Most of us were poor, but all of us had food of some kind. That wasn't a problem. We just ate dirt because it was fun and we liked it.
Recently, I asked a nurse friend the reason for the dramatic rise in allergies among children. She wasn't sure. But the University of Western Australia claims to have found the answer, and is conducting a study. Children will be given a "dirt pill" containing a mixture of different strains of probiotic bacteria and antioxidants to replicate the missing childhood exposure and help them develop the immunity they missed by not eating dirt. Through the years of our dirt habit, questions were raised, of course, but none of us thought to conduct a study.
—Paul Brown, "Thanks, I'll have a slice of mud pie," The Globe and Mail, July 4, 2006
The theory is that the immune system, because of the lack of specific bacteria, failed to develop properly and, as a result, these children went on to develop many allergies, including asthma.
—Emily Shore, "Let Them Eat Dirt," McGill University Office for Science and Society, May 15, 2006
—Ean Higgins, "Dirt pills may help to ease kids' asthma," The Australian, April 27, 2006