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Double Dipping: Dangerous Or Doable?

A new study out of Harvard takes on the lighter side of health sciences, investigating the impact of the dreaded party foul known as “double dipping!”

In case you’re not familiar with the term, “double dipping” is something you’ve probably seen at nearly every picnic, party, or even dinner gathering you’ve been to. It’s a social quirk that was highlighted on Seinfeld and has permeated popular culture to this day. So, what is double dipping, exactly?

Picture yourself at a fancy party. There’s a big bowl of fresh tortilla chips sitting next to a dish filled with salsa, and you’re feeling pretty hungry. You grab one of the larger chips from the bowl, and scoop up a nice glob of salsa with it. You take the bite, a perfect blend of the salty crunch from the chip and the refreshing zest of the salsa. But now, you’re looking at a problem… the rest of the chip that you’re holding, that needs salsa to create the perfect bite.

What do you do? Your options are limited. Either you finish that piece of chip sans salsa, leading to a dry and overly salty bite; or, you take the plunge and jam the chip remnant, now sporting your bite marks, back into the community salsa dish while everyone looks on. Disgusted, people begin to whisper to each other… “Did you see that? That was a double dip!”

Yes, it’s true: double-dipping is a bit of a party foul, and the reason appears to have some scientific backing after all. The Harvard study on double dipping concluded that “bacterial counts in the dip increased significantly after a person took a bite from a chip and then dipped again.” When you double dip, you are effectively depositing non-insignificant quantities of your own saliva back into the salsa dish.

So, what real-world effects does this have? Well, for starters, it’s certainly contaminating the salsa dish with your own saliva particles. Influenza and whooping cough are both transmitted through saliva, as is mono. That’s a whole lot more than you bargained for when you went for a scoop of mild!

All in all, the Harvard scientists admit that this is not the most pressing health concern of our time, but they do offer one plausible solution:

Turn the chip around, and dip the part you didn’t bite. Everyone else will thank you for it!

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