(Keep in mind that we have not absorbed any nutrients yet: we’re still breaking everything down.) Eventually our pyloric valve opens, and our stomach releases the chyme, bit by bit, into our small intestine—where a collection of salts and enzymes goes to work.Bile emulsifies fats and helps neutralize stomach acid; lipase breaks down fats; trypsin and chymotrypsin break down proteins; and enzymes like amylase, maltase, sucrase, and (in the lactose-tolerant) lactase break down starches and some sugars.

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And rabbits run their food through twice: they in order to get more food value out of the plant matter they eat.

(For a more in-depth explanation of herbivore digestion, with lots of pictures, click here for an informative presentation (pdf) from the University of Alberta’s Department of Agriculture.) Humans, in contrast, don’t have gut bacteria that can digest cellulose.

So our gut bacteria go to work and digest some of the remainder, sometimes producing waste products that we can absorb.

(And, often, a substantial quantity of farts.) The remaining indigestible plant matter (“fiber”), dead gut bacteria, and other waste emerge as feces.

I know I really should have ended this article at the punchlines, but I’ve got more to say. (And before we go any farther, I am not arguing that we should never eat vegetables: I’m just busting a silly myth.) First, I’ll footnote the essay above with these references. Bacterial concentrations in this region are 10(2)-10(5) cfu/ml intestinal content. Significance of microflora in proteolysis in the colon. “Proteolytic activity was significantly greater than (P less than 0.001) in small intestinal effluent than in feces (319 /- 45 and 11 /- 6 mg of azocasein hydrolyzed per h per g, respectively).” and that doesn’t count what already occurred in the stomach.

In the colon, bacterial concentrations of 10(11)-10(12) cfu/g faeces are found.” In other words, So bacterial digestion (‘rotting’) is not significant anywhere in our digestive tract but the colon. If meat were being digested in the colon, we would expect a far greater amount of proteolysis to occur there.That is why we can’t eat grass at all, why there is so little caloric value for us in vegetables, and why we call cellulose “insoluble fiber”: This fact alone proves that humans, while omnivores, are primarily carnivorous: we have a limited ability to digest some plant matter (starches and disaccharides) in order to get through bad times, but we cannot extract meaningful amounts of energy from the cellulose that forms the majority of edible plant matter, as true herbivores can. Leave a comment, and use the icons below to share it with your friends!We can only eat fruits, nuts, tubers, and seeds (which we call ‘grains’ and ‘beans’)—and seeds are only edible to us after laborious grinding, soaking, and cooking, because unlike the birds and rodents adapted to eat them, they’re Live in freedom, live in beauty. ) You might also enjoy “How ‘Heart-Healthy Whole Grains’ Make Us Fat”, “Why Humans Crave Fat”, the classic “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey: Paleo In Six Easy Steps”…and for yet more diet myths busted and truths discovered, try the index.Now what is that called, again, when food is being ‘digested’ by bacteria…? That is why beans and starches make you fart, but meat doesn’t: they’re rotting in your colon, and the products of bacterial decomposition include methane and carbon dioxide gases.Here’s a list of flatulence-causing foods, and here’s another: A partial inventory: “Beans, lentils, dairy products, onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cashews, Jerusalem artichokes, oats, wheat, and yeast in breads.Whenever we eat grains, beans, and vegetables, we’re not digesting and absorbing much of the plant matter…we’re actually absorbing bacterial waste products.