My Auxiliary Digestive System

I have a machine that chews and poops for me!

Shortly after my Crohn’s diagnosis, I bought a masticating juicer:

A masticating juicer, sometimes referred to as a slow or cold press juicer is simply a style of juicer that crushes juice out of ingredients at a slow speed. In typical masticating models, juice is extracted from foods through a strong augur/screw, which pushes ingredients at high pressure against a fine screen/sieve. This not only forces juice out of ingredients, but it is a very efficient method to ensure that all juice produced is kept separate to the remaining pulp. Link

After chewing my food, it poops out the insoluble fiber, something my own digestive tract is not capable of doing properly right now. The pulp comes out one chute; everything else (juice) comes out the other, falls into a pitcher, and gets poured down my own meat-based digestive system, where nutrients are absorbed and turned into more me without aggravating the lesions (trigger warning!) in my colon.

Better pooping through technology

After it has chewed, juiced, and pooped my food, I take the juicer apart and clean it. If I could do that to my own digestive tract, Crohn’s would be a lot easier to deal with. 

If only I could do this with my own large and small intestines.

At the bottom of the juicing chamber is a tiny port through which the fiber gets pushed as it’s separated from the liquid. Occasionally this gets clogged and the machine “backs up.” To get things moving again I merely open the pulp chute and poke at the clog with a special cleaning tool. So much easier to fix these things outside the body.

A meat-based system would require dangerous, specialized, and expensive surgery to remove an obstruction like this. My juicer requires only a plastic pick.

Hopefully my juicer will remain the only external digestive system I need. Because I really don’t want a colostomy bag.

Everything becomes compost eventually.

Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

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