Corpses are rotting more slowly than they used to — is it because we are germophobic?

UC Berkeley psychology professor and author of The Shangri-La Diet: No Hunger, Eat Anything, Weight-Loss Plan, has been writing about the health benefits of cultured food (see: Probiotics and Resistance to Illness, The Dose-Response Revolution and Fermented Food, How Things Begin (Japan Traditional Foods), Antibiotics Associated with Later Infection, The Good Scots Diet, and many other entries about fermented food).

In a recent post, Roberts says he thinks that the shift in the 1960s from home-made food to processed food, which has resulted in people having less bacteria in their bodies, has caused corpses to rot more slowly than they used to.

A friend of mine, who went to college at MIT around 1980, had a classmate who was the son of an undertaker. His dad had told him that when he (the dad) had entered the business, you had to work fast. Bodies would start to smell quickly. But now — around 1980 — that was no longer necessary. You could wait a lot longer before they smelled bad.

Which I take to mean that around 1980 the average old person, where this classmate came from, had a lot less bacteria in their body than around 1960.

How Fast Do We Rot?