Did You Just Eat That?

Feb 1, 2019

Yuck! Bob the Drag Queen and Monét X Change separate icky food fact from fiction with the help of Clemson University food science professor, Paul Dawson, author of the book Did You Just Eat That? Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, the Five-Second Rule, and Other Food Myths in the Lab.

Heard on Bob The Drag Queen And Monét X Change: Some Tea, Some Shade.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Before our final round, let's bring back Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We're going to be playing a game called Did You Just Eat That?

MONET X CHANGE: (Laughter) OK.

(LAUGHTER)

MONET X CHANGE: OK.

EISENBERG: OK. So, Bob, Monet, this is Super Bowl weekend.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: (Laughter) Is it?

EISENBERG: So for the Super Bowl, friends gather...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...To watch the game. They share a bowl of chips and dip and try not to think about how disgusting that situation really is.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: So in honor of this weekend's opportunities to acquire foodborne illnesses...

MONET X CHANGE: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: We're going to play a game with the help of this guy.

PAUL DAWSON: My name's Paul Dawson. I'm a professor at Clemson University in the food science department.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Oh.

MONET X CHANGE: Work.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Sounds fun. Paul Dawson co-wrote the book "Did You Just Eat That? Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, The Five-Second Rule And Other Food Myths In The Lab."

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, this is informative. Oh, my God.

EISENBERG: That's right. We're going to learn. We're going to learn. So we're going to ask you about those myths. And if you do well enough, listener Eman Itani (ph) from Beirut, Lebanon, will win an ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's Cube. Bob, Monet, let's start with a simple one. The five-second rule suggests that if you drop food and pick it up within five seconds, it won't have been on the floor long enough for bacteria to transfer to it. Is the five-second rule real? Or is it a myth?

MONET X CHANGE: OK. What do you think? I think that it's a myth. Germs are, like, microscopic, girl. They can jump on [expletive] real fast.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Well, they can also - it's contact. If it touches the ground, it's going to have germs on it. Most germs aren't crawling toward...

MONET X CHANGE: Right, they're...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Yeah. Most germs aren't, like, slopping out of the...

MONET X CHANGE: (Laughter).

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: ...Sewage like, you know - so I am going to go with that is a myth. Team?

MONET X CHANGE: I agree, yes.

EISENBERG: OK. Let's hear what scientist Paul Dawson has to say.

DAWSON: The five-second rule is actually a myth. Bacteria are transferred immediately upon contact on a...

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

DAWSON: ...Contaminated surface.

EISENBERG: Yeah, nothing's safe.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Yeah.

MONET X CHANGE: See. Like, and we didn't even have to go to school learn that.

EISENBERG: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Bob and Monet, many of us remember that "Seinfeld" episode where George Costanza gets yelled at for double-dipping.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SEINFELD")

KIERAN MULRONEY: (As Timmy) You dipped the chip. You took a bite. And you dipped again.

JASON ALEXANDER: (As George) So?

MULRONEY: (As Timmy) That's like putting your whole mouth right in the dip.

EISENBERG: So the question is, is the guy yelling at George correct or is double-dipping really no big deal?

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: First of all, you're not eating it like this, like, with your lips all around it. You're not swishing it around your gums, putting it under your tongue and dipping it back in. You're just taking a bite. And you're dipping it back in. Double-dipping is a...

MONET X CHANGE: You've clearly never had a meal with Trixie.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Double-dipping - I'm saying it's a myth.

MONET X CHANGE: OK. I'll agree with her.

DAWSON: Paul Dawson actually studied double-dipping in the lab.

DAWSON: It is like putting your mouth in the dip. And this is one of my favorites because I was surprised because I thought about when you bite a cracker or chip, there's a minimal surface area that's really remaining that you're sticking back in the dip. But surprisingly, there was plenty of bacteria transferred.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: OK.

MONET X CHANGE: You...

