Any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body.

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50
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11answers
11k 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
5k views

What do ants do with our finger nails?

There is place in my house where I cut my nails. Here, there is an ant hole where an ant colony is seen. Whenever I cut my nails from here, they take my nails inside their hole. I was wondering what ...
21
votes
4answers
10k 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?
14
votes
1answer
191 views

Do species other than humans have distinct daily feeding patterns?

I have a general interest in complex adaptive systems and I have found that nature and the organisms within it is a perfect natural case of a rich adaptive system with a lot of possibilities for ...
12
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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
400 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
1answer
17k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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
10k 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
249 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
430 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
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
84 views

Why do we find some things disgusting and others delicious?

For example, why do I love paprika while my girlfriend hates it? Why do I find broccoli disgusting and she adores it? As humans, there are things we'd all agree on being awful, like rotten meat, for ...
7
votes
1answer
372 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
200 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
2answers
7k 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?
6
votes
1answer
144 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
175 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
553 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
551 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
2answers
72 views

What happens during kefir fermentation process?

I’ve found many sources about the positive effects of kefir for the digestive system. However I haven’t found any information about the fermenting process. What is the exact biology (chemistry?) ...
5
votes
1answer
45 views

How much of the weight of yoghurt is due to bacteria?

I recently started making all kinds of bacteria-processed foods by myself (such as yoghurt, but also Sauerteig and so on), and I found myself wondering how much of the weight of these products is ...
5
votes
1answer
79 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
1answer
100 views

Fermentation to acetic acid

How much time is needed for the fermentation to acetic acid production cycle, and the conversion of apple vinegar in a sealed container incubated at 37 °C? Should be in the fully closed? What is ...
5
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
264 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Why do apples taste sweeter at the bottom?

Sometimes when eating an apple, I notice that the bottom (blossom) end of the apple has a lot more sweetness and flavour to it, whereas the top half (stem) is often more watery, crispier and feels ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

How does food intake affect medicine? Why pill instructions recommends taking them before (after) meal?

Even simple vitamins seem to have this in the instruction. Why is is so? Is there some simple model of how do pills interact with food? Does it depend on the food type? (What about drinks?) Should ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Why does caffeine give you so much energy, while being so low on calories?

There's definitely something I'm missing here. Since calories is a unit of measurement for energy, and caffeine seemingly gives you a lot, how can the labels on caffeinated products have such a low ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
113 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
2k views

How many honeybees are there, and how has the number changed across time?

How would you begin to estimate the world population of the European Honeybee (Apis mellifera)? Would recent colony collapse disorder show up as a blip? How about the spread of A. mellifera from ...
4
votes
1answer
79 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
1answer
184 views

Powdered meal replacement vs regular meal

Can a person live with this alternative nutrition? Of course, assuming that eating pleasure is assumed the same. The nutrients that contain are far better than average meal a person eats the majority ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Is there any way the food industry can benefit from biofilms?

I realize all of the disadvantages, but I am wondering if the food industry can actually benefit from the formation of biofilms.
4
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Is eating cooked food an evolved behavior or rather an intelligent one, passed down via culture?

I was just eating a rather rare steak when I started wondering whether eating foods cooked was something I would instinctively want to do if the practice hadn't been taught to me. So, is cooking food ...
4
votes
1answer
474 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

How much of what we eat ends up in the toilet?

An awkward question. Bear with me... In terms of mass, what percentage of the food that we eat do we end up excreting? Of course, it depends on a whole host of factors so lets assume a healthy ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Will genetically modified food affect our health?

It's a popular public sentiment that - GM foods like tomatoes (flavr savr) will affect our health.. Is there any logical scientific explanation behind this?
4
votes
0answers
95 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
213 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
126 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
1k views

Why does ear wax taste sour?

Why does ear wax taste sour? I am interested in both the physiochemical mechanisms and the evolutionary reasons behind the sour taste of earwax.
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Are nutrients absorbed in human esophagus?

Following this question regarding absorption in human oral cavity (sadly not yet fully answered), I'm curious if any nutrient absorption occurs during the descent of food through the esophagus. And ...
3
votes
1answer
221 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
1answer
1k 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?