Monday, April 1, 2013

What in the World is an Alimentary Canal?

     Well, the alimentary canal is the system in your body that takes the food in and eliminates what isn't absorbed. So from mouth to butt and everything in between is the alimentary canal.

     So why am I telling you about this? I'm certainly not an expert. I heard a very interesting interview on the radio this morning with Mary Roach who has written Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.

     The interview began with the topic of hot dog eating contests and how such enormous amounts can be consumed without damage. Answer? The whole system can stretch enormously. 

   Roach got interested in the system when she was a little kid and didn't wan to eat her vegetables. She told her mother that the Inuit didn't eat veggies because they couldn't grow any. They researched the topic. Inuit survive because they eat all the organ meat which is rich in vitamins. Roach didn't tell us that Inuit eat the stomach contents . Many animal the harvest eat vegetation so in this way the Inuit do get veggies. One caution. Don't eat polar bear liver as it's so high in vitamin B content that it's poisonous.

    The forty minute interview continues with all kinds of off the wall info about the alimentary canal.

     At one time people believed that stomach noises were caused by frogs. They thought that the water they consumed contained eggs that hatched in their body.

    Study of the alimentary canal has gone on for ages. Only recently have they been able to see inside the canal and understand what goes on. At one time bags with food were consumed so that the contents had to be eliminated. They then tried to find out what happened to the food. 

    They found out that contents could be removed and digestion continued as the amazing number of chemicals kept on with their work. 

   So it was a very humorous and informative interview... so much so that I had to do a blog post on it.