Any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body.

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47
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11answers
10k views

Can humans survive without consuming life? [closed]

Some people say that it's awful that humans eat animals. They feel that it's barbaric, because you're killing life and then on top of that, you're eating it, and that you should eat vegetation ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Can humans eat grass?

Can a human eat grass and digest it? Could it be possible to use it as food just like other plants such as wheat or beans?
11
votes
4answers
843 views

Has there ever been an attempt to create nutritionally tailored food for adult human consumption?

For all domestic animals, and for all animals kept in laboratory, complete and precise composition of perfect food is figured out (cat food, dog food, cattle, rats, laboratory monkeys and apes) -- ...
11
votes
2answers
324 views

What are the evolutionary niches differentiating an apple from a pear?

So, as far as I understand (basic) evolutionary theories, diversity is generated by "niching." That is, if there is an environmental factor that hasn't been fully used by any species to "profit" off, ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What nutrients can humans absorb in the mouth?

For instance, I realise being able to absorb simple sugars in the mouth is pivotal in the rapid action of oral glucose gel. Thus I was wondering what nutrients in general can be absorbed directly ...
10
votes
1answer
13k views

How to store vegetables in the refrigerator: In plastic bags or not?

My wife and I are having a debate similar to this one: I claim that it's better to take the fresh veggies out of the bags and put them in the crisper with humidity control because: That's what the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are some berries poisonous?

In my understanding, the evolutional function of berries is to be eaten and pood out somewhere else, so that the seeds of the plant spread. Is this so? Then why are some berries poisonous?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the worst that can happen from eating too many spicy peppers? Can you die?

Some peppers, such as the habanero or Carolina reaper are extremely spicy, and when eaten in larger amounts than one is accustomed to, can cause some discomfort. I've also heard anecdotes claiming ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How does sodium in one's diet affect blood pressure?

Due to high blood pressure, my doctor has recommended I go on a low-sodium diet. So, that got me wondering what it is about sodium that drives this recommendation? What does sodium do to a body ...
8
votes
1answer
218 views

What are the biochemical processes occurring when food spoils?

Let's assume for a minute that microbes themselves and their direct toxic products (i.e. endotoxins) aren't toxic to humans. Let's also discount any innate immune responses the body mounts against the ...
8
votes
3answers
337 views

Does human digestive system benefit from eating same kind of food consistently?

Here's the reason why I'm asking: I've heard that it takes some time for pets(cats/dogs) to adjust to a different dry feed, where the new feed has to be mixed with the old one, slowly replacing the ...
7
votes
1answer
355 views

How Does Green Tea Increase Metabolism?

According to the article "Green Tea Supplementation Affects Body Weight, Lipids, and Lipid Peroxidation in Obese Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome", Green tea increases metabolism and fat loss: ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

What exactly makes bananas go brown?

I know that often oxidation processes are mentioned when referring to the color change from yellow to brown in bananas (specifically: those that you get everywhere in supermarkets, with no seeds). ...
6
votes
1answer
660 views

Why does ostrich meat look and taste more like beef than chicken?

Some time ago I tasted ostrich meat, and what was amazing to me was that the meat very much resembled beef, much more than it resembled chicken, turkey or duck meat. And even more than lamb and pork ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Cooking with sawdust

In a book about post-war Japan (Embracing Defeat, Dower) the author mentions a process for making sawdust at least partially edible, so it could be used in recipes in a 1:4 ratio with flour for ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

Do omnivore mammals vary food preferences based on dietary needs?

I'm wandering if mammals that can eat many different kinds of food (omnivores) vary their preference for food not only based on the availability, but also based on dietary needs? I'm looking at this ...
6
votes
1answer
405 views

If re-boiling does not curdle the milk, can that be taken as an indicator that the milk hasn't developed the bacteria (and their toxins)?

Usually when left in hot temperature, the milk curdles (which I know when I boil it and it starts separating). If the re boiling does not curdle the milk, can that be taken as an indicator that the ...
5
votes
2answers
350 views

What happens to lactic acid I eat?

Let's say I drink some Kefir Milk, what happens to the lactic acid in the Kefir Milk that has entered my digestive system?
5
votes
1answer
55 views

Can an insect poison itself with food?

Is it possible that an insect poisons itself while eating "wrong" plants/fruits/... and have symptoms like pain (may hard to measure or detect) or orientation disorder? Background: I observed a ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why can't you taste food when you have a cold?

It is a common observation that food is tasteless when we have a cold. Why is that so? What is the cause of inability to taste when we have a cold? Are the nose and ability to taste connected?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does milk contained in cartons of milk expand?

In the morning, I went to the fridge to drink some chocolate milk. At night, when I took out the same carton of milk, the packaging seems expanded, like some kind of air is inside. Explain please !
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Is there a biological reason for spreading food intake into breakfast-lunch-dinner?

I keep hearing over an over how humans can satisfy their entire daily caloric need in one sitting at a fast food restaurant. At the same time I'm looking at the kitchen plates, cups, etc, and they ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Detecting food fraud

There's undoubtedly more than one way to do this, but if a DIY biologist were to attempt to detect food fraud (e.g. as done by students from Stanford University and Trinity School, Manhattan with ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Blood consumption

Is consumption of blood more "dangerous" compared to meat? There was a news-article about unnatural chemicals found in the blood of mothers. This reminded me about a question I have pondered upon ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Does sour food cause sweating?

