We have made it to the last part of our twenty-foot trip through you! We started in your mouth, then worked our way down, like a rat through a snake. We broke down food in your stomach and then pushed it through the long, twisty pipe until we reached (drum roll please) your large intestine! What's that smell, you ask? About that . . .
You know what your food looks like by now. It's not very nice. Feces
or poop is the name for what is left over from your digested food. It does not smell very good because it's made of all the parts of your food that your body can no longer use. Your nose is saying "Get it away!" Your body already took everything you needed out of it. It can still be used for some things though. Your poop can still be used to grow plants! But you should not put it in your garden.
If we took all the good stuff out of your food, what is left to do? We should just flush it right now, right? Not so fast! There is a lot of water in food, like in apples or rice. Your large intestine
is the last organ in your digestive system and it pulls out the water as well as a lot of the vitamins from your food. It does this by squeezing your feces with its walls and then pulling out the water. Your large intestine is about five feet long and three or four inches wide. It's kind of shaped like the letter "U." It wraps up and around your small intestine and then ends at . . . well, your end. It's a lot wider than your small intestine, which is about the same size around as a garden hose. If your stomach was a washing machine, then we can say your large intestine is the dryer.
If you need to go, don't look for one of these.
Now we have reached the last stop on our journey through you. The rectum
is the storage space for your feces. It's the part of you that tells you it's time to go to the bathroom once it gets full. The longer your old food sits inside here, the more water will come out and the drier and drier the old food in there will become. The drier it becomes, the harder it becomes to push it out. In other words, if you feel the need to go, then please, find a bathroom and go!
This is what you're looking for.
When it first enters your large intestine, food is still like water because it has been broken down so much. As it moves through you, it becomes dried out because you are soaking up its water. By the time it comes to your end, your food is harder. Now it can leave. Your anus
is the hole and muscle that lets your food out of you. There. It's time to flush.
Always remember to wash your hands.
Goodbye, food. It's been a short, but long journey.
Kids Health. "Your Digestive System: That's One Large Intestine." Kids Health, 2011. <http://kidshealth.org/kid/cancer_center/HTBW/digestive_system.html#a_That_s_One_Large_Intestine>
Discovery Kids. "Your Digestive System." Discovery Communications, 2012. <http://discoverykids.com/articles/your-digestive-system/>