Will eating boogers make me sick? (forwarded on by me)!

If you were immuno-compromised then I suppose it is possible (albeit it unlikely) that a bug living as a commensal in your nose could pass through the gut wall and cause septicaemia. In practise it has been done for eons and I am sure is safe though socially unacceptable in many Western societies!

Most of the mucus we produce in our respiratory tract ends up in our stomachs anyway, either coming upwards from our lungs or draining down from our nasal passages. Snot is only dried mucus, so it's essentially the same, although there might be more coarse particles stuck in it.

I suspect it's a common habit even among adults. Any glance at other drivers in a traffic queue will confirm this. I wonder why it's so common - is it, as you suggest, a means of saving on protein? Why has it become socially unacceptable?

I shouldn't be thinking about this so much but it is Friday!

Last edited by Markus Eichhorn (9th Nov 2007 14:23:18)

On a purely biological level, he has 'picked' up on on a natural resource that most would leave 'unmined'.  However, all he has discovered is a source of polysaccharides (sugars) and proteins. 
While researching a course on hagfish biology, which I taught to a group of students recently, I discovered a recipe for using the slime of a hagfish (in place of eggs) when making scones.  I think he has found another alternative?