The Instigator
PeriodicPatriot
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ragnar
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

The Five-Second Rule is Real

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Ragnar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,429 times Debate No: 46016
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

PeriodicPatriot

Con

I will prove why the five-second rule is NOT real. Pro will prove it is.

R1: Aceeptance
R2: Opening Arguments and YOUR interpretation(s) and/or definition(s)
R3: rebuttals
R4: Conclusion.
Ragnar

Pro

As a former combat medic (82nd Airborne), I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
PeriodicPatriot

Con

Thank you for accepting, Ragnar.

It is just folklore. This was an episode in mythbusters. It was a myth because 'There was no significant difference in the number of bacteria collected from 2 seconds exposure as there was from 6 seconds exposure. The moisture, surface geometry and the location the food item was dropped on did, however, affect the number of bacteria.' Wheredas Tim Allen put this to the test 'and found that bacteria will cling to food immediately. High traffic areas will lead to even more bacteria on the food.'. In folklore, 'the states that food dropped on the ground will not be significantly contaminated with bacteria if it is picked up within five seconds of being dropped. Some may earnestly believe this assertion, whereas other people employ the rule as a polite social fiction that will allow them to still eat a lightly contaminated piece of food, despite the potential reservations of their peers.
There are many variations on the rule. Sometimes the time limit is modified. In some variations, the person picking up the food arbitrarily extends the time limit based on the actual amount of time required to retrieve the food.'

Sources:

http://kidshealth.org...
http://en.m.wikipedia.org...

And a video for the mythbuster's episode



Ragnar

Pro

I apologize if any of this seems disjointed, the debate setup does not call for rebuttals until next round; I am therefore abstaining from reading con’s case until then.
To open I shall first provide the requested dictionary definitions, then I shall lay out a two tiered argument based on the most likely interpretations.

Definitions:
From UrbanDictionary.com
The Five Second Rule’s most approved definition (85.5% like it) is “A simple rule stating that food dropped on the ground is still perfectly edible if it is picked up in five seconds. Ingeniously created by guys for the sole purpose of reducing wasted food and allowing a person that second chance they needed to enjoy their food” [1].
The 5 Second Rule is “An unwritten law dictating that if a food or other consumable item is dropped onto the floor, it may be picked up up and eaten within five seconds” [2].

From Merriam-Webster.com (my preferred dictionary, which lacked the Five Second Rule)…
Rule is “a prescribed guide for conduct or action,” or “an accepted procedure, custom, or habit” [3].

Real is “important and deserving to be regarded or treated in a serious way,” however as that definition is overly favorable it may be best to look at the origin of the word “Middle English, real, relating to things (in law) … First Known Use: 14th century” [4].

Arguments:
The Five Second Rule is Real…
If something is real, has nothing to do with if people should follow it. Slavery was very real, people should not have owned slaves, yet still did (and continue to in many parts of the world). Honey Boo Boo is real, so are Child Protective Services; yet the latter is shown to be lacking by the former, yet this ineffectiveness does not lead to the conclusion of one not being real.

Pertaining to the Five Second Rule, it is a popular tradition among both men and women, surprisingly similar to the Three Second and Ten Second rules (all are likely variants from one origin, which the chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College Dr. Roy M. Gulick, states “the five-second rule probably should become the zero-second rule,” [5]). The rule is intelligently designed to decrease the level of exposure to harmful bacteria, much like how milk can be transported home unrefrigerated with no harmful effects, whereas left in the car overnight it is no longer safe.

Of course the degree to which it is followed, closely relates to the desirability of the food in question; furthered weighted against the cleanliness of the surface touched. There are no known cases of it being employed in a bathroom, or of Jell-O being slurped up until five seconds has been reached.

In 2003 the nutrition department at the University of Illinois conducted a Nobel Prize winning study. Taking swabs of the floors in the lab, hall, dorms, and even the cafeteria; they found very few microorganisms, then repeated it to the same result and concluded “the floors were so clean, from a microbiological point of view, because floors are dry, and most pathogens like salmonella, listeria, or E. coli can't survive without moisture.” Finally to get the desired results, they intentionally covered tiles in large amounts of E. coli which had some transference [6]. The study strongly implies a normal dry floor is safe, however someone can intentionally transfer E. coli; but if someone is trying to poison you, I have a hard time imagining them targeting the floor instead of the food directly.

However a 2007 Connecticut College study looked closely at the non-manipulated results, then conducted a more realistic study. Dropping a dry food and a moist food in various dining locations around campus, it was concluded “no bacteria were present on the foods that had remained on the floor for five, ten, or thirty seconds” [5], the 300 seconds being another matter. These findings support the initial (pre lab introduced E. coli) conclusion of the 2003 study.

