Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

Full disclosure: I've been known to invoke the five-second rule myself. But even the most ardent believers would probably find their faith shaken if the dropped foodstuff happened to land in a pile of cow dung instead of a tidy tile floor. So the "findings" reported in this Chicago Tribune article don't exactly shatter my paradigms.

Basically, according to Clemson University food scientist Paul Dawson, dropped food is a lot like real estate: location, location, location. But not in the way you might think. He says the kitchen and bathroom floors are zero-second areas due to the presence of bacteria, but the sidewalk is relatively OK. Unless, I would add, it's a sidewalk used often by livestock.

What's your stance on the five-second rule: words to eat by, or a joke to take your mind off the nasty stuff clinging to that Rolo you just plucked off the floor?

 

cestlamort


quality posts: 1 Private Messages cestlamort

I'd think that if you're already eating in bathroom, zero second rule might as well be infinity + 1 second rule.

physicns


quality posts: 0 Private Messages physicns

Much more useful if other parameters are modeled:

- how hungry am I?
- deliciousness of dropped food?
- visibility/smelliness of stuff stuck to food?
- is anybody watching?

etc.

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon
physicns wrote:- is anybody watching?



Ah yes, the little-understood social dimension of the question.

I'm OK being the kind of guy who eats a Rolo off the floor - but am I OK with other people knowing I'm that guy?

And which people? My high school friends, sure. My in-laws, maybe not so much.

wantabewooter


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wantabewooter

My parameters are determined by the type of food first, then by how hungry I am, and lastly who's watching, i.e.:

Chocolate chip cookie? Always!

Hershey Kiss? Always!

Mashed potatoes? Probably not.

Liver? Call the dogs!

ignorant


quality posts: 5 Private Messages ignorant
Jason Toon wrote:Ah yes, the little-understood social dimension of the question.

I'm OK being the kind of guy who eats a Rolo off the floor - but am I OK with other people knowing I'm that guy?

And which people? My high school friends, sure. My in-laws, maybe not so much.



I think type of food needs to be looked into as well.

I too would eat a Rolo off my floor as not much will stick to it, but something moist like a steak or chicken breast I'd have to think about.

drakedevel


quality posts: 0 Private Messages drakedevel

bsmith1


quality posts: 102 Private Messages bsmith1

It sounds to me that Toon was recently caught floor-grazing and was called-out on it by his coworkers. He then poses the question here hoping to get support so he can feel normal among his peers.

My verdict? Floor grazing, like dumpster diving, is just not an acceptable behavior in our society. Don't risk being ostracized by your peers! Leave that Rolo on the floor next time!

bsmith1


quality posts: 102 Private Messages bsmith1

Hey, woot staff... What do Jason Toon and a Roomba have in common?
They both consume things off of the floor!
Bwa, ha, ha! Who needs a Roomba when you have Ol' Toon around, right? Heh, heh, heh...

rslack37


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rslack37

Varies on the food texture. A slice of pizza is ruined if falls cheese-side down. A dorito, however, can basically fall anywhere and still be the same.

Also, a little known rule, if someone else drops it, YOU CAN'T EAT IT. That is gross no matter the situation. One can't eat another persons droppings.

jimmyooooo


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jimmyooooo

ignorance is bliss... five million smokers can't be wrong.

parityanimal


quality posts: 0 Private Messages parityanimal

If (food = delicious) and (food = dry) and (floor = dry) and (cat = slow) then eat food
else
if (food = toxic_to_cat) then clean food
else
call procedure here_kitty
endif

moviewatcher


quality posts: 1 Private Messages moviewatcher

Best I can tell, the more moisture involved (food or surface), the greater the likelihood of bacterial transfer. The drier the food and surface, the less likely to be a problem. So potato chip on hardwood floor, yummm. Popcorn on sticky theatre floor, yuck. Juicy ribeye steak in a water puddle next to the park pavillion grill, oh so tempting, but no way.

barf314


quality posts: 0 Private Messages barf314

Ultimately, I just like to keep my immune system in check. Just-dropped food is a great source of trial by fire.

