Wimpy Kids

Are We Raising a Generation of Food Wimps?

But the germs add flavor!
But the germs add flavor! Photo: istockphoto

Well, this is an odd counterpart to shows like Bizarre Foods and Man v. Food. Here, of course, the hosts roam the world to gobble food of unknown origin (and questionable cleanliness), and an adult audience, well, eats it up. Yet the Boston Globe explains that a growing number of tots fear eating anything “germy,” especially food that’s fallen on the floor.

Without going into intense scientific detail, there’s a whole generation of children who freak out when food falls on the ground because the media has scared them so. On the other hand, 65 percent of parents practice the “Five-Second” rule, sometimes known as the “I Spent Ten Minutes Perfecting This Mustard and Pastrami Sandwich and I’ll Be Damned If I’m Going to Throw It Out Just ‘Cuz It Landed on the Floor” rule.

Meanwhile, scientists have formed a “Hygiene Hypothesis,” which goes even further. HH posits that extremely clean environments may hinder the immune system: “Exposure to germs, the thinking goes, helps the body learn to defend itself properly.” Which is clearly why we made it through our twenties.

Mental health professionals continue to ponder how to soothe kids’ fears. Our solution: Stick ‘em in front of a No Reservations marathon.

When Food Falls, How Safe Is the Five-Second Rule? [Globe]

Are We Raising a Generation of Food Wimps?