Mary Roach's Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mary Roach’s latest book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal investigates how digestion works, from start to finish. Roach writes about the scientists who tackle the complex bodily process that fuels us and keeps us alive. Gulp is the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club’s April selection, so pick up a copy and start reading today! Mary Roach will be here April 17 to talk about the amazing, sometimes stomach-turning facts she learned about our digestive tract.

Leave your questions for the author below!

Watch this video of Mary Roach talking about writers she loves and what subjects she's compelled to write about.


Mary Roach

Comments [15]

…love Mary Roach!!

Apr. 17 2014 12:36 PM


Apr. 17 2014 12:31 PM
Larry Ubell from Rye

I understand that the color of fecal matter is brown because of blood. Is that true and and how does the blood get there?

Apr. 17 2014 12:29 PM
Amy from Brooklyn

I am curious to know if Mary Roach's research on this topic has had any impact on her personal eating/digestive habits.

Apr. 17 2014 12:26 PM

Great conversation to have during the lunch hour.

Apr. 17 2014 12:26 PM
Pascale from Atlanta

My third baby has never regurgitated. Not one single time. How is it even possible?

Apr. 17 2014 12:23 PM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

To Boil Pig’s Pettitoes*

Boil the heart, liver, and lights* of one or more pigs ten minutes, and then shred them pretty small. Let the feet boil until they are pretty tender, and take them out and split them. Thicken your gravy with flour and butter, put in your mincemeat, a slice of lemon, a spoonful of white wine, a little salt, and let them boil a little. Beat the yolk of an egg, add to it two spoonfuls of good cream, and a little grated nutmeg. Put in your pettitoes, shake them over the fire, but do not let them boil. Lay sippets* round your dish, pour in your mincemeat, lay the feet over them, the skin side upwards, and serve them up.
— The Accomplished Housekeeper and Universal Cook by T. Williams and the principal cooks at the London and Crown and Anchor Taverns, 1797.

* Pettitoes — pig’s feet, lights — lungs, sippets — small pieces of bread fried with herbs and butter. The London Tavern and the Crown and Anchor Tavern are still there.

Apr. 17 2014 12:17 PM

please address the meat eating vs vegetarian debate. vegetarians always try and say we aren't meant to eat meat, which I personally feel is ridiculous.

Apr. 17 2014 12:16 PM
Jonathan Karmel from Albany, NY

What am I, chopped liver?

Apr. 17 2014 12:15 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I wouldn't have any problem drinking my own saliva! It's the same stuff I'd swallow anyway if it weren't collected. (Did Ms. Roach drink hers?)

Apr. 17 2014 12:15 PM
susy from Brooklyn

A few months ago, you had this author on, talking about this book. Several NPR shows featured her, and Gulp. I'm sure the book is interesting, but it's getting kind of repetitive hearing the same content over and over.

Apr. 17 2014 12:12 PM
Steve from New York Citu

Mary's friend Steve Mirsky here, from Scientific American. Please discuss the fistulated cow!

Apr. 17 2014 12:10 PM
George from Bay Ridge

How does Mary Roach come up with topics to write about? And what ever happened to the man who smuggled office supplies?

Apr. 17 2014 10:47 AM

In her chapter "Liver and Opinions" Mary Roach advocates the consumption of "variety meats" for their great nutrition value. While I have always appreciated that, I have consciously limited them from my diet, because of prion diseases. Did the author encounter any opinions on the safety of eating organs, while researching the topic?

Apr. 16 2014 10:21 PM

I read STIFF a few months ago. Disgusting, but funny. I expect this book will be much the same.

Apr. 01 2014 12:08 PM

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