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I’ve gotten in to reading again and I’m quite excited about it.

It’s become a nightly ritual whereby I step away from my computer, head upstairs, and read in bed until my eye lids get heavy (usually around 9pm because that’s how I roll).

Last week I finished my most recent literary pursuit: “Gulp.” by Mary Roach.

Gulp by Mary Roach

SYNOPSIS

From her website:

“In Gulp we meet the scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks —or has the courage —to ask. How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle? Why is crunchy food so appealing? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We go on location to a pet food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.”

I’m a self-proclaimed science nerd who has already invested lots of time into learning about all things GI related so figured this book would be up my alley. The reviews I read praised Roach’s use of humor to tackle the inner workings of the body from mouth to….well, other end.

THOUGHTS

Interesting. Informative. Funny. Witty. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Each chapter was devoted to a different stage of digestion and shared facts, historical stories, and research in a light-hearted way. Chapter titles included “Big Gulp: How to survive being swallowed alive” and “Eating Backwards: Is the digestive tract a two way street?” Who doesn’t want to know the answer to those questions??

If you’re not yet intrigued, allow me to share some fun facts I learned over the course of 314 pages:

  • Cats can’t taste sweetness. As carnivores their natural diet is void of carbohydrates. When it comes to pet food we end up buying food that WE would like and then call animals picky when they don’t eat it.
  • Human teeth can detect a particle 10 microns in diameter (=the size of the “o” in a Coke can as small as a human hair) which helps warn you of eating something harmful (ex. dirt on a piece of lettuce).
  • You are unlikely to survive being swallowed whole by a sperm whale. The whale’s stomach muscles grind food at a force of 500  pounds of pressure. 
  • In 1984 a woman in England was admitted to the emergency room and subsequently died of a ruptured stomach after consuming 19 poundsof food (which included plums, grapes, bananas, apples, pears, peaches, bread, a head of cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, a full pound of cheese, eggs, steak, liver, kidneys…AND two glasses of milk).

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re looking for a light-hearted look into the inner workings of the human body, then this would be for you. It’s an easy read that will make you laugh and say, “ew” at the same time.

I want to know…

What are YOU reading?

I’m in need of book suggestions so if you have any leave them in the comments below!

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