You can’t see it. But it’s there. Coursing through your bloodstream just waiting to pounce…on unsuspecting microbes. Yep, it’s your immune system. Weird, misunderstood and probably my favourite perk of being human, aside from your gut of course. 

Here to chat everything immunity, is my friend Dr. Jennifer Gardy—a gifted science communicator, brilliant infectious disease epidemiologist, and the author of the incredible new book for preteens It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop)!

Wellness has a love/hate relationship with science. Love, because if there’s a study that tells us that not eating for 14 hours might help our circadian rhythm, we’ll quote that study until we’re blue in the face. But also hate, because a lot of deeply entrenched wellness concepts fly in the face of actual science. Like colonics. And detoxes. 

So I could not think of a more perfect guest to help teach us about what the immune system actually is—what it does and how we can (or can’t) help it do its job better. Can you really boost your immune system and do you want to? How does your immune system know you need its help? And HOW, in the name of science, does your immune system not totally destroy your gut bacteria when its main job is to kill germs?

We talk about all the above and SO much more in Episode 2 of The Allsorts!! Listen below or find us on your favourite podcast app!

About Dr. Jennifer Gardy: 

By day, Dr. Jennifer Gardy works in infectious disease epidemiology. After a ten-year career using DNA analysis to track disease outbreaks at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, she took a senior leadership role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where, since 2019, she’s been leading the Foundation’s work on malaria epidemiology. When not tracking infectious disease around the world, Jennifer is a noted science communicator, hosting many episodes of CBC TV’s The Nature of Things and authoring two childrens’ science books, including “It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop),” released by Greystone Kids in September, 2021.

On this episode we chat about:

  • How Jenn got interested in infectious diseases, germs, and vaccinations at a very young age
  • What actually goes on at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • What the fight against malaria looks like
  • What is public health practice, anyways?
  • The degree to which ALL aspects of health are intertwined and the social determinants of health
  • Why Jenn swallowed a camera for science!
  • How clean your colon really is! Hint: there are no old cells or bits of food we need to “cleanse” out… 
  • The rundown on one of our body’s most complex networks: our immune system! How it works, what cells are involved and what you need to know
  • Does your gut health really have anything to do with your immune system?

Learned something new? Have questions? 

Keep the conversation going on Instagram! Screenshot this episode and tag us @theallsortpod @jennifergardy with your questions and/or comments!

Thanks for supporting our little pod! You can help us spread the word by rating, reviewing, or subscribing to us on your fave podcast app!

And doors are now open for the 2022 Eat More Plants Challenge, which begins January 10, 2022!

Connect with Dr. Jennifer Gardy:

Instagram: @jennifergardy

Twitter: @jennifergardy


Book: It’s Catching, The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes and It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop)

Jenn’s Recommendations:

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders