Sunday, August 05, 2007

Now wonder we love our work...

It has always puzzled me how farmers could - sometimes in the same breath - positively gush about how much they love farming and then moan about how hard it is. Turns out it is the dirt talking.
Treatment of mice with a 'friendly' bacteria, normally found in the soil, altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs, reports research published in the latest issue of Neuroscience.

These findings, identified by researchers at the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London, aid the understanding of why an imbalance in the immune system leaves some individuals vulnerable to mood disorders like depression.

Dr Chris Lowry, lead author on the paper from Bristol University, said: "These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all be spending more time playing in the dirt." [More]
The other reason, of course for talking out of both sides of our mouth is nobody feels sorry or sends subsidies to happy people. We talk ourselves into misery because it has been pretty lucrative for us.

Imagine the farm policy horror of a happy, confident farmer testifying before a Congressional committee. Oddly enough, I think most farmers would enjoy their work significantly more if they didn't have to hide feelings of success and fulfillment from others.

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