Any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body.

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28
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2answers
6k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
13k 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
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1answer
292 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
11k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
23k 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 ...
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
3answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
486 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
votes
1answer
3k 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?
9
votes
1answer
899 views

Do mantises stalk cicadas?

The Chinese Idiom The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind (螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后), which the story behind the idiom comes from Shuo Yuan(说苑), refers to those who are attracted by immediate ...
9
votes
3answers
15k 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
284 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
1answer
222 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
533 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
145 views

Why do bananas go brown quicker in the fridge?

Perhaps the title should be: Why do specifically bananas go brown quickly when left in the fridge? Bananas go brown over time because of the oxidation of phenol residues. Bananas go brown quicker ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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
80 views

Do any animals prepare food?

I was just wondering if any animals (are smart enough to) enhance the flavor of their food by, for example, mixing ingredients or seasoning or letting it cure in some ways. In the first episode of ...
7
votes
1answer
380 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
298 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
9k 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
2answers
322 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
155 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
186 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
743 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
760 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
133 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
286 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
62 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
105 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
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
5k 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
1answer
186 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
1answer
35 views

Colorado potato beetle diet

The Colorado potato beetle is best known for being a potato pest. However, I've just learned that it originates from Northern America and the potato itself comes from South America. So the question ...
5
votes
2answers
13k 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
1answer
39 views

Where does fungus store excess food?

Can anyone pin point, as to where and how, the excess food is stored in fungus (mushroom to be specific). Like plants store as starch granules, so where does mushroom store?
5
votes
1answer
354 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
478 views

Questions about insects eating flour and living in the cracks of a wooden cutting boards

I have a large wooden cutting board which is used in my kitchen mainly for preparing egg pasta. The wood type is Populus (poplar or aspen or cottonwood). The main ingredients used with the cutting ...
5
votes
1answer
40 views

Does the human body metabolize what it smells, even in trace amounts?

I conjectured to a friend that some small amount of anything we smell is likely metabolized by the body. He disagreed. My thinking is that, if you are smelling something, some portion of molecules are ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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
3answers
70 views

Where can you find the quantities of each amino acid of a particular protein or food?

Taking a potato as an example. If I wanted to know how much µg or % of each of it's amino acids there are in 1 gram of pure potato protein, where can I find this information? Is there a freely ...
4
votes
2answers
130 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
83 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
3k 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.
4
votes
1answer
95 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
206 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
38 views

Why does our mouth “water”?

Whenever we see something delicious, rapid salivation starts in our mouth. Also, it doesn't happen for all other food, which we eat regularly. So, Is there any particular use of "rapid salivation"? ...
4
votes
1answer
110 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
562 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, ...