While eating sour food or candy, I start to sweat if it's sour enough. My body feels much hotter although my actual temperature is the same, my forehead starts sweating a lot and I feel like it just ...
4
votes
0answers
72 views

What are the mechanisms that cause bananas to ripen? How is or isn't it related to the banana peel ripening? [closed]

So recently our commercial kitchen got some bunches of bananas with a curious feature. On the inside they were firm and delicious (no jokes, please), on the outside they looked incredibly sickly. ...
3
votes
3answers
170 views

What Defines a Food as Edible?

With many foods today containing chemicals, agents and preservatives etc... What biological criteria must a new food and its constituent components satisfy biologically, to be defined as edible? ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

The smell from eating asparagus

I am wondering about one thing. I have read different accounts of this (prior to reading it on Wikipedia), so I am wondering. Here are the two versions I have read: asparagus leads in a certain ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Are there any air-plants with parts that are edible for humans?

Are any air plants (Tillansia sp.) safe for humans to eat? I haven't been able to find whether or not there are. Pineapple is in the same family (Bromeliaceae), but isn't an air plant.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do kefir grains stop growing in soy milk?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It usually is prepared by inoculating cow, goat or sheep milk with kefir grains. I would like to prepare the drink with soy milk, which worked ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

Why does the stomach ache if you take a brisk walk after lunch or dinner

After eating your lunch or dinner, if you take a brisk walk, most of the time your stomach aches. Why does that happen? What happens with respect to the body metabolism?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Would non-human carnivores be able to survive on farmed foods?

Certain creatures that are considered carnivores are non-obligate carnivores and are technically omnivores (such as wolves/dogs). How different is the potential digestive ability of these species ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Does the body lose energy or gain energy relatively when drinking or eating hot things?

Does the body lose or gain energy when drinking or eating hot things compared to more neutral temperature things? On the one hand, The body could somehow convert the heat energy into human usable ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Will a garter snake eat unusual prey if made to smell like something normal?

I have noticed that my garter snake only eats after it has smelled it's prey to make sure it is a slug, and it doesn't matter whether it's moving or not. If I were to coat, say, a caterpillar with ...
3
votes
1answer
373 views

Meat and mushroom allergies, why are they so rare?

There are a lot of food allergies, but for some reason not to meat (mammalian meat or poultry) or mushrooms. I've googled a bit, and now I know that one can actually have a meat or mushroom allergy, ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Does tea have its effect if you have a sleep after drinking it?

If I drink tea, then go to sleep for a while, when I wake up, will the effect of tea still be on me (the refreshing effect)? Does it depend on the duration of sleep?
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Book recommendation on selective breeding?

I am looking for a good book that gives a nice overview of the science and technics of selective breeding. I am particularly interested in the use of population genetics to support decision in this ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Can juice become sweeter after packaging? [closed]

It seems like the orange juice thats been sitting in the fridge for awhile always tastes sweeter than the juice just brought from the grocery store. Can juice ripen in the container ?
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Why do animals only eat some parts of their food?

For example monkeys/apes only eat part of a fruit and then throw the rest. Cats (big and small species) only eat some parts of their prey and then they abandon it. Humans on the contrary leave as few ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

How is nutrient uptake in humans measured?

There are many claims made about nutrient absorption, eg "Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables". I'm curious to know how nutrient uptake is measured. Eg is it a pure ...
3
votes
0answers
85 views

What are the physiological effects of wine?

I have read that alcohol in general and wine in particular can have advantageous as well as detrimental effects on human health. Is this true? What are the physiological effects of consuming wine in ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

How can toddlers expend seemingly boundless energy when they eat so little?

A toddler's food intake seems very little: only milk and water and some solid food. Therefore, from where does this energy come?
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Lactose Intolerance

What nutrition is given to infants who are lactose intolerant? I understand, in today's day and that age we have non-lactose formula milk, but what happened, before lactose-free milk was created, to ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

Eating rarely but a lot, or often but little

I wonder if it matters if an average person eats the same amount of food distributed between a few (2-3) meals during the day, or constantly having small snacks. I'm interested in several aspects of ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Is plastic just as good for you as corn?

To specify, I mean plain corn-on-the-cob, not anything processed like corn flakes. Since one of the main important functions of corn is that it's not digestible, and therefore helps with digestion by ...
2
votes
1answer
21 views

Why is coconut oil healthier when it has so much saturated fat?

I noticed that coconut oil has ~96% saturated fat, and I was under the assumption that saturated fats = bad for health. Why is it that coconut oil is healthier to alternatives with much less ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

How are oranges in the US or anywhere made seedless?

How are oranges in the US or anywhere made seedless? Please explain the broad principles and not the technicalities.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why aren't we allowed to refreeze previously thawed breastmilk in refrigerator?

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/breastfeeding-and-work/expressing-and-storing-breastmilk Previously frozen— thawed in refrigerator but not warmed 4 hours or less (ie the next ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Storing Apples at 30F?

This article about storing apples for the winter says: You do not want the apples' temperature to fall below 30°F (-1.1°C), however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

Do foods with preservatives become less toxic in the gut?

Do foods with preservatives stay digestible for longer in the gut by not rotting as much (producing less toxins)?