Twelve Times a Day

In the average day a person breaths 20,000 times, beats their heart 90,000 times, blinks 15,000 times, and speaks 16,000 words. Some say that women use twice as many words as men and it’s because men need to be told everything twice. I don’t know, but I do know that the average person passes gas, flatus, only twelve times a day. Of the topics above, guess which one people ask me about more often? Hint; it’s not the heart.

Do you ever wonder what is coming out of you? Of course you don’t! You spend your time wondering about the meaning of life and the nature of the universe. Well, the nature of the universe and flatulence have a lot in common. They are both mostly gaseous. The gas within us is not air, but methane. Some people actually do swallow enough air to pass through, but most of the gas is the work of bacteria in our large intestine. In every gram of stool there are about ten to the eleventh power of bacteria. If you remember your math, then that’s about a hundred billion bacteria. So there about fifteen times as many bacteria in a gram of stool as there are people on the entire earth, and none of them have health insurance either. All of those bacteria are busy. They eat whatever you cannot absorb from your colon and make methane. Methane is the main component of the Natural Gas we use for heating, cooking, etc. It turns out that you make our own personal natural gas …uh, naturally. Conceivably, then, one could run a small appliance with a tube running from yourself to your stove. Although esthetically this would be difficult, it could work. However, there are all kinds of other problems with this idea including the very dangerous back flash, mobility (you would need a long tube), the risk of tripping and falling over the tube, but the biggest problem would be inadequate production. It takes as lot of gas to supply even one burner. You could remedy this by having multiple family members hooked at once, but just imagine the scene. Or you could eat highly indigestible foods, which brings me to the real point, as if this article had one. The point is that by applying the above argument in reverse, one can reduce gas by eliminating gas-producing foods. Gaseous foods are ones that contain a certain kind of starch called an “oligosaccharide.” Some oligosaccharides are indigestible by people. Most of us lack the proper enzyme for this starch.

You know these foods. They are beans, cabbage, soybeans, peas, onions and others. What you may not know is that while oligosaccharides provide the volume, sulfur is responsible for the character. The infamous SBD could not exist if it were not for sulfur. No one intentionally eats sulfur, although you could probably Google “sulfur eaters” and find some kind of a club or society. Whether or not you are a member of such a rarified society, there are foods that contain large amounts of sulfur in the form of “sulfides” and “mercaptans.” Eggs, meat, cauliflower, and cabbage are examples. Cabbage, it turns out, is perfect for weaponization because it contains both oligosaccharides and sulfur together, that is both volume and character. Cabbage, I would guess, is probably the national flower of the Sulfur Eater’s Society.

Flatus is defined as “liable to, or prolific in, windy blasts.” Is this you? You may want to try the “diet elimination trial.” It’s simple. Pick a food, eliminate from your diet for two weeks, note the difference, and then eat that food in a large quantity, preferably in some far away land. Then watch what happens. You may find the culprit food. You may detonate.