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: First of all, he don't know what he's talking about. He's stupid.

(LAUGHTER)

MONET X CHANGE: You just lost our friend a Rubik's Cube. You better send him one.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: OK, Monet, you agreed, too. I'm not driving by myself. We are co-pilots.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: If you're going to transfer (unintelligible), you try to transfer the blame.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: You're trying to double-dip this game.

MONET X CHANGE: I knew I was right. I knew I was right.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Bitch, double down.

MONET X CHANGE: I...

EISENBERG: It's OK. You have one more question. This...

MONET X CHANGE: OK.

EISENBERG: ...Could change everything.

MONET X CHANGE: OK.

EISENBERG: OK? Last one...

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, that was fast.

EISENBERG: ...Public restroom hand-drying method - which one is more sanitary in a public restroom when it comes to hand-drying methods? - paper towels or the electric blow dry?

MULRONEY: Oh, electric.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: OK. See. Monet, but we can't just dive in. This is a trick question.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: This is a trick by the white man. I'm kidding.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: But also bear in mind, too, Monet, that the hand dryer is warm. And warmth generates germs.

MONET X CHANGE: Only...

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: It's like incubating.

MONET X CHANGE: No, but warm is for good germs.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: No, no, no.

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: I know. But warmth makes all germs - not just the good ones. It's not like good witches and bad witches...

(LAUGHTER)

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: ...Are ugly. All germs can grow in warm.

MONET X CHANGE: Only bad germs are cold.

(LAUGHTER)

MONET X CHANGE: That was a "Wicked" joke. You're welcome. Anyway...

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That was very good.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: "Wizard Of Oz" joke - so...

MONET X CHANGE: Same thing.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: So I think that the hand dryer, actually, makes the bacteria warm and grow more because all it's knocking off is water - or you can just take out the paper towel that is room temperature. And it will not get warmer.

MONET X CHANGE: But here's the thing. When you go and get the paper towel, you have to press that lever that everybody else is touching.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Or you can also do the ones that you wave or where it sticks out. Also, you know the worst one where you have to grab with two hands. And then you put one hand and it tears. And then you be getting all close...

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yes.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: ...To the edge.

(LAUGHTER)

MONET X CHANGE: And then...

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Also, not for nothing - can we all talk about this, black folks in the room? The automatic hand washer does not work for black people.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, my God. Yeah, that is true.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: Like, if white people wash by, it'd be like, water, sir? And black folks be like, please. Please. I feel like Quasimodo, like - sanctuary. Sanctuary.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's find out what scientist Paul...

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, my God.

EISENBERG: ...Dawson has to say.

MONET X CHANGE: I'm going to pee.

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: This is stressful.

DAWSON: Air hand dryers aren't as sanitary as paper towels because these hand dryers have to pull in air from the room. And if you've ever looked in those, it's much like under your refrigerator or a kind of vent where you're pulling air in with concentrated dust. And, of course, bacteria's carried on that dust. Some studies actually found that in some cases, that you actually increase the number of bacteria on your hands using a hand dryer, whereas paper towels, you reduced it.

MONET X CHANGE: So did I win?

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: No.

(LAUGHTER)

MONET X CHANGE: Paul, long story short, you win.

EISENBERG: Yep.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I think you won it.

MONET X CHANGE: I think we did, too - yeah.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: They are hugging. Thanks to Paul Dawson, co-author of the book "Did You Just Eat That? Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, The Five-Second Rule, And Other Food Myths In The Lab." Thanks again to Bob and Monet. You won an ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's Cube for listener Ayman Itany (ph). Bob and Monet's podcast is called Sibling Rivalry. Give it up for Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Want our next special guest to play for you? Follow ASK ME ANOTHER on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It's time to crown our big winner. Let's bring back our finalist Mariah Black, who says high schools are doing a lot of productions of "Mamma Mia" lately, and Darren Biggart, who broke the first rule of podcast club.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.