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I thought it may be good, but maybe it's snot.
July 10, 2008 8:25 AM   Subscribe

I've been eating my boogers/snot for the last 24 years or so, are there any comprehensive long term studies that show any positive or deleterious effects of this?

I've found this Ask Mefi thread, and this Mefi FPP, but they don't answer my question. Should I try to quit? Also, should I be up front about this habit to my current girlfriend, or should I just continue to keep it my own little salty secret?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled to Health & Fitness (38 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your nose and all it's fluids drain into your digestive system all day every day in every nose/digestive example on the planet so likely you are OK. Where would it go other than there?
posted by Freedomboy at 8:36 AM on July 10, 2008


Pick away...
posted by any major dude at 8:38 AM on July 10, 2008


I agree with Freedomboy, I doubt it will do you any harm/good.

As for telling the gf, I think this is the sort of thing that is, at least in North America (and maybe Australia, too, didn't that politician get flak for it?), viewed very negatively, and I think you might not find the best reception if you told anyone/did it in public.
posted by Grither at 8:39 AM on July 10, 2008


oops, sorry, didn't see that you linked to the story
posted by any major dude at 8:39 AM on July 10, 2008


Yeah, this is best kept as a salty secret. Why gross your gf out? Doesn't seem remotely harmful, though.
posted by idest at 8:41 AM on July 10, 2008


Don't tell your girlfriend.
posted by WCityMike at 8:50 AM on July 10, 2008


Ewwwwwwww. Telling her will only lead to doing it in front of her which is really, really unattractive.
posted by sondrialiac at 8:51 AM on July 10, 2008


Definitely, don't tell your girfriend.
posted by mistsandrain at 8:52 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the love of god don't tell your girlfriend. The mental images from just reading this post are disturbing. Don't make anyone watch it. Go in the bathroom.
posted by desjardins at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2008


Doesn't matter if you tell her or not. The longer you stay with her, the more likely she'll find out, and in the most embarrassing way possible: you, by yourself, with a finger up your nose.
posted by spamguy at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2008


I thought that one of the functions of mucous in the nose/ nasal passages is to capture contaminants and pathogens? Considering what I've read lately about germ transmission through nasal membranes- I would have to wonder if eating boogers only increases your exposure to infectious agents et. al.
posted by mistsandrain at 8:55 AM on July 10, 2008


All depends whether you prefer smooth or crunchy.
posted by WyoWhy at 8:56 AM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Perfectly safe (and normal, that's where it all goes anyway), but also most definitely do not tell your girlfriend because that is an AskMe we don't need.
posted by rokusan at 8:57 AM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Rather than tell your girlfriend about it right away, instead work on coming up with funny and witty comebacks to when she catches you picking your nose. She'll either a) not care b) think it's weird but love you anyways c) point at you and say "there is a finger in your nose". Now, if it's c), you have many options available to you.

You can act surprised and shocked that your finger took its own initiative and ended up in your nose. You can act shocked and appalled and then sigh and say "oh phew. It's my finger. I thought it might be someone else's". You can respond with the classic "I'm looking for buried treasure" and offer to use the new found gold to buy her something shiny. You can make up a story about how there is a magnet in your nose and in your finger. You can take a bite of your boogers and smack your lips and go "needs salt". You can shrug your shoulders and go "it's all the rage in France". You can ask her if a red or white wine would go best with it. Or invest in a humidifier and stop sticking your finger up there.

You really do have a lot of options. Go with what feels most natural to you.
posted by Stynxno at 9:00 AM on July 10, 2008


Your girlfriend might be doing it too.
posted by fire&wings at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2008


I have this friend...right? He's been doing it for most of 33 years. Oddly enough rarely gets sick for any length of time.

He somehow managed to get an ex gf to admit that she did it too. He wonders how many people actually do it. It runs in the family, no pun intended.
posted by sully75 at 9:08 AM on July 10, 2008


Your girlfriend is going to find out. Just the same way that you see people scratch their crotches and unwedge their wedgies when they think nobody's looking. Or the way that all girlfriends find out what you're doing when you're alone in the shower for a long time. Etc.

But you might as well keep it to yourself as long as you can. The gf might not last forever, while it looks like the habit will. No need to gross her out before she's already fallen madly and unalterably in love with you. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 9:16 AM on July 10, 2008


She might know already and is politely not mentioning it, maybe because she'd rather live in denial or she doesn't want to embarrass you. (Girlfriends are sometimes sneaky like that.)
posted by dreamyshade at 9:29 AM on July 10, 2008


Couple of thoughts. First two are in conflict-

1. It's in your nose because your body is trying to get it out. If you defeat this mechanism you may get more bacteria, germs etc. than you otherwise would, and may get sick more often.

2. If you expose yourself to more bacteria, germs etc. than you otherwise would, you may build up your immune system and get sick less often.

Make up your own mind about this one.

About your GF: Don't mention it. Everybody has gross habits and does gross things. No need to throw it in her face. If you really love her, gift her with the bliss of denial.

For instance, I have been married 18 years and I'm positive that my wife has never expelled waste of any kind from her body. She just goes in there to be alone. I do not wish to be presented with a brief that contradicts this knowledge.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:32 AM on July 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


Honesty is important in every relationship. Be sure to disclose this before you two progress any further.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:41 AM on July 10, 2008


I don't think you should tell her...I can't imagine it ending well.

While you're at it, could you find a way to burn this question out of my brain too?
posted by JaredSeth at 9:45 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude, I say pick away. If you're nose mining and she bails, it was never meant to be, but if you munch boogs and she stays, then it's true love.

Many, many people pick their nose. Very few people eat their boogers. Most people find the habit very gross. Personally, I think it's less gross than people who deliberately hawk up and spit out phlegm, but to each their own.

Just do it in the john when you're taking care of other waste expulsion business, and everyone should be happy.
posted by Durhey at 9:46 AM on July 10, 2008


It's firmly in the same need-to-know category as many other bodily functions. Which is to say that this should remain your little secret.
posted by desuetude at 9:46 AM on July 10, 2008


don't tell her, and whatever you do don't try to sneak one out of her's some day
posted by yort at 10:13 AM on July 10, 2008


WHY DO YOU EAT IT? WHY WHY WHY?

When I was in 5th grade, I went to a school in Chicago. I TOTALLY saw this guy blowing his nose in his hand and eating it while we were watching a filmstrip on the dewey decimal system or something.

I was so freaked out I told EVERYONE about it. Because of that he later got in a fight during recess. He got punched ONCE, JUST ONCE in the stomach.

He regurgitated about 2 pints of the most disgusting snot/mucous/stomach acid ANYONE had ever seen...and the bad part was, you could still see the mucous. It was undigested.

DISGUSTING.

Don't do it.

Get professional help. Everytime she kisses you, she's putting boogers in her mouth. BLAH!!!
posted by hal_c_on at 10:19 AM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well, I did have a hot girlfriend who did that, surreptitiously, she thought, and all in all it was not a deal breaker.

Turns out it's actually good for you. You are ingesting the current local infectious agents once they've been trapped and dried out in a medium that weakens them and suspends their plans of domination.

Your immune system can size them up and concoct custom antibodies from them as if it was some kind of crashed UFO alien autopsy.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:31 AM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


And you are not alone.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:33 AM on July 10, 2008


StickyCarpet, nice job on the science there!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:38 AM on July 10, 2008


i think hal_c_on is exaggerating here. It's really not a big deal, just don't do it in public. "Everytime she kisses you she's putting boogers in her mouth. BLAH!!": I think putting the products of oral sex in your mouth is grosser, but to each their own.

It won't hurt you, and you don't need to tell her. Even if she were to catch you, I highly doubt she will be hurt that you didn't tell her. She might dump you because she thinks its gross, but this isn't an issue of honesty.
posted by nameless.k at 11:16 AM on July 10, 2008


Your girlfriend doesn't want to know you eat your schnoz fruit. Trust me. This is not one of those things couples share. If you gamble, she should know. If you want an open relationship, she should know. If you nibble your nose cookies, she doesn't need to know, and will wish she didn't if you tell her.
posted by katillathehun at 11:48 AM on July 10, 2008


Everytime she kisses you, she's putting boogers in her mouth.

That's fucking ridiculous. There's snot running down your throat all day long. Your sinuses, nose and mouth are all one open system. This is not to say that I don't find eating boogers disgusting. I totally totally do, and if my wife is surreptitiously eating her boogers, I totally do not want to know about it. But to act if it's some sort of therapy-worthy horror is just dumb.

But remember (a la StickyCarpet's link) that if you're famous - or just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could make you internet famous for all time...
posted by nanojath at 12:16 PM on July 10, 2008


(P.S. this is what 4 years of staying home with a baby has done too me: reading this thread didn't even remotely put me off eating my cup of hot, salty miso soup with the little squidgy chunks of tofu and the chewy slimy pieces of seaweed...)
posted by nanojath at 12:20 PM on July 10, 2008


Stick underneath furniture instead
posted by A189Nut at 1:11 PM on July 10, 2008


stickycarpet,

that is armchair science. It doesn't work like that. Your boogers are made up of all sorts of particles your respiratory system doesn't want. Particles of dust, metals, concrete, smoke, all SORTS of nasty stuff. Your body does not build antibodies for concrete, microscopic metals, tobacco smoke, etc.

By your armchair theory, it should be perfectly safe to eat one's own feces. No it is not. Your body excretes waste for a reason. Your body cannot does not need it. Thats THE MOST natural indicator of what you do NOT NEED in your body.

Good luck. Please spread real science, not pseudoscience with diction like "crashed UFO alien autopsy".
posted by hal_c_on at 2:06 PM on July 10, 2008


hal_c_on, you don't have to eat them, but I wish you would.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:24 PM on July 10, 2008


1. everyone picks their nose.
2. eating boogers won't hurt you (i did a personal study through my entire youth), but
3. eating boogers will hurt your sexiness. even if she "doesn't mind", it's not sexy.
4. therefore, do it only when you're alone, and away from windows.
5. and don't talk about it. keep it your own little salty secret.
posted by twistofrhyme at 12:21 AM on July 11, 2008


FWIW, I had a boyfriend who ate his boogers, and was very up front about it, and I found that refreshing. I loved the guy and was not grossed out by anything that came out of his body, so I ate his boogers a few times too! We bonded.
posted by plz_no_moar at 7:48 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. everyone picks their nose.

Actually, no, not everyone does. Just as there are booger eating types, there are types who avoid handling boogers at any and every reasonable cost.
posted by iguanapolitico at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2008


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