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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 ecomist' 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 conisseurs, 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.
Mary Roach is the bestselling author of several popular science books. She has written for the Guardian, Wired, BBC Focus, GQ and Vogue and many other publications. She lives in California.