Thursday, November 17, 2016

Schmutz...The Key To Healthy Children

Translated from Pennsylvania Dutch it basically means dirt.
And in my day when someone told you that you had schmutz on your face,
you knew that was followed by a spit-moistened hanky wiping it away!

Somewhere along the way we started to think it was a bad thing.
We equated dirt with germs.
I believe this happened as we "progressed" from an agrarian society, to an industrialized one,
and finally to a technological one.
Commercials told us our clothes needed to be cleaner,
our bodies germ-free.
"Try this soap, this detergent, this antibacterial agent."

In this, our unending quest to be healthier we were actually making ourselves unhealthy.
"Bad" bacteria became resistant to antibiotic and antibacterials.
The incidence of childhood allergies skyrocketed.
A general shortage of Schmutz!

Let's face it...
our bodies are covered in bacteria.
There is now a whole science investigating the beneficial bacteria that live inside our bodies.
There are at least as many bacterial cells in our bodies as there are human cells.
So, let's stop trying to wipe them out.
Let's invite "good" bacteria in for a visit instead!

Tell your kids to go play in the dirt.
Take them to a farm.
Expose them (to stuff... natural dirty stuff!)
We've got plenty of Schmutz to go around!

For more information, you might enjoy reading this article:


  1. When I was growing up my mother always said "you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die", I guess she was right, as usual.

  2. I guess I was playing in the wrong dirt as a kid. Lots of allergies! I still play in the dirt. Nothing wrong with that. That's what showers are for. I always have dirt under my fingernails . Fun post! Have a beautiful day.

  3. i never use anti-bacterial anything. i am a strong believer in dirt. my motto has always been that a schmuztige Gesicht is a good thing!

  4. AND feed them a variety of foods -- including nuts and peanut butter at a very early age!

  5. I couldn't agree more! We are told not to eat this or that while we are pregnant.. I think that contributes to a lot of issues too.

  6. I heard someone say one time "God made dirt, so dirt don't hurt" and I never forgot it, which was good because my daughter reminded me of the Peanuts character PigPen when she was little!

  7. Amen to that! I told my husband we should rent out our place as an immunity builder for babies. The log portion is 130 years old so we have ooooold dust, we have many many kinds of animal dander as well as well composted manure garden soil and I'm not the world's most efficient house cleaner! Seriously, I don't know too many farm kids with a lot of allergies.

  8. I say . . .
    Go for a bit of "Schmutz" too . . .

  9. An American in TokyoNovember 20, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    I stopped using antibacterial soap many, many years ago due to allergies and also I was afraid of what it was doing to the environment when I washed it away, down the drain.
    I think my allergies are more from chemicals like pesticides and such. I hope someday I can be allergy free, but I think I will always have some residual allergies.


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