The Five Second Rule is Valid:
As a bonus to amend to the above, the rule can be proven to be valid (as opposed to merely real) in additional ways.

In medicine the Hygiene Hypothesis basically states that too little germ exposure makes our immune system weak, thus we should occasionally embrace low level exposure. A recent study gave weight to this at least in children, connecting common bacterial species to healthy immune response and less allergies later in life [7].

This is not to say eat off the bathroom floor, merely that occasional small doses of household germs (such as from dropped food which was recovered quickly) may actually be beneficial.

Sources (1-4 being definitions, thus of little to no value in voting):
[1] http://www.urbandictionary.com...
[2] http://www.urbandictionary.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[5] http://www.realclearscience.com...
[6, broken by DDO auto formatting. To view simply add the “-” back onto the end] http://www.webmd.com...-
[7] http://brazenmom.com...

Debate Round No. 2
PeriodicPatriot

Con

PeriodicPatriot forfeited this round.
Ragnar

Pro

Rebuttals:
“It is just folklore.”
Irrelevant. Were the topic The Five-Second Rule is True, this would be on topic; however real is a judgment on existence rather than of quality. Imagine claiming The Bible does not exist because it contains mythology, even while pointing at very real copies of the named item. Is my coffee not real, just because it’s from a lower quality café?

“…‘other people employ the rule as a polite social fiction that will allow them to still eat a lightly contaminated piece of food, despite the potential reservations of their peers.’”
Near concession? Con seems to be in firm agreement with me that the rule exists, and cites a firm example of how it is used with knowledge of lesser contamination (as opposed to if con was arguing the rule calls for zero contamination).

“This was an episode in mythbusters.”
Ignoring the obvious problems of that not being MythBusters when represented as such…

Worst controlled "mythbusters" ever.
1. At 2:07 they step on the food, no version of the Five Second Rule calls for also stepping on it.
2. At 2:20 in the video, they cough onto the food and swabs.
3. At 3:15 they contaminate the samples dropped in dirt with their mouths, which are known to be dirty.
4. At 3:40 they claim a pile of flour is the same thing as bacterium. Unless you are proposing no one eat bread, this is of no merit.
5. No stopwatch was used in the study. Scientists do not tend to rely on such variable timepieces as teenaged girls.
6. At no point are they seen to wear sterile gloves, or even wash their hands before handling the food to be studied; thus there is no way to know if the bacterial growth seen stems from the ground or their dirty hands.

“‘There was no significant difference in the number of bacteria collected from 2 seconds exposure as there was from 6 seconds exposure.’”
Flaws in their study have been thoroughly proven; see point 6 above for the probable cause of the no significant difference.

“Sources”
With the exception of the video, those were not actually connected to the argument.

Debate Round No. 3
PeriodicPatriot

Con

PeriodicPatriot forfeited this round.
Ragnar

Pro

Sadly con has decided not to continue this debate (or simply concede), even while being active elsewhere in this site.

Conclusion:
The rule is clearly real, there has not even been claims to contest such; merely a couple poorly executed assertions as to how reliable it is.
Further when not dealing with any mad scientist intentionally spreading lab grade germs around, there are proven health benefits to low dose germ exposure. People should eat briefly floored food items more often.

Voting Suggestions:
CONDUCT: Pro (me), due to forfeitures.
S&G (spelling and grammar): Tied. While it leans in my favor, not by enough to claim the point (everything but argument should be by a noteworthy margin, such as things which distracted from the argument someone made).
ARGUMENTS: Pro, no contest.
SOURCES: Pro, as my sources were on topic and presented a strong case in favor of my side. Further none of my sources were challenged, and I ruthlessly shot down all of con’s.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
@Ragnar
I do all my work on notepad then place it on debate.org
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Bloody hell, went to polish up the argument and found it reset to less than the original outline ... Not trusting DDO's autosave feature ever again.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
I am arguing with myself about taking this lol
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
you do realize there are messages.
Posted by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
bubbatheclown
This is not an advertisement but instead a notice, intended for PeriodicPatriot:
Due to a rule change, the signups will end today, on Saturday.
The beginning of Round 1 will commence either today or tomorrow, which is Sunday.
For more information check out the thread.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
PeriodicPatriotRagnarTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con never turned up
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
PeriodicPatriotRagnarTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
PeriodicPatriotRagnarTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con lost conduct for the forfeit in the last two rounds where as Pro's arguments and refutation mostly went without contest due to his opponent's forfeit.