All I can say is that I sympathize with you. It is my belief and opinion that germaphobes are germaphobes because they are usually ignorant of the actions of soaps and how they actually remove germs and bacteria from our skin. They also don't understand that there are a host of beneficial and useful micro-organizms in everyday life, and in products such as yogurt, cheese, microscopic leavening agents (yeast), etc. If your freind saw how sourdough starter was made, she probably would never eat sourdough bread again. Sausages that are dry cured rather than cooked, such as pepperoni, and other salamies, not to mention jerky's would make her crazy.
I tend to blame it mostly on the media. They bombard us with the idea that the world is full of hamful things trying to kill us. And yes, it is. But our bodies are amazing things, with a number of sophisticated ways to combat germ-related sickness. Sensible cleansing is important to good health. But the media, in their search for ways to scare us into purchasing their "super" germ-fighting, anti-bacterial cleaner or soap, is simply trying to convince us to spend more money on their particular product by whatever means is required. Their goal isn't public safety, it's private profit. My cast iron vessels rarely see soap. But theyt see temperatures that are high enough to kill any microbe that touches the metal, or foods cooked in them.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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