Get this dude a recording contract!

OK, maybe not. But do check out the songs and animated videos created by Carl Winter, a food toxicologist with UC Davis's Food Science & Technology Department, who gives Weird Al Yankovic a run for his money. Winter takes songs like the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and turns them into paeans to food safety such as "You Better Wash Your Hands."

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(His work got a lot of press a few years ago, but I for one missed it.) The animation is rudimentary, the music is bangin', the singing is heartfelt, and the lyrics are pretty damn funny. For example, "We Are The Microbes" (sung to the tune of Queen's "We Are The Champions"):

foodsafety2.jpgWe are the microbes, my friend
And we'll keep dividing
Till the end
We are the microbes
We are the microbes
No time for chlorine
Cause we are the microbes
In your food

We'll mess up your kidneys
GI damage we'll do
We go by clostridium, E. coli, salmonella
Just to mention a few

We like sprouts and lettuce
Salami and stew
You'll find us on chicken, soft cheeses, fruit juices
and hamburgers too

We are the microbes, my friend
And we'll keep dividing
Till the end
We are the microbes
We are the microbes
No time for chlorine
Cause we are the microbes

Winter gives as many as 30 live concerts each year for organizations, schools, and civic groups — some of the footage is posted on the website. On April 18, he'll perform at the Eat Smart Conference in Albany, NY. He also has two CDs you can order — the perfect birthday gift for a friend who's paranoid about food safety?

One Responseto “Get this dude a recording contract!”

  1. brad says:

    Regarding microbes, while we usually think of them as pathogens it's also worth keeping in mind that we couldn't live without 'em. Amazingly enough, there are 10 times as many bacteria colonizing our bodies as there are human cells (source: "Microbial Inhabitants of Humans," by Michael Wilson, Cambridge University Press 2005). In other words, based on a pure cell count alone, we're mostly made up of bacteria. When you look at it that way, "we" really are the microbes!