[caption id="attachment_216012" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Digestive System (Doc: www.childrenscolorado.org)"][/caption]
Most of you know that chewing is important and not only humans chew their food. Grass eating animals can take a long time chewing the grass in their mouth. If you ever saw cows or goats, you would see them to be always munching on their food. A cow can take up to 8 hours just eating grass. They are specialized to eat grass.
In the cows’ digestive system are microorganisms that can help them break down cellulose. That’s why we can’t eat grass but cows can. And because grass is low in carbohydrates, cows need to eat a lot of it!
Here’s a fun fact, a deer can swallow a whole bunch of grass and saves it in a special pouch in the body, and then when the time comes it throws it back up into its mouth and starts chewing again. Which is just, Eww. That’s what they do to survive.
Enough about cows, let’s talk about the human digestive system. I’m human and you’re human, so we’re proud and like to talk about ourselves more than any other animals. We talk about fish occasionally but not as much as ourselves.
When Tempe (or any other food) enters our mouth we begin to chew and swallow our food. Swallowing our food gets helped by Salivary Amylase, which helps our mouths tear apart the food. The chewed up food drops down and enters our esophagus, which is a long tube that connects to the stomach.
The job of the stomach is to turn everything into complete liquid called clime. It is helped by stomach acid and pepsin. Pepsin can turn protein into peptide and stomach acid can kill the bacteria that or on the food because bacteria is conveniently everywhere. But what you don’t want is too much bacteria in your body, and that can be a problem. So think again before eating off the floor.
The longer it takes to turn the food into chime depends on the food. If you swallow a big chunk of an apple, not only will it be hard to swallow, the stomach will work even harder. And that is main reason on why you need to chew your food, to speed up the process of digestion. It is also more healthy and safer than swallowing something whole.
After the food (bolus) turns into a liquid it goes down into the small intestine and large intestine. The average small intestine can be about 4 meters length! The large intestine is shorter which can be about 1,5 meters. It is named large because of its width, not length.
You can take a good guess on where the food goes after it finishes off in the large intestine, off into the wild. So there you have it, the digestive system. The amazing part is that we don’t even have to think about it. Imagine if we had to do everything by ourselves. We would have less time to think about the world and the beauties of nature and life. Thank you!