The Story of Digestion: A Hamburger

The Story of Digestion: A Hamburger by canadiana24

"Hammy, where are you?" my mom called in a low, peculiar voice. I wanted to reply, but nothing would come out of my mouth. What's happening to me? Am I in the twilight zone? Am I going to be eaten by those evil humans?

Suddenly, I saw a tiny girl above me, lively and excited. She held me in her hands and took a bite.

"Nooooooooo!" I screamed. But it was too late. A piece of the bun, the meat had disappeared.

"Ewwww...what is this place?" I quickly remembered the lessons taught to me by my biology teacher, Mr. Checkers. "After food enters the human, it goes into their mouth. Ouch, ouch, ouch! She's chewing on me! Hey, young lady, cut it out! Wait a second. If I'm in her mouth, that means I am in her saliva!! How gross..a secretion from the salivary glands, and some of that slippery mucous, too! Yuck!!! Oh, no! I see a cloud of mucous coming onto me. Oh no, that slippery fluid people call mucous is heading my way. Well, it helps to lubricate and moisten me before the girl swallows. Better move to the pharynx!

Ah, ha! The muscles here in the pharynx are starting to contract. That's a good thing because it causes the epiglottis, to close the windpipe. I can see that flap piece of tissue close now. It'll benefit me because this process prevents me from entering the human's lungs, which can cause choking! I wouldn't want that happen! It would be a very bad experience, and it might be fatal. Oh, look! I see the esophagus up ahead. Captain, turn twenty degrees east, then move north. We're taking another adventure.

So, I see that peristalsis has begun behind small a piece of the bun, and the meat. That's good since the smooth muscles will contract and my meat and bun will be squeezed through the digestive tract. Yes, I know that it isn't fun to be squeezed into something, but this is how a human's digestive system works. The good thing about me is that the different parts of me are pretty soft so I don't need peristalsis to occur. It moves down the esophagus flawlessly. You don't get it do you? I tricked you! Peristalsis didn't really happen because I'm soft all over. Ha, ha. Okay, let's get back to being serious. Mighty captain, I command you to turn south immediately towards the stomach.

Oh, no! That wasn't such a good move. I'm being digested into particles..it's like I'm being buried alive! I'm being turned into that semisolid liquid called chyme, and I look absolutely repulsive! Is that really me?? Is it at all possible?

I look like when a person..throws up. I think I'm going to be sick myself. Wait! I see something. It's that thing that neutralizes acids. What's that called again? Oh yeah, gastric juice. Gastric juice?! Oh, no, I better run away quickly! There's hydrochloric acid in it and it hurts. Darn, I didn't make it. Ouch, ouch, I said ouch. Sheesh, do you have to hurt my bun and meat that way? That really stung. It really did. Oh, well. It kills the unwanted bacteria in me. There you go, bacteria. Now you know how it feels like to be fed to.

Now, those enzymes are breaking down the protein molecules from my meat. I'm being torn apart..doesn't anybody out there care? Hello?! *Anybody* out there? It's that darn pepsin again, changing my wonderful protein into peptones, those 50 amino acid chains. Oh, and now I see the lipases. They're going to take a part of me as well. They break down, or hydrolysize the fatty acids from the bun and meat. I guess mucous isn't such a bad thing after a! ll, since they will protect the girl's stomach cells. I hope the mucous lining doesn't wear thin, or the nasty gastric juice just might attach the stomach cells, which leads to an ulcer. Yikes!!

Wow, that was one long adventure in the stomach PHEW!! I'm panting and sweating..anyway, we're here reporting live in the small intestine where most of the chemical digestion in human vertebrates are known to occur. Wait, something has happened! I have entered the duodenum. Oh great, here we go again. I am chemically digested. Ewww..what's that stuff? Oh, I know! It's the bile salts. And there's the pancreatic juice. I think I'm going to be sick...

Now, I'm going through the jejunum. Oh goody, the fats, carbohydrates, water, and protein are being absorbed from my precious meat and beloved bun. I'm being sarcastic, just to inform you. Look, there are more enzymes that the small intestine has secreted. They're digesting me again....

Okay, I'm going through a lot here, hamburgers. How much am I getting paid to do this, again? I'm standing here live in the pancreas of a young girl who took a bite of me, and am currently in the process of digestion. I see that darn pancreatic lipase..no, please, no..it's going to break me up into fatty acids. I don't want to be broken up, can't you understand that??

Just..let..me..catch..my...breath.... I am reporting live from the liver of a little girl. I can see the glucose molecules converting into glycogen which are now commencing the process of storing my fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from the meat, starch from the bun. No, the worst is yet to come. I see it now..it's the bile, an emulsifier. It will break up my fats into very small droplets, but it increases the surface area of the fats at the same time. Pray for me, hamburgers. This might be my last minute as a freshly cooked hamburger.

Here, in the gall bladder, stores my worst enemy, the bile. I'm just under the liver, and cannot wait to get to the large intestine. So, I'll go there right now!

We have travelled a long way, but we are finally at the large intestine, also known as the colon. Here, the water from my bun and meat is being reabsorbed, which concentrates wastes. Humans don't particularly like talking about this section of the digestive system because it is where feces are kept temporarily. The good thing about the large intestine, folks, is that it produces vitamins which become absorbed. The bad thing about this structure is that viral or bacterial infections can occur, and irritate the colon. As a result, us hamburgers, and other foods, can cause a decrease in water reabsorption (resulting in diarrhea). Another problem that all hamburgers should be aware of. When too much water is reabsorbed, constipation, feces becoming compacted and slow movers, results. It's really the human's fault because it might be a lack of plant fibre and/or exercise. So exercise and eat fibre, everyone!

FINALLY, we are in the last stage of the rectum. I hope I'm getting paid a lot for this. There must be some sort of compensation deal here...oops, sorry, we're on the air!

We are live in the rectum, where the feces is stored until it is eliminated by defecation through the anus. This will occur when the sphincter muscles contract.

Well, folks, now you know what hamburgers must go through while being eaten by those pesky humans. Watch out!"

I woke up, panting and sweating with perspiration. Whoa! That was a weird set of dreams. First, I was a sailor on a ship, then I was a news anchor, and was being eaten by a girl. I hope that never happens to me! Hmmm..maybe we hamburgers must come up with a plan to eliminate the human race. Could it be possible?

"Hammy! Are you up yet?" my mom asked from downstairs.

"Yes, mother. I have an idea." I smiled wickedly as I trotted down the flight of fries.

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canadiana24 is 16 and can be e-mailed at girlsingear@yahoo.com .

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This was for a biology assignment. Learn about digestion. :) Biology rules!! =)

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