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  • Maureen Elsberry

The War on Beards Has Become Pretty Shitty


Forget shit for brains, research suggests you’ve got shit for beards. At least that's what one Albuquerque news station suggested recently. ABC News affiliate KOAT7 sent the internet into a frenzy when they released data suggesting beards were hairy collectors for bacteria, the same kind that’s found in your gastrointestinal system, or as KOAT put it, your poop. 


After swabbing some random volunteer beards, Action 7 News took the samples to microbiologist John Golobic at Quest Diagnostics, a noticeably shaven bloke. An analysis of the Petri dish growth found evidence of enteric bacteria, or its more endearing title, gut flora, which normally lives in the intestines of both humans and animals. Their conclusion? “Some beards are as dirty as toilets.” As dirty as a toilet is much better than 18 times dirtier than a toilet, which was the fate of a similar study done on cell phones. 


Golobic also had some disturbing news for ladies of beard-bearing men: Bacteria found on the swabs was also the type to cause urinary tract infections. I just crossed my legs. He made sure to bash the hygiene of unshaven saying, “It certainly shows a degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing.” That’s a total “no shit Sherlock” statement if I’ve ever heard one.

But never fear my furry men, this study was far from rigorous. KOAT rounded up a handful of hipster volunteers with beards of varying impressiveness and swabbed through the tangles of their bird nests. Most of the beard samples were simply chalk full of the normal types of bacteria that were expected to be found, not an overwhelming amount of gut flora. One microbiologist and a few beards does not a scientific study make. A real study would have also sampled mustaches, soul patches (barf), and goatees (double barf). 


I’m pretty sure that if beards were inherently filled with poop that “food poisoning” would be far more rampant than it currently is, and bearded men and the people who love them would be constantly losing their cookies or having a bad case of the runs. It should also be noted that, just because a bacteria is found in feces, it does not make that bacteria actual shit. 




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