germs, and our risk of cancer later in life. Children who attend daycare in their first few months are much less likely to develop leukaemia than those who stay at home, for instance, while some tuberculosis vaccines reduce the risk of skin cancer. Such findings point towards a curious possibility: one ...

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  1. Ha! I KNEW growing up in a barn was good for me. I've inhaled plenty of dirt and dust and probably horse manure (and have eaten lunch more than a few times without bothering to wash my hands). None of it bothers me in the least, so that's a major bonus if it does have cancer-preventing properties.

  2. I am in the same boat! Can't tell you how much barn dirt/dust I have inhaled, not to mention all the times I too have eaten something after coming from the barn. Or better yet, not even cared to remove floaty bits of hay or dirt from my meal or drink!


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