Blog Do NOT eat dirt. Debunking the dangerous anti-hygiene misinformation spread by certain microbiologists and doctors. (Jul 2018)

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023

I am someone disabled and bedridden from CFS. I’ve been following the microbiome literature for a few years because it seems likely to hold a cure. When I saw this “eat dirt” stuff it seemed like a misinterpretation of the literature, so I read three books by 4 microbiologists and one doctor, which advocated for this notion, to see what there was to it.

“Let Them Eat Dirt Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World (2016)” by B. Brett Finlay, PhD, and Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD. My review.

“Eat dirt (2016)” by Dr Josh Axe. My review.

“Dirt is Good (2017)” by Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight. My review.

In summary
, I now consider this to be closed and debunked. They are partially click-bait, massively contradictory, jump to conclusions, make unsupported statements, and misinterpret the literature. It seems clear to me that it stems from all 5 authors having deficits in various areas, and possibly being afraid of addressing the real issues — antibiotics, poor diet, lack of breastfeeding, and unhealthy people having kids.

Moreover, it’s “unfortunate” there are no consequences for PhDs and Doctors who spread this kind of dangerous misinformation.

In the past I have been on a raw diet, including raw meat & fermented raw meat, for a few years (would not recommend it), and have also been severely and permanently harmed from one antibiotic and then had another antibiotic save my life. So I am open to all sides.

What constitutes a healthy/ideal gut microbiome is largely unknown, as are the origins of the gut microbiome and the factors that shape it:

The fact that you can do permanent damage to the gut microbiome from a variety of things, including antibiotics, and that the only known way of anywhere-near-fully repairing the gut microbiome is FMT from someone young, in perfect health, who’s never taken an antibiotic or damaged their gut microbiome in anyway, plus what we know about the microbiome and aging, strongly suggests there is something very important being inherited during pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding which cannot be picked up from the environment.

Soil is contaminated with lead, which has a variety of detrimental health impacts, including neurological damage [1][2].
Format correct?
  1. Yes