Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes

Thai Society and culture, Living in Thailand.
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Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes

Post by parrot » March 19, 2017, 7:15 pm

Today we visited a neighbor with her new baby boy, freshly home after a week at Udon General. Although the girl came from a very low income family, she married into a family with a decent (although very Thai) home, with a new REVO and new tractor in the car port (two successful 2-month blueberry trips to Sweden).
While we were there, chickens tried to come in the open door, a bee buzzed over the mother and her baby, and there were a fair share of those tiny black buggaboos that seem to follow you wherever you go. Day old fish were drying near an open window with an assortment of flies helping out the process.

While we were yakking, the young mother fed her baby, the old-fashioned way.....so while I was keeping my eyes at the proper level, I got to thinking about how much clean is clean enough, and how much clean becomes too clean.

The baby isn't using pampers......cloth diapers that'll be washed in cold water. If'n'when the mother decides to feed by bottle, the bottles and nipples will be washed in cold water. The bee and chickens and black buggaboos would give most any American mother the heebie-jeebies about exposing her newborn to all sorts of toxicity. And yet, the baby here will most likely grow up to be healthy and strong.....like all the village kids who are raised in even less sterile conditions. They'll eat peanuts and probably not have allergies.

Meanwhile, back in the US recently, we were at a home where the mother prewashed dishes with a clorox-soap spray, then put them in the dishwasher with blazing hot water to kill every last possible germ. Her two kids have an assortment of allergies and the mother is considering a gluten free diet for them.

That's my moment of zen for the day. I didn't get an answer to my question, but I'm leaning in the less-clean-isn't-necessarily-such-a-bad-thing direction.

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Re: Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes

Post by Philrjones » March 20, 2017, 3:45 am

I've thought the same for some time Parrot. On my trips home to work in Australia, I see/hear about kids with asthma, allergies to nuts, creams, eggs, fish etc etc. Same the UK as well.

Back in Udon we have 3 kids all at school and they don't have allergies. I don't know of any of their friends that have any such allergies. There must be some knocking around, but whereas in the western world it seems to be everywhere, in Udon there seems to be hardly any.

A few bugs picked up didn't hurt us as kids growing up (without computers/mobiles so we were out playing in the muck all the time!). I'm pretty sure exposure to a little muck and all sorts of foods when you're young does the immune system the world of good for the future.

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Re: Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes

Post by rjj04 » March 20, 2017, 1:02 pm

Microbes!!! It seems there is a lot going on in this field nowadays. An interesting video on the subject...


If you are young and healthy... they suggest you freeze a bit of your "poop" for re-populating your gut later in life :-#

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Re: Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes

Post by rick » March 20, 2017, 1:42 pm

It is true that from a western viewpoint hygiene here leaves a lot to be desired. But, on the other hand, i have rarely had any serious stomach problems here - i had far more while working in Australia!

My daughter here has had practically no diarrhea in her 5 years of life. My wife is a bit more conscientious than most mothers in Thailand about hygiene, but some of the food preparation would get you an instant ban by a health inspector in the UK, and we have the sun dried fish as well, and vegetables grown with duck ****. Just wash in a bit of water (sometimes from the well next to the ##### tank :( ) and that's it.

I am a firm believer that too much hygiene causes these allergies. Have 2 cousins who had a mother paranoid about hygiene (kitchen cleaned with dettol twice a day) and when they went to school, missed most of the first two years with one cough, cold or other infection after another and both have hay fever.

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