Hi everyone! Today I would like to talk about the perspectives that you all have on microbes and the challenges that come with it.
Microbes include bacteria, algae, protozoa and some types of fungi. Knowing this, it is not surprising that when the word ‘microbe’ is mentioned, people relate it to most bacteria and diseases.
In a survey that I conducted, I found out that more than half of 42 participants did not know what were microbes, although 95% know about probiotics and how useful they are to us. Most only related the usage of microbes towards these probiotics, or towards things like viruses.
What is the problem with this?
Well, as discussed through my previous posts, microbes have a wide variety of usages that are not very evident to most people — from fuels to biodegradation, and in food alternatives. In my survey, I mostly shared it with students of NUS that have attained at least a diploma or an A level certificate. What this tells us is that microbes are still a very unknown topic in Singapore.
Personally, I think that this needs to be changed. Not just because I absolutely love microbiology and the possibilities that they bring with them, but because I think that they might garner more interest among the population. With exposure, more people might be accepting of a wider usage of microbes or interested in innovating with microbes.
The other day, I also asked my friend if she had tried the algae shake from simpliigood that I mentioned from my previous post. I had noticed that she was following the Instagram account. Unfortunately, she did not know that it was ab algae shake, and had, in fact, thought it was a matcha shake.
With this, I added this question into my survey:
Where most respondents mentioned that the reason they were hesitant to try it was because they associated algae with dirt, and were concerned with the consequences it might have on their health. Others commented that they were willing to try it if it had benefits for them.
To answer this query, the type of algae that they used (Spirulina) is packed with many nutrients and also antioxidants. They are proven to provide many more health benefits.
I hope that this survey has given you some information on how Singaporeans view microbes. It certainly surprised me with the results! I had thought that more people knew about what microbes were.
Please do help share with your peers and family about what microbes are, other than probiotics! I think that it could be an exciting topic to chat about.