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The Journey of a Ham and Cheese Sandwich

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Hi, I am a Cheese and Ham sandwich. I have just been made and I am crispy and hot, I am siting on a plate, I am not sure what I am meant to do but it looks like the human does. Before I can even think about it I have been grabbed and heading towards the humans mouth. “Oh no I am getting eaten”. Digestion has began, I am now getting chewed and mushed by big white teeth, I am also getting covered in Silvia it’s clear and very gooey the enzymes are attacking breaking down starches, the big red tongue is rolling me around getting me ready to be swallowed, this is called physical digestion.

Now I am in tiny pieces and falling down the oesophagus, it is very muscly and it pushes me down by contracting behind me and the muscles relax at the front. This process is called peristalsis. When food or liquids are swallowed a flap called the