Any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body.

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4answers
4k 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
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4answers
637 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) -- ...
10
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2answers
274 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, ...
10
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4answers
3k 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
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1answer
12k 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
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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
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3answers
2k 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
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1answer
207 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
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2answers
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
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2answers
288 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
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1answer
354 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
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1answer
140 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
101 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
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2answers
143 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
367 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
1answer
408 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 ...
5
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2answers
4k 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
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2answers
1k 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 !
4
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2answers
309 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?
4
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2answers
73 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
2answers
5k 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
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0answers
69 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
148 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
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1answer
93 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
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2answers
1k 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
148 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
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1answer
66 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
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1answer
95 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
62 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
339 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
45 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
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0answers
45 views

Why does pasta really boil over? [migrated]

I was making pasta, and I noticed the pasta boiling over. I thought about it some more, and I realized I had no idea why this was happening. When the lid is on, the foam rises. When the lid is off, ...
3
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0answers
20 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
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0answers
75 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
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2answers
112 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
1answer
36 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
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2answers
637 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
41 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
230 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)?
2
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1answer
39 views

What are ways to compare the “costs” and “gains” of food production systems?

I'm looking for methodologies to compare the costs a food production requires with the gains it delivers (not in economic terms). I'm aware of energy returned on investment. Are there other methods ...
2
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2answers
80 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 ...
2
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0answers
145 views

How much food can an average person eat, and which animal is that equivalent to?

When the average person overeats, how much food can he eat in a day? Which animal's average meal would that be equivalent to? When documentaries are talking about animals feed, they usually say ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

White eggs can be considered as non-vegetarian?

I am basically a vegetarian and I find it very difficult to get an actual biological answer for this question on search engine. There are couple of links which discuss these argument but can not be ...
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2answers
156 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?
1
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2answers
68 views

Why might food spoil faster in Ireland than the US?

An American is staying in my house for the summer and claims that food (specifically, bread and milk) spoils a lot faster here than at home in California. Is there a significant difference in chemical ...
1
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1answer
103 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.
1
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1answer
238 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 ...
1
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1answer
109 views

What causes peanut allergies?

Surveys show that 0.6 percent of the US population has an allergic reaction to peanuts. This prevalent allergy has even prompted some to ban peanuts from schools altogether. I am completely ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the evolutionary reason behind human preference for salty foods?

It's been established that food palatability is related to it's caloric density. This hypothesis is used to explain why humans are partial to sugar and fat. But it is also said that humans are partial ...
1
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1answer
34 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 ...