How Beer Saved The World
Not only is it true that beer saved the world but, "Beer is the basis of modern medicine." Quite a leap, right? I didn't believe it either. At first. I do now. Discovery produced a delightful and thorough 3-part series on beer during which they back up these wild claims with actual dates, names and cold, hard facts. Über convincing.
Turns out, our entire history grew up around beer. (Somehow, this takes the taint off alcoholism.)
Please watch and enjoy -- this was a truly fascinating 45 minutes! While I watched, I had what seemed like a million mini-aha moments: the accidental discovery of fermentation; the surprising fact that early beer had very little alcohol in it (a la kombucha); that it kept imbibers healthy when all around were not; that sailors relied on beer, not water, for health and hydration; that the world's first antibiotic was discovered in beer sixty years before being officially Nobel Prize-winning discovered!
Pasteur + Beer = Germ Theory
Louis Pasteur gave us the (highly flawed) germ theory. He discovered an unknown swimmer in a glass of brewsky and named it "germ". Then -- because he couldn't think of any other reason for it to be there (and the documentary leaves this door wide open) -- Pasteur decides germs are the cause of ALL disease. Yeah. ALL. Now, that's quite a leap. Pasteur was studying beer because, apparently, some of it was going bad. Horrors! The documentary also neglects to offer a description of "bad beer." Like, how did they discover the beer had gone bad? Was it making people sick or did it just taste too vinegary? I mean, it's hard for a fermented food to go bad. For all practical purposes, fermented foods are already bad! If the "bad beer" was making people sick, there was no mention of it. Color me conspiratorially curious.
Why Beer is Called the Basis of Modern Medicine.
If it weren't for the world's love affair with beer, we would not have cared if any went bad and Pasteur would never have studied it. Comprende? Btw, when we talk of germs, we mean bacteria, viruses and fungi. Collectively, they make up germs. And germs, say the germ theorists, are responsible for almost all disease known to man. Today that even (unbelievably) includes mental illness. Really, really a stretch of a leap because brain chemistry cannot be measured. (If you have a doctor who says it can be, RUN!) Here's the wicked-creepy part: beer gave us the unknown swimmer. Pasteur called it Germ and parlayed that into the germ theory (the wild notion that almost all disease comes from a germ). THIS theory is the basis upon which all of today's pharmaceutical drugs are formulated, including antibiotics, vaccines and SSRIs. Pharmaceuticals 'R Modern Medicine.
You are what you eat. Literally.
Um. What if Pasteur were wrong? Because, guess what, he recanted on his death bed! He stated the Germ Theory was all wrong and that, "It’s the terrain, not the germ." The terrain. NOT the germ. There's a can of worms, eh?
There's more to the movie, so much more. Quite a fascinating tale.
Watch "How Beer Saved The World":
Let me know what you think!