Food Appropriation Warm Greetings, Over the last few weeks we have followed the fascinating journey of food down the digestive tract. Let's today devote to the subject of food appropriation. Their food-gathering equipment largely determines the diet of most animals. The long neck of the giraffe enables him to feed upon the foliage of trees. The teeth and claws of the lion are its means of killing and rending animals for its meals. The eagle's eyesight and power of flight make this creature a formidable predator of ground rodents. So, it is pertinent to ask, how are we physiologically equipped to obtain our food? We have no sharp claws for tearing, no pointed teeth for slashing, nor are our eyes or sense of smell very well developed for hunting. We cannot run fast enough to chase down our prey nor can we naturally swoop through the sky or dive deep into the ocean. We do have a marvellous set of fingers with an opposable thumb and limbs for reaching and climbing. Actually, our food-gathering capabilities are very similar to the chimpanzees. Only man can plant and harvest. He can peel oranges and bananas and pick berries and grapes. He can climb the trees for fruits and gather the vegetables from the ground. Of all the creatures on the earth, man is most ideal for being a gardener and caretaker of the plants & trees. Man's hands set him apart from the other animals in his food-gathering capabilities. Man appropriates his food by picking fruits from trees or by planting vegetables. It is the hands of man that are used to obtain his food, and the most natural things for such a being to eat are those foods that can be gathered and harvested- the fruits, vegetables and nuts of the earth. Man's teeth are not curved or shaped like those of the wolf or tiger, nor are they wide and flat like those of the grass-and-grain- eating animals. Instead, they are shaped most similar to the fruit-eating monkeys. The saliva in man's mouth has a different acidity entirely than that of the meat-eating animals; it is much less acidic. Nor is man's saliva as efficient in digesting starches as is the saliva of grain- and-tuber-eating animals. Man's mouth is actually best suited for eating succulent vegetables and fruits. If a dog swallows a bone and it proceeds to its stomach, it will be completely dissolved by the dog's strong gastric juices. Carnivores may safely gulp hunks of meat whole because of the high acidity of the juices in their stomachs. Humans have choked to death on similar chunks of meat. Unlike cattle, man's stomach cannot process large amounts of cellulose. He cannot regurgitate and re-chew his food, as does the cow. Nor can man's stomach digest a mixture of all different types of food. Each food requires it's own special set of digestive conditions in the stomach. The length of man's intestines is much longer than that of the carnivores. This is because the meat tends to putrefy rather quickly. Man's lengthy intestinal tract cannot handle low fibre foods such as meat quickly. Consequently, such foods decrease the motility of the intestines and fermentation results, along with eventual constipation. Cancer of the lower intestines occurs only among populations of meat-eaters. It is virtually unheard of when a diet high in natural fibre (fruit & vegetables) is adopted. From these observations, it is evident that the optimum diets for man are fresh fruits and vegetables. Strictly speaking, based upon man's digestive physiology, the following raw foodstuffs make up the optimum diet, listed in order of preference. Fresh fruits, succulent fruit-like vegetables, leafy greens and sprouts, non-starch vegetables, nuts & seeds. The following foods, while not optimum, can be handled by man's digestive physiology in small amounts, starchy vegetables, Grains and legumes. The next foods, while sometimes eaten on a vegetarian diet, are not well adapted to man's physiology and place an undue strain on the organism, free oils, dairy products. These foods are definitely disruptive of man's health and are not compatible with his physiology; meat, eggs, refined starches and sugars, salt, herbs, spices, all processed, preserved and artificial foods. Within this category, foods should be eaten in moderate amounts and in proper combinations in order to promote the highest level of health. And on that note we are ending the chapter on the digestive tract. Wishing you an enchanted week, See you same time, same place next week.