Sanitized Travel

At the risk of talking ad nauseum (yuck, yuck) about getting sick while traveling, National Geographic’s Traveler magazine has a good article this month with the pros and cons of eating street foods versus avoiding local cuisines.

On one hand, they quoted an infectious disease expert and a CDC travel health specialist as saying that, while some folks may be naturally predisposed to intestinal bugs, everyone should watch out when eating foods that have sat around in the open air for very long, as well as fresh (peeled) fruit or veggies, regardless of the locale.

On the other side of the debate is chef and author Anthony Bourdain who says he hasn’t yet gotten sick eating street food, even though he’s known for traveling around the world, eating weird stuff. Further, his TV crew has a running betting pool as to who will be the first victim of local food. His choice comment? It’s the “Purell junkies” who inevitably get sick; better to follow the locals’ lead on what to eat and drink. Avoiding eating local foods can cause you to miss a deep connection with where you are when you travel: “Food is the purest expression of local identity.”

What do you do while traveling, dear readers, just eat it?