I’m grateful for peristalsis, the process of wave-like muscle contractions that moves food through the digestive tract. It moves food through the esophagus into the stomach, and from the stomach into the small and then large intestine, and eventually moves waste out. I’m grateful for this involuntary bodily function, as I am for others such as breathing, and my heart beating. Peristalsis also occurs in a few other systems within the human body, and the same process enables earthworms, caterpillars, and millipedes to move. I’m glad for them, but I’m really grateful for peristalsis within this human body. Without it, eating would be a real drag.

My peristalsis has been working hard today. Another recipe I’ve been hankering to try is this Grilled Corn Salad with Hot Honey-Lime dressing. I made it for lunch. Without a grill, I broiled the corn. I cut back on the heat a little by using Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming spice blend instead of a chopped Serrano, but I had the rest of the ingredients. It was delicious! I’m grateful every day for whatever food I manage to feed myself, whether it’s a healthful salad, or some illusory-healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, or both.

That I have food at all! That it’s delicious! and that the peristalsis in my body functions well! … I might once have taken any of these things for granted, but with the realization that many people lack one or more of these conditions, I am conscious of them, and profoundly grateful. Billions of people on the planet don’t have enough to eat. And thousands have all the food they could want, but disease prevents their bodies from processing any of it. I’m grateful for peristalsis.

2 thoughts on “Peristalsis

  1. Hurray for peristalsis! Have you read Mary Roach’s _Gut_? Like all of Roach’s books (_Bonk_, _Grunt_, _Stiff_, etc.), it’s a fascinating, informative, and hilarious piece of science writing—-in this case about the human digestive tract.

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