Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit....

Was it possible to get through childhood without hearing (and chanting) the ditty:

Beans, beans, the magical fruit
The more we eat, the more we toot.
The more we toot, the better we feel.
So we eat beans at every meal.
Perhaps this ditty holds a deeper truth.

Two autonomous nervous systems

It is commonly accepted that the human body houses two autonomous nervous systems.  There is the central nervous system that houses our self-awareness.  And there is our digestive system.

The two nervous systems communicate with each other but neither one bothers to inform our self-awareness of the fact. 

It reminds me of Jim Schleben, the best Area Manager I ever worked for.  Area Managers are like the barons of feudal times.  They bow to the king.  But in the absence of the king they are preeminent within their own domain.

Jim had friends in low places.

He drank coffee with off-shifters, loading dock guys, electricians and pipefitters with nicknames like "Griz" and "Tiny", production guys with nicknames like "Melon Head" and "Animal".  These were the guys tasked with running the bowels of the plant.  When managers focus on managing-by-objective, the first place problems will become apparent is where "nobody" is looking.  Nobody "important" on the org chart, that is.

Mr. Schleben graciously listened to those who worked in the bowels of his plant.  As a result, Mr Schleben was nearly omniscient.  Another benefit was that Mr. Schleben trained those guys to keep their eyes open for the first signs of impending chaos so they would have something to talk about over coffee.

Back to the human body

Much of the heavy lifting of the human digestive system is done by microbes.  "Us" is not just Homo sapiens cells.  The mutterings and rumblings of our digestive system are dominated by the chemicals generated by the biosphere within us.  Those chemicals trigger reactions that impact our moods and our energy levels.

It is entirely probable that the key to a smoothly running body is to eat sufficient fiber.  Fiber being defined as anything we put in our mouth that our digestive system cannot breakdown entirely on its own. 

We get more of what we subsidize 

It is not enough to eat kimchi and yogurt.  You can stock all of the Koala and Panda bears you want into Eaton County, Michigan but they will fail if there are no Eucalyptus trees and Bamboo for them to eat.

The bacteria in your gut wants cell walls and hemi-cellulose (fruits and vegetables), maltodextrin  (malt based beverages),  pectins and polysaccharides (fruits and beans).

So eat all of the cabbage and magical fruit you want.  Drink malt based beverages in moderation.  And toot to your hearts content.  Tooting is the music of a happy gut, the music of a happy person.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Yeah, but one has to 'selectively' eat beans... NOT before flying... Just sayin... :-)

    1. Is that because a "pressurized" cabin has the pressure equivalent of about 8000 feet? I can visualize a "happy" person fizzing like a warm bottle of soda pop. Not a pretty sight.

    2. It's not... Learned that lesson many years ago! It's even more 'fun' if you do it prior to a chamber check, when they take you to 40K for pressure breathing... THAT stunk! Literally...

    3. It's not... Learned that lesson many years ago! It's even more 'fun' if you do it prior to a chamber check, when they take you to 40K for pressure breathing... THAT stunk! Literally...

  3. The following comment was sent in by email from Lucky in Western Kentucky.

    "So many different versions of that ol' bean poem, sometimes the magical fruit, sometimes the musical fruit. 8>0

    Beans, beans, good for your heart...you know the rest.

    Don't know if you get The Scientist - in print, or online - but there have been some very good short articles over the last year, looking at normal microflora of the gut, eye, urogenital tract - and even the fetal/placental environment (It's NOT sterile!).

    Like this one...http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/40038/title/The-Maternal-Microbiome/

    I get an email update almost daily... check it out - might provide grist for a future blog post. Archived articles might yield a wealth of ideas...

    Got about 12-14 inches of light, fluffy snow Sat. night/Sunday...temp was 1F this morning - #2 son, who's a Fulbright Scholar, currently teaching English at a university in Rio de Janeiro, texted that it was 100F there today.

    Roads have been bad enough that the lab's been closed Mon/Tues, but we're gonna try to start things up again tomorrow - provided the snowfall predicted for tonight doesn't mess up the roads to badly.

    Haven't really had to bust ice yet for the critters to drink, but the subzero temps they're calling for over the next few nights may necessitate it. First spring calves are not due for 2 weeks - hope they wait til all this is over.