by Jeff D. Leach

“Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us.  As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established ‘normal’ background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies.  This research suggests that reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world would help avoid an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders.”

I’m not sure how I feel about the term “nature’s blanket,” but I feel like I have noticed (particularly in NYC/law school?) a trend towards obsessive germophobism.