Germs and Using Your Hands

Be not afraid!

What’s the best tool to use in The Bachelor’s Kitchen? Your hands. Washed, of course. Tongs are great for turning a steak on the grill without poking holes in the meat. But only hands can tell you how done it is. Tongs are also lousy for tossing a salad. They bruise the greens and can’t tell you how well coated they are.

In trying to figure out why so many of us refuse to use our hands in the kitchen, we found myself drawn to the idea of American Germaphobia. Look at all the anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners we use. Most of the time, they’re unnecessary. Not only that, but they lessen our bodies’ immune systems and help grow tougher, harder-to-kill germs.

We realize there are things hands can’t do. That’s okay. But don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. They’re easy to wash. Just keep a bottle of moisturizer nearby.

How did we get to this germaphobic point? It comes partly from advertising. Remember, it’s their job to get you to buy stuff whether you need it or not. As they developed better cleaners, they tried to sell them to you. In the old days of television, and even to some extent today, the companies that made soap where major sponsors of programs, especially during the day. That’s where we get the term “soap opera.” They told housewives (sorry, but that was the term at the time) they weren’t good people if they didn’t get their family’s clothes the cleanest, their kitchens the brightest, their bathrooms the most sanitary. They showed pictures of women in nice dresses and pearls using convenience foods to put dinner on the table without even getting their hands dirty.

Well, like most things of that era, it just wasn’t true. But that’s the image advertising sold to all of us. And they’re still doing today.

So, don’t be afraid to use your hands. They really are a great tool.

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