The Gibson family farm has been in our family since 1906. It has been a fully functioning farm the whole time. My Grandfather and Great-Grandfather grew mostly canola and durum, and for the past ten years my father has been raising sheep. Our farm is located in the south-west corner of Saskatchewan. I grew up mostly in the city of Saskatoon, spending my summers out at the farm. You could say I have a bit of farm-kid in me. The farm spans for hundreds of acres around the farmhouse, but the garden is just down a path through the yard. This is where the magic happens...

To Disinfect, or Not to Disinfect.... June 10

There has been a lot of hype lately about disinfection products like Lysol and Clorox. These companies manufacture all kinds of cleaning products, from sprays to wipes to dish soap and much, much more. I absolutely love those disinfecting wipes... not so much for the disinfection, but the handiness of grabbing a wipe, taking a swipe and being done with it all. And the Swiffer mop cloths are genius, so easy and quick. But there is a downside to using products like these. And this is where my paradoxical dilemma begins.
       I'm going to tell you a secret. Since I was a young child, I've suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I don't count or check 15 times that the door is locked or anything like that. I just like order. And I don't like germs. And I mean I REALLY like order and I REALLY don't like germs. Messes make me anxious and I just want to clean and tidy all of the time. If I could vacuum the garden, I probably would.
                    On the other hand, I truly believe that a well earned immune system trumps a bucket full of disinfecting products any day. It's proven that people who are exposed to germs their whole life have a much stronger immune system than someone who was raised being sheltered from germs. I think that kids should pick their noses and get scrapes and eat dirt. These simple acts are the difference between a strong immune system and a vulnerable one. Everyone has seen the kid whose mother smothers him and refuses to let him play in the dirt and this kid is usually sick. 
       The rational side of my brain does realize that the surge of popularity in disinfecting products has directly resulted in loss of exposure to pathogens and bacteria. And these products have probably saved a lot of people from getting food poisoning or a stomach flu... but bacteria is very resourceful and it WILL find a way to survive. By disinfection an area, you kill all but the very strongest strains of bacteria. These survivors produce bacteria that is also strong and virile. Essentially this is survival of the fittest. In this case, the fittest happens to be the most active bacteria, and therefore, the most infectious. Not a situation that a germaphobe wants to find them self in. It's also worth mentioning that these products are very toxic, and they leave residue all over your house. Most of these toxic substances are carcinogenic, which means they can lead to cancer.
                          So, what to chose? I do indulge myself in tidying the house, but I try to stay away from using too many of these products ( except my Lysol wipes, which I will NEVER give up. No one can make me!)                                                    If I really want to disinfect something, like a cutting board covered in raw chicken juice, I boil a kettle of water, and pour it over the board. But for the most part, hot soapy water and some good old fashioned scrubbing is really all you need to have a clean and healthy home.

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