413007


quality posts: 4 Private Messages 413007

you guys are correct in saying that the type of food dropped is critical.
For example, a dropped pringle chip on the floor of the kitchen could stay for a few hours and still be consumed, because it all but hovers above the floor.
However, if you miss your mouth when eating bologna straight from the package, don't eat it off the ground.

cindyscrazy


quality posts: 3 Private Messages cindyscrazy
rslack37 wrote:
Also, a little known rule, if someone else drops it, YOU CAN'T EAT IT. That is gross no matter the situation. One can't eat another persons droppings.



Depends on the age of the person in question.

Example, a pair of two year old cousins, each given a yummy cookie for a snack. After consuming hers, one cousin sees that the other cousin has broken his cookie and half of it has fallen on the floor. She will immediately grab that half cookie and consider fair game.

At least, that's my observation :-D

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"--from a T-shirt

https://www.etsy.com/shop/cindyscrazyknits?ref=si_shop

traalfaz


quality posts: 1 Private Messages traalfaz

Congrats, this sounds like exactly the same results that Mythbusters came up with. Time doesn't really matter, the only thing that matters is how nasty the location is that it's dropped in.

archshrk


quality posts: 7 Private Messages archshrk

If I let fear of bacteria and germs control me, I'd never do anything. And may I point out that the 5-second rule is most commonly used in giving dropped food to someone else.

"Here you go kids, 5-second rule"

Visit archshrk.com. You know you want to.

werdwerdus


quality posts: 13 Private Messages werdwerdus

in the restaurant industry we say, "Oh! Half price!"

itsumademootaku


quality posts: 1 Private Messages itsumademootaku

Not long ago I was in an expensive restaurant in Hawaii. They served up these delicious crab cakes that, contrary to any experience you may have with crab cakes, were pretty much spherical. Naturally, my chosen appetizer rolled off my fork, down the leg of my pants and onto the ground. (Concrete, luckily, not sand.)

Bacteria be damned, I was going to eat that crab puff.

It was delicious, and I am still alive.

sgoman5674


quality posts: 41 Private Messages sgoman5674

It's like eating an eclair that you found on top of the trash with a bite taken out of it still in it's wrapper.

dvmkline1


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dvmkline1

I have so far not fallen ill to my many transgressions but I have long employed common sense when it comes to what I will eat. Chips - no brainer. Guacamole - no way. Admittedly if no else is around to judge me I am much more likely to indulge. Naturally, anything dropped has to pass a visual inspection so obvious dog hair or dirt can be ruled out. If it's amenable to being rinsed (like the steak example) or blown off I can even get past that. End result - still kicking after many years of partaking and of knowing better.

zizzybaloobah


quality posts: 3 Private Messages zizzybaloobah

Mythbusters tackled this very issue.

It comes down to two factors. The moisture content of the food, and the surface onto which it falls.

You are less at-risk for dry food falling on relatively smooth hard surfaces, e.g. a corn chip on ceramic tile.

A piece of lunch meat falling on the shag toilet rug? Iffy at best.

jennytoo


quality posts: 2 Private Messages jennytoo

What can I say? I've always been fine with picking it up again right away and eating it, if it wasn't moist, and the ground wasn't moist.

Having learned about these studies is helping cure me of that.

If it's good enough to eat at 5 seconds, it's good enough to eat at 60... ;-)

willki


quality posts: 12 Private Messages willki

I go to Clemson, and I'm just wondering why the chicago tribune is picking up something that is well over 4 years old...

elezar


quality posts: 4 Private Messages elezar

I'm really beginning to wonder when the research into the question of "Is Water Wet?" is going to get financed...

Oh, and also, whether or not the food in question is being served at a fast food joint goes into play on whether the 5-second rule applies, also. From my experience, in that case, it doesn't matter where it was dropped, it's still suitable to serve. And it's usually more of a 30-second rule...

StarKnightGoku


quality posts: 4 Private Messages StarKnightGoku

I was walking down Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh and a guy walking in front of me opened a pack of mini donuts, immediately dropping the first on the ground.

I jokingly said "Five second rule?" and he turned around and looked at me like he wanted to punch me.

zreb20


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zreb20
bsmith1 wrote:Floor grazing, like dumpster diving, is just not an acceptable behavior in our society.



Not acceptable? I have actually done both... once, in an almost-empty dumpster, we happened to see music stands. Nice onces. We rescued them. And cleaned them, though they didn't have much on them.

Some scientists think that our germophobia is leading to increasing cases of autoimmune diseases. So eat from the floor! Have no fear!

[EXCEPT the already mentioned moist kinds of food.... and the 5 second rule NEVER applies in hospitals. EVER.]

bsmith1


quality posts: 102 Private Messages bsmith1
zreb20 wrote:Not acceptable? I have actually done both... once, in an almost-empty dumpster, we happened to see music stands. Nice onces. We rescued them. And cleaned them, though they didn't have much on them.



You MUST have been hungry if you tried eating music stands! We're talking about food here. I think a lot of people would consider taking something like a music stand from a dumpster because, unlike food, it (hopefully) won't end-up inside your body. Salvaging is more acceptable than scavenging.

Xeryon


quality posts: 3 Private Messages Xeryon

After watching the documentary Food Inc I would eat just about any food off of the floor provided that it has no visible debris (dirt, pet hair) stuck to it. There is already more then enough bacteria in our 'clean' food to kill us. A little more isn't going to make any bit of difference.

momof2angels


quality posts: 7 Private Messages momof2angels
StarKnightGoku wrote:I was walking down Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh and a guy walking in front of me opened a pack of mini donuts, immediately dropping the first on the ground.

I jokingly said "Five second rule?" and he turned around and looked at me like he wanted to punch me.



Thanks for giving me my first laugh of the day (and after a really crappy day yesterday that means a lot!)

joshmonkey


quality posts: 3 Private Messages joshmonkey
rslack37 wrote:One can't eat another persons droppings.



Sage advice...

agingdragqueen


quality posts: 117 Private Messages agingdragqueen

Staff

momof2angels wrote:Thanks for giving me my first laugh of the day (and after a really crappy day yesterday that means a lot!)



I guess they weren't really being angels yesterday, huh?


llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
bsmith1 wrote:It sounds to me that Toon was recently caught floor-grazing and was called-out on it by his coworkers.



He insisted the five-second rule applies to soup as well.

BT0Q


quality posts: 0 Private Messages BT0Q

We have a rule with our kids -- "Never eat anything from the bottom of your foot." I am still amazed that parenting involves crafting rules like this.

Shinespark


quality posts: 31 Private Messages Shinespark

The many disgusting things I have put in my mouth over the years have given me an ironclad immune system.

scmtim


quality posts: 2 Private Messages scmtim

I am surprised no one has mentioned whose germs are involved. If I drop something in my home office where only I am allowed that is much more 5-second-friendly than in other parts of the house where people or cats may roam free. Something dropped in the break room at work is not at all 5-second-friendly even if nobody is around.

SBCJester21


quality posts: 9 Private Messages SBCJester21
scmtim wrote:I am surprised no one has mentioned whose germs are involved. If I drop something in my home office where only I am allowed that is much more 5-second-friendly than in other parts of the house where people or cats may roam free. Something dropped in the break room at work is not at all 5-second-friendly even if nobody is around.



I was going to comment something to the effect of the post directly above yours. Eating/being exposed to germs/bacteria is actually very good for your immune system, unless you have some prevailing condition where doing so might actually kill you.

Exposure to germs, especially while younger, actually strengthens the immune system to better fight off germs in the future.

Germaphobes actually get sicker more often, because they try to remove all exposure to germs and as a result have a weaker immune system and so when they ARE exposed to germs, get sicker quicker (if not also worse). People who force this phobia upon their kids are even worse, as the kid's immune systems don't properly develop.

Myself, having been in the Army for a number of years, I've been exposed to untold horrors of germs and chemicals, so I'll eat damn near anything off the floor. (excluding things with serious yuck factors) If it don't kill the dog, it probably won't kill me either.

mutantemu32


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mutantemu32

I have always believed in the 5 second(Give or take) rule.

It is my personal belief that by eating things off the floor, and in general being not perfectly hygienic (that sounds bad..I do not mean not showering regularly etc. haha) that it helps increase resistance to disease, by exposing your body to things more regularly.

Or that's my justification at least.

cybercrone


quality posts: 0 Private Messages cybercrone


My old German farm-lady grandmother used to always laugh at my mom, who was raised a city-girl and had notions of 'germs'. Gran always told her (when there was an argument about whether we could eat something - like raspberries from the garden without washing)that a child doesn;t start to live until it's eaten a bushel of dirt.
They didn't now about immune systems, just knew that there was a point when you were babying your body too much and that didn't lead to anything good.