My blood can’t be completely trusted, at least for the foreseeable future, so I am going to give my gut.
American Gut is an open-source project where a wealth of data about the microbes in everyone’s gut is shared with the world. Some of the information is bringing new attention to the idea that the American gut is in trouble. Decades of exposure to antibiotics (both prescribed and in the food chain) and eating of highly processed foods have reduced the biodiversity of the guts of average Americans as compared to the guts of people around the world who are eating a more traditional diet.
I have made a donation and will receive a kit for giving my sample. Stay tuned to learn what’s in my gut.
And my blood? It’s probably fine, but I can’t give to the American Red Cross for quite a while. I was banned from giving blood for one year after traveling to Costa Rica because of a small risk of carrying malaria; my planned trip to Peru, which also entails a small risk of malaria, will prevent me from giving before my list expires in December.
I will still give blood in the future once the CDC and I are sure that I am malaria-free. Giving blood was one of the items on my quest to complete 101 things in 1001 days, so I am substituting the gut donation.
Would you like a report of what’s living in your gut?
Some of My Best Friends Are Germs @ The New York Times
Loving Our Germs: The New Normal @ Real Food Forager
American Gut @ The Human Food Project
#20 (101 things in 1001 days):
Give blood. Give a sample from my gut.