There you are eating that delicious cookie that you've been waiting for all day. It's the last one, and you've earned it. Then just as you're about to bite into its ooey gooey goodness, you drop it on to the floor. What do you do?
If you're like me, you shout (either internally or out loud if you're feeling particularly defensive) "5-Second Rule!" and eat it anyway. I've heard before about all of the germs, and blah, blah, blah, but I typically choose the cookie anyway. A new video from Michael Stevens of Vsauce circulating on the web, however, is making that harder than ever for me to do. It's just so ... graphic.
It's clearly a hot topic as more than 1.4 million people have viewed the video in the few days since he uploaded it. It's not that he's found anything new, but rather he's just taken a lot of scientific data and put it together into one pretty unappetizing argument.
He presents some interesting data, like the fact that 50 percent of men use the 5-second rule, while 70 percent of women do. (What does that say about us, ladies?) And perhaps the fact that I will have trouble ignoring the most the next time I drop something -- that 93 percent of shoes have fecal material on them. That means basically, that there's probably traces of poop all over the floor on which my cookie lands. Gag.
But what if we're REALLY quick? I mean it's a cookie, and I can be pretty quick if we're talking dark chocolate. Maybe just 1 second or so and it's okay? No such luck. He says contamination happens instantly. He says that in five seconds about 150-8,000 bacteria bond to dropped food, wet or dry. Oh, and bonus, it only takes 10 seconds for some strains of salmonella to infect you.
His big conclusion: Don't touch food that's touched the floor ever. And honestly I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do so again.
Here's the video if you want to hear it straight from the source and make it even more vivid in your mind. After about three minutes in, he gets all scientific about touch and the charge of protons and electrons, and you feel like you're back in science class. If you watch the whole thing you'll be smarter for it though. Before you do, however, remember, ignorance is often bliss.
Do you embrace the 5-second rule? Will knowing the science behind food dropped on the floor change your habit?
Image via YouTube