I’m sure that at least once we have seen someone eating their booger in public places and the first thing we say is ” thats gross” , but do you know that at least 78% of the world population constantly or once in a while eat their booger and it comes natural. David Petrov , Professor of Biochemistry from the University of Ontario in Canada, apparently has a lot of time on his hands. His theory, yet to be proven, is that the reason boogers are sweet (I didn’t know that since never ate one) is to entice humans to eat them. Why? Boogers are dried mucous that has been filtered out germs, pollen, and other environmental. His hypothesis is the by eating their own boogers, children may actually be boosting their evolving immune systems.
“From an evolutionary perspective, we evolved under very dirty conditions and maybe this desire to keep our environment and our behaviours sterile isn’t actually working to our advantage.”
As gross as this sounds, is booger-eating really any different than kids and adults who are “snorters” – the ones that suck back the snot instead of blowing their noses into tissues. I have to say that I do not like to be an observer of either of these acts. I once witnessed a child picking the old chewing gum from the bottom of a restaurant table and eating it. Even that act made me a bit nauseated. It certainly nauseated his oblivious parents when I told them what he was doing.
I have long felt that some children raised in a near-sterile environment need a bit more dirt in their diets. Children being raised in third-world countries where they are crawling around on dirt floors, eating fly-laden foods, or playing around animal feces, tend to have considerably less allergies/asthma, and perhaps even less minor illnesses than children raised in modern homes where everything is operating-room disinfected. In preparation to live in a dirty world, should we start adding a little soil to infant formula now? Like Similac with Dirt? Should we be encouraging booger-eating? Will there be a cereal called Booger Bran (raisin-free, of course)?
As much as we try to keep our children’s environment reasonably clean, kids tend to find their own sources of dirt. They will eat stuff they find on the floor. They drop their candy and pick it up and eat it anyway. There are no “three-second rules” when it comes to candy. One of our well-fed toddlers found and ate dog poop he found in the park. He is an engineer now, so it didn’t seem to hurt him
Everyone forms boogers, and secretly, we all have our ways of dealing with them. Children will freely pick their noses with unbridled enthusiasm. To my personal avulsion, some will choose to eat them. Some will clandestinely wipe them on any surface. Some will just flick them and not really care where they land. The proper way, of course, is to use a disposable tissue, using as much privacy as possible. Picking your nose in a car, while waiting for the light to change, is NOT private.