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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach


About the book

Published by Oneworld

Eating is the most pleasurable, gross, necessary, unspeakable biological process we undertake. But very few of us realise what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal let alone have pondered the results (of the research). How have physicists made crisps crispier? What do laundry detergent and saliva have in common? Was self-styled nutritional economist Horace Fletcher right to persuade millions of people that chewing a bite of shallot seven hundred times would yield double the vitamins? 

In her trademark, laugh-out-loud style, Mary Roach breaks bread with spit connoisseurs, beer and pet-food tasters, stomach slugs, potato crisp engineers, enema exorcists, rectum-examining prison guards, competitive hot dog eaters, Elvis' doctor, and many more as she investigates the beginning, and the end, of our food.

Read the first chapter (PDF)

About the author

Mary Roach is the bestselling author of several popular science books. She has written for the GuardianWiredBBC FocusGQ and Vogue and many other publications. She lives in California.

The judges said:

Roach is such an entertaining writer who uses humour and wit to make the mundane intriguing and the unmentionable acceptable. She ventures where few would go, for example, Elvis Presley’s poop!