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Should the 5-Second Rule Really be a Thing?

We know it’s a thing. But is it a scientific thing?

You gotta love the five-second rule. What a convenient social construct. If you haven’t heard of it (whaaaaaat?), here’s how it works:

You drop a brownie on the ground. People are looking at you. You know what they’re thinking: Is this chump going to pick up that brownie and eat it or not? 

You pick up the brownie, pretend to dust it off, then eat that sucker like there’s no tomorrow. After that, you utter the words you hope will make your reprehensible food hygiene more socially acceptable:

“Five-second rule!” you say.

Others smile and nod. Hey, we’ve all been there bro, their eyes say. Like you, they go by the mantra that if food has been on the ground for five seconds or less, it just might be ok to eat. Your reputation is intact. Brownie bliss is preserved.

Great system, but is the five-second rule legit? Is there any science to back it up?

The uber-awesome Science Channel shows us the answer. The pros there dug into this fabled conundrum and what they found out may surprise you. Check out the video above or see it here.

Also, if you’re a foodie and a fan of the Science Channel, then you’ll love some of the other food videos, too. Be sure to check out the How It’s Made series. Our recommendations: Start with the episodes on ketchup, pepperoni, and ice cream sandwiches!

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at kdavis@coopfoodstore.com.