The fart is under-rated. It is also elicits moments of mock horror when noticed via sound or smell. But the fart is good and yes, I will say it, the fart is satisfying.
Did you know you fart 10-20 times a day? That is a dozen or more little moments of joy nobody should be embarrassed about. Joy indeed.
Let us allow Purna Kashyap — a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, who studies the gut microbiome, breakdown these little joyous moments.
“There are a lot of carbohydrates that we consume — mainly present in vegetables, grains, and fruits — that our bodies don’t have the enzymes necessary to digest,” he says. “These end up in the large intestine, where microbes chew them apart and use them for energy, through the process of fermentation. As a byproduct, they produce gas.”
99% of the farts you produce do not smell, which begs you to ask the question about the other 1%. You know, those one percenters who think they are better than everyone else. Yup, in the fart world, one percenters stink. I think I see a parallel…
So what causes the stank in a tiny fraction of your toots? Beans, onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and dairy can cause some unpleasant odors due to the sulfur they contain. However, most of the gas produced by our large intestine is hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. These gasses are odorless, so the funky miasma that escapes our booties from time to time is not as common as one may think.
Farting means you are healthy! Indeed, farting is the result of a healthy, complex ecosystem in your intestines. Let’s check back in with Purna Kashyap:
“It’s a complex ecology, with various organisms coexisting and thriving. When a complex carbohydrate reaches your colon, some bacteria will break it down first, and then some of their byproducts will feed other bacteria. The whole community benefits from a single carbohydrate that you consume.”
I submit to you the fart is the single most consistently satisfying bodily function; surpassing a poop, a piss and a burp. I admit, in my younger years, taking a dump probably trumped all. However, as I have reached and passed my forties, sitting on the can becomes more and more like work with each passing day. And let’s face it, some sessions can be downright disappointing with respect to how much work is put in. The piss that elicits the heavy sigh of relief is rare and random and is often as much of a “thank god” moment as it is satisfying. The burp was never really in the running. It’s great for showing off in your teens and even twenties, but the satisfaction comes more from others’ reactions than from a physical standpoint.
That leaves the fart, a moment of pressurized vapor that quickly disappears into the ether and leaves you quite content. The fart has been there since day one, bringing a small level of joy (but joy nonetheless) with each release.
Respect the fart!
Thanks to Joseph Stromberg and Vox for some of the information in this article.