447 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Originally published: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
The ever-curious and always bestselling Mary Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour of our insides. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions inspired by our insides are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find names for flavors and smells? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks -- or at least has the courage -- to ask. And we go on location to a pet food taste-test lab, a bacteria transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
Nose job : tasting has little to do with the tongue -- I'll have the putrescine : your pet is not like you -- Liver and opinions : why we eat what we eat and despise the rest -- The longest meal : can thorough chewing lower the national debt? -- Hard to stomach : the acid relationship of William Beaumont and Alexis St. Martin -- Spit gets a polish : someone ought to bottle the stuff -- A bolus of cherries : life at the oral processing lab -- Big gulp : how to survive being swallowed alive -- Dinner's revenge : can the eaten eat back? -- Stuffed : the science of eating yourself to death -- Up theirs : the alimentary canal as criminal accomplice -- Inflammable you : fun with hydrogen and methane -- Dead man's bloat : and other diverting tales from the history of flatulence research -- Smelling a rat : does noxious flatus do more than clear a room? -- Eating backward : is the digestive tract a two-way street? -- I'm all stopped up : Elvis Presley's megacolon, and other ruminations on death by constipation -- The ick factor : we can cure you, but there's just one thing.