Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hot Sauce & Cholera

Arold arrived at his technical school today and found some other students sitting in the lounge eating. He noticed they were putting a lot of hot sauce on their food. It's really hot in the city today (95*) and he told me he couldn't imagine eating hot sauce on such a hot day. He apparently mentioned it to the guys too because they told him the hot sauce was to kill cholera.

Oh my word! Hot sauce as a preventative against cholera. That's hilarious! You can't make this kind of stuff up.

As funny as the idea of hot sauce killing cholera may be, this incident illuminates one of the issues I've been wrestling with lately. Most of my students (and many adults that I know) don't have a basic understanding of the human body or healthy living. What I consider "common sense" in the realm of human health and well being, is clearly not common sense. Obviously things like "keep open wounds clean" and "don't put bleach in your mouth" are not intuitively understood truths. They are lessons that must be taught.

The simple solution is to start teaching people about health. But where do we start? Do we create our own curriculum or find one that works elsewhere? What's the best way to get information to the people? How much information can they handle at one time? Is this something that can be implemented in our MTM schools? If so, will the teachers need to be trained? How much training do they need?

If only hot sauce killed cholera, then I wouldn't lay awake at night wondering how to educate high school graduates about germs and how to prevent sicknesses.


  1. Yes! I hear you! Any time anybody gets sick, evidently it is because "the weather is not good". Doesn't matter if it is sunny or raining. Your health depends on the weather.

    And here we have AIDS issues, too. HUGE AIDS issues. But it is one of those "taboo" subjects. So no one will talk about it, so no one is educated about it, so more and more people get infected, and the vicious cycle continues. Slowly it is changing. But very slowly.

  2. ah the ol hot sauce medication... oh wait, no, no i haven't heard that before...

    in fact, it should be noted that cholera can LIVE in hot sauce bottles that have been opened and contaminated. so then, the next person trying to prevent cholera with hot sauce may, in fact, be sprinkling cholera on their food via the sauce!

    here's a quote for you on this from the NY Times Health page:
    "Avoid cold toppings and sauces -- even bottled sauces on tables. In one study, two-thirds of tabletop sauces in Mexico were contaminated. (Forty percent of sauces on tables in Houston, Texas, were also contaminated.)"

  3. Actually, chili peppers do have microbial properties: https://www.quora.com/Do-capsaicin-products-have-antiseptic-or-microbicidal-properties