Be honest with yourself: You totally follow the five-second rule. Sure, some of your friends may look at you with pure disgust, but hey, you’re not going to let that cookie, french fry, or piece of cheeseburger go to waste.
Fortunately for you, science has proven that this rule is totally sound. NASA engineer Mark Rober put it to the test on the new Discovery Science Channel show The Quick and the Curious, but instead of referring to it as the five-second rule, he coined the “30-second-moisture-and-surface-rule.” Why? Because the texture of the food and the surface it falls on make all the difference. For example, in the video, Rober drops multiple chocolate-chip cookies on dry ground, which is fine. But if you drop a plate of spaghetti on a tile floor, bacteria will accumulate much quicker.
The best place to drop food? On a rug. Thanks to their woven surface, the floor-to-food contact is reduced.
Obviously, not everyone is going to start suddenly eating food off the ground. But at least now some of us can feel a little less disgusting about it.