Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

Blue Poop, PR story or enlightened society?

Anyone read the BBC article about people eating blue muffins to measure gut transit time? Is this a barmy PR stunt dreamt up by the makers of pro biotic drinks or a sign that people are becoming more enlightened about health and food? More blogs about an enlightened society here.

At BigBarn we hope it is the latter as part of our mission is to get people to make better, healthier, food buying choices and be enthused to cook healthy meals. We have spent the last 20 years writing blogs about food as well as building our shared, Local Food Map to reconnect people with their local producers to encourage trade, communication and sustainable, inclusive, local food communities where people swap food, knowledge, and recipes.

Back to the Blue Poo story: Researchers gave participants muffins dyed with strong blue food colouring, turning their poop blue, to make it easy to identify the transit time.

Good gut food?

Slower transit time is associated with less favourable gut bacteria and a faster transit time is associated with a better gut bacteria profile. However, a transit time that’s too fast (suggesting you have diarrhoea) may indicate a less healthy gut microbiome.

There is now a growing consensus in the medical world that our gut microbiomes play a major role in the operation of our immune system, and that the more rich and diverse our microbiomes are, the lower our risk of disease.

Unfortunately there are huge number of unknowns, such as; type of existing gut bacteria (we have between 300-500 different bacteria in our gut), diet (some food & drink kill bacteria others feed it), and lifestyle (exercise, sleep, are you regular?)

The best way to think of gut health is to realise that without the bacteria we could not get the nutrients we need. This seems strange when we are told by marketeers from cleaning product corporations that every bacteria outside our body is a germ and must be destroyed.

Constantly updating and growing Local Food Map

We recommend that you think about evolution and how our bodies have evolved over the last 100,000 years to survive and thrive on a simple diet of foraged seasonal foods. It is only in the last 150 years that we have an abundance of meat, processed foods, sugar and alcohol. Especially sugar that seems to be in every food.

So live like a cave man! As proved by the Hadza tribe in Tanzania who live off a range of foraged foods and have the most diverse human gut microbiomes on the planet. BBC Article here

Please use our Local Food Map to find fresh local seasonal fruit and vegetables, free range high welfare meat, local dairy, pulses (beans, peas, lentils). Find or add simple recipes to our KIS (Keep It Simple) Cookery video channel, or buy Kimchi in our MarketPlace and build up you gut friendly biome!

You could even join the food industry by making Kimchi and selling it to your local food community to help improve their gut health previous blog here with instructions.


  1. Terry Murphy says:

    Well if it is about an enlightened society, I am not sure I wish to be part of one that dicusses poop in social environments. However, a healthy diet is a cornerstone for a healthy body and society.

    I agree with Anthony above that there are a huge number of unknowns, so testing for blue poop is really just a small (and fun, if you think like that) exercise.

    Local, fresh produce will go a long way to improving the gut. So, well done BigBarn for making this easier.

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