As January comes to a close, I thought some scary health statistics might inspire those with New Years resolutions to keep up the good work. According to The American Journal of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control, between 1988 and 2006…
And the surprise statistic of the day: What city has the largest percentage of adults eating 5-A-Day? Washington DC! Those politicians know how important it is to stay strong and healthy. DC may have one of the highest murder rates in the country, but at least they go down fighting.
For those of you working hard to make 2010 a healthy year, way to go! It looks like we need it. Learn more about how to get your 5-A-Day by playing our most popular Playnormous health game Lunch Crunch or our newest health game all about food groups, Pyramid Pile Up.
According to a food science study conducted by experts at Urbana-Champaign, 70% of women and 56% of men are familiar with the five-second rule. For those of you that aren’t, the Five Second Rule basically states that if you drop something edible on the floor you have only five seconds to pick it up before it’s crawling with icky germs. Pick it up within the five seconds and it’s safe to eat. The origin of this myth is unknown, but nevertheless, people around the world follow it. This brings us to our myth of the week: Is food really safe to eat if it’s picked up off the floor within five seconds?
Medical experts agree that there are several factors that determine how safe a food is to eat when it’s picked up off a floor.
But does food collect more bacteria as it sits? Professor and Food Scientist Paul Dawson at Clemson University put this portion of the five second rule to the test. His food of choice was bologna sandwiches dropped on tile, wood and nylon carpet contaminated by salmonella. Sandwiches left on the surfaces collected 150 to 8,000 bacteria. If they were left for a full 60 seconds, ten times more bacteria were found. Read the details of this fascinating paper in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.
As a general rule of thumb, if you drop any food on a floor (or counter for that matter) that is already contaminated with germs like E. coli, it doesn’t matter how quickly you pick it up. You’ll be consuming E. coli in some capacity along with your tasty snack. In 2003 intern Jillian Clarke of the University of Illinois conducted a five-second rule test by inoculating tile with E. coli and dropping gummy bears and cookies. The result? Contaminated gummy bears and cookies after five seconds. She tested this on typical public floors too but found the floors to contain so little bacteria that they couldn’t even be counted. Unfortunatley in the real world, we never know what type of microscopic germs are lurking on floors. That’s a chance you’ll just have to take if you decide to eat off the floor.
In conclusion, this is a tricky myth. Food that is dropped for five seconds on your typical floor is safe to eat if the floor is generally clean and your food isn’t too moist. Food that is dropped on a bacteria-infested floor is going to pick up bacteria, and the longer you wait to pick it up, the worse the problem will be. Food, germs and floors…busted!
During our fun event at the Children’s Museum of Houston last week, we found that our easy health recipes for kids and parents went three times as fast as all the other handouts. Parents were thrilled to have a couple of ideas for incorporating fruit and vegetables into some fun snacks. As a result, we’ve decided to expand our healthy recipe section just for you! Each recipe features 0.5 to 2 fruit or vegetables per serving. All are approved by Baylor College of Medicine, American Diabetes Association or CDC.
Here’s what to expect from our recipes section:
Do you have a favorite healthy recipe? Comment on this blog post and we might FEATURE IT on our website!
In preparation for tomorrow’s big Playnormous extravaganza at the Children’s Museum of Houston, Henry Yau was kind enough to give us a shout-out on Fox News. Watch the super cool interview to learn some interesting “Eat This, Not That” nutrition facts. For example, did you know that Fruit Loops Cereal is healthier for you than Captain Crunch and Deluxe Kraft Mac ‘N Cheese has less fat than Classic? Who knew?!
We will see you at the Children’s Museum of Houston tomorrow, January 9 from 11 am to 5 pm. Don’t forget to enter to win your free iMac computer!
If you can’t make it to the event tomorrow, visit the PowerPlay exhibit any time to play Playnormous health games in the PowerScience Lab.