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Picking your nose could be good for your health

Little kids may be picky eaters, but they are on the right track, says Canadian professor.
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Gord Woodward, April 26, 2013 9:55:20 AM

Forget Superman. Little kids have a new superhero to worship. And he’s Canadian.

Scott Napper, a biochemist at the University of Saskatchewan, has just been elevated to star status among the Treehouse TV set for suggesting a new superpower: picking your nose and eating it.

Yup, that’s right. A scientist is advocating the power of … snot.

Boogerman, as Napper will hereafter be known (not sure yet what colour his costume will be, though green is a safe bet. Just make sure you avoid touching the sleeves), suspects there are health benefits to be had by dining on this, er, renewable resource.

Mucous, you see, traps germs and blocks them from getting into the body. So, Napper theorizes, if we ate the stuff (rather than flicking it at our friends on the playground, as little boys do), it could help train our immune system by exposing it to the germs. (Grossing out all the girls would just be a side benefit, apparently.)

Now aren’t you glad your tax dollars help fund scientific research?

Those dollars may still be at work, by the way. Napper wants to run a study to test his idea — a study that requires volunteers to shove stuff up their nose, excavate it, and then dig in.

side from the army of six-year-olds dreaming of getting the call, the lineups aren’t expected to be long. Or contain any females.

And who can blame people for being reluctant? There’s a big stigma attached to nose picking, and that’s not likely to go away even if it’s in the name of science. (So is donating to a sperm bank, but no one wants to see that in public either.)

There’s also likely to be a parental backlash. After all, we’ve spent years telling (OK, nagging) our kids about the disgusting nature of nose picking , and how it is not done in polite society. Do we now have to reverse course, and give them constant reminders about nasal harvesting? “What do you mean, you don’t want to eat your booger, Jiimmy? Don’t you want to grow up to be big and strong like mommy and daddy?”

Of course, it’s not like our kids pay much attention to us anyway. And a new study says they may have good reason to be like that.

It turns out that those zombie-like creatures we call teenagers (and by that comparison, we mean no offence. To zombies) are much smarter than we parents think.

A Pew Research Center poll in the U.S. found that nearly half of American adults tend to underestimate the academic performance of teens. (The other half was unable to understand the survey questions, having been driven insane by sharing their homes with 15-year-olds.)

While we may think their brains are on a 10-year vacation, it turns out that our kids stack up pretty well when compared with the academic achievement of youths in other countries. Their test scores, in fact, are downright healthy.

Hmm. Maybe there is something to this nose-picking business, after all.

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Gord Woodward

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