Cambridge Forum: Let Them Eat Dirt!
featuring B. BRETT FINLAY discussing
Let Them Eat Dirt:
Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World
February 1, 2017
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
Cambridge Forums are free and open to the public.
Cambridge Forum welcomes B. BRETT FINLAY for a discussion of his book Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World.
Finlay is professor of microbiology at the University of British Columbia and a world leader in how bacterial infections work. He has been studying microbes for over thirty years and has published over four hundred and fifty articles. Also a founder of the biotech companies Inimex, Vedanta, and Microbiome Insights, Brett is Officer of the Order of Canada—the highest Canadian civilian recognition. He lives in Vancouver, BC, with his wife, who is a pediatrician, and has two grown-up kids.
About Let Them Eat Dirt
Like the culture-changing Last Child in the Woods, here is the first parenting book to apply the latest cutting-edge scientific research about the human microbiome to the way we raise our children.
In the two hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we’ve battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to a child’s well-being. Our modern lifestyle, with its emphasis on hyper-cleanliness, is taking a toll on children’s lifelong health.
In this engaging and important book, microbiologists Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta explain how the trillions of microbes that live in and on our bodies influence childhood development; why an imbalance of those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, and asthma, among other chronic conditions; and what parents can do—from conception on—to positively affect their own behaviors and those of their children. They describe how natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and solid foods influence children’s microbiota. They also offer practical advice on matters such as whether to sterilize food implements for babies, the use of antibiotics, the safety of vaccines, and why having pets is a good idea.
Forward-thinking and revelatory, Let Them Eat Dirt is an essential book in helping us to nurture stronger, more resilient, happy, and healthy kids.
"With the quiet weight of their authority, pioneer researchers Brett Finlay and Claire Arrieta help parents to understand the real nature of microbes, and then to act to improve their children's health." —Martin Blaser, author of Missing Microbes and Director of the NYU Human Microbiome Program
"Solid, easily assimilated evidence showing how microbes are an integral part of a child's healthy life." —Kirkus
"Finlay and Arrieta explain, in illuminating detail, the importance of the gut microbiome . . .They hope to restore the powerful benefits of microbe transfer from the environment to the young child, benefits lost as a side effect of efforts to reduce infectious disease risk and of cultural attitudes that conflate dirt with disease. . . . The focus on practical choices before and during birth makes this book a good resource for expectant parents." —Publishers Weekly
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.
For the past fifty years, Cambridge Forum has provided free public forums for the discussion of the issues and ideas that are shaping our world. From culture to technology, the environment to public policy, Cambridge Forum offers citizens vital information about the challenges facing contemporary society.
Forum programs, which are edited and produced for subsequent broadcast on public radio stations nation-wide, feature the nation's most noted thinkers, creators, social entrepreneurs, and leaders from the worlds of academia, business, government, media and the arts. Programs are held in Harvard Square with book sales provided by Harvard Book Store.
Learn more at cambridgeforum.org.
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