Dear Barb—Winds of Change

Dear Barb:

Hi, I hate to bring this up, but my husband needs to learn something about social etiquette. I don’t mean just manners; I mean passing air and burping! When we were dating, he had excellent manners, except for the occasional passing of air, which was understandable. Now he doesn’t care where he is or who is around, if he has to break wind, he does. They are not the silent ones either. It is so embarrassing, but not to him. When he is around his family, they all laugh, it’s just something they do. We have two sons, and I can already seeing it happening with them. If I try to talk to my husband about it, he says I’m just overreacting, and that farting and burping are a normal part of life, so I need to get over it.  Doesn’t anybody have manners anymore? What do you think?  Am I overreacting? Thanks Tina.

Hey Tina:

Interesting topic, pretty sure this is the first time for this column.  Flatulence and burping are a normal part of everyday life and it definitely has to be released.  Research says that most people fart between 14 and 23 times a day.  It may seem like a lot, but some just slip out and you may not even realize it.  Basically, farts are swallowed air that is introduced into your digestive tract through eating and drinking. Most are odorless, but depending on what you eat, they can be foul smelling, for example animal proteins like meat and eggs produce more smelly farts than fruits and vegetables. There are things your husband can do to reduce the amount of gas he produces, although I’m not sure that is a concern that he has.  But I will include ways to reduce gas and you can pass this column along to him; you never know, he may make some changes.  Chewing gum will increase the amount of gas in your system, as you are swallowing more air.  Eating slowly and taking the time to chew your food will reduce the amount of gas in your digestive tract. Be aware of gas producing food and drinks such as beans, broccoli, whole grains, carbonated drinks, milk cheese, ice cream and fruit. Unfortunately these are all foods which are necessary for a healthy diet.  As to fart etiquette, did you know in some cultures (such as the Inuit of Canada)  farting after a meal is interpreted as gratitude for a great meal. Obviously, this isn’t common throughout all cultures, though. I personally agree that passing gas of any kind should not be done in social settings. In your own home, I think that’s a personal choice with whom you choose to share your farts.  So I do not think you are overreacting.

Thanks Tina.

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