There is a neat crowd-funded science project happening called the American Gut Project. For $99, the scientists want a smear of your poop, and then they test it to see what microbes live in your gut!
I signed up for it and get excited every time they send me an update with a blog post – and I am FAR from a science geek. I think it’s just in my general interest in food and health -- and getting to see what's inside me! The researcher says that it seems that obese people have different types of microbes in their guts than thin people. They want to test that on a large scale to see if it holds true, among other things. They are also going to compare the American gut to the African gut and see what differences there are.
They ask that you send a 3-day food journal to them with the sample so that they can really link what you eat and what is in your gut. So many people on SparkPeople are already keeping detailed track – that should be the easy part! (Though in fairness, they explain that you just need to use toilet paper, not put on gloves and fish anything out of the toilet. I felt better after I read that.)
Note: 2 organizations have purchased kits to give to lower-income folks. You have to put your name on a list and they will contact you if you are selected. See the bottom of this page to get on that list: humanfoodproject.com/the-people/collaborat ors/ .
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