Why Dirty Kids Are Healthy Kids

Jill Clark

Allergies are on the rise. Medication use as well. Even the foods we eat have changed over the years. Are we choosing convenience over health? We probably are!

Let’s explore “The Dirt Cure”

Dr. Maya Shetreat book, “The Dirt Cure,” has garnered quite a lot of buzz when it comes to questioning our current lifestyle choices. Are we too clean? She proposes that dirty kids are healthy kids and we think she’s onto something here!

However, it’s first important to note how dirt and health are defined in “The Dirt Cure.”

Dr. Maya Shetreat draws attention to the fact that modern society considers health to be merely the absence of disease, when in fact, it’s so much more than this. She defines health as “a reflection of the relationship between internal and external terrain.” By this definition, it’s always in flux. She says health manifests as resilience to necessary stressors. Extending from this definition, Dr. Maya Shetreat states that chronic illness results from a lack of resilience.

That means it isn’t always a good thing if you never get sick.

Growing healthy kids with healthy soil

Our current health system, Dr. Maya Shetreat points out, is based on avoidance. Simply put: don’t get dirty!

But what is dirt, anyways? “The Dirt Cure” defines dirt as germs and microbes, fresh food from healthy soil, and time in nature. We’ve touched on a couple of these topics before! Most importantly within this definition, soil offers nutritional value previously ignored by healthcare professionals.

She bases her “Dirt Cure” on the cellular theory of Claude Bernard, which she has renamed the terrain theory for the purposes of her work. 

Our microbiome is affected by so many factors from even before we are born, to the way we are born, to the foods we eat, the time we spend indoors or outdoors, and so on. We know that our microbiome, in turn, influences our immune systems.

Dirty food is good food!

What if we told you that the trick to health is biodiversity? And that biodiversity comes from exposure to microbial-rich environments: getting a little closer to nature. Studies show rural environments offer the opportunity of exposure to many more kinds of bacteria than urban settings. If a diverse microbiome leads to a strong immune system, we need to get a little closer to dirt. And not just in our environments, but in our food too!

The food you buy at the grocery store is often grown with the help of pesticides or antibiotics and pumped with preservatives before making its way to your plate. Dr. Maya Shetreat gives the example of chicken eggs. Did you know that eggs straight from the chicken don’t need to be refrigerated? Interesting, right?!

“The Dirt Cure” aims to open eyes to the good dirt most of us lack in our lifestyles. Dr. Maya Shetreat helps families transition to plant-based diets with the goal of combating now common and normalized illnesses from the inside, out. It’s even better if you grow your food yourself!

What does a healthy person look like?

Healthy people are energetic and content in their mind and body. They are strong and resilient... and aren’t afraid of a little bit of dirt.

Now, excuse us while we plant our own vegetable gardens! Farm fresh to table sounds like a great idea to us.

*Want more? Click here for a free download of the first chapter of Dr. Shetreat’s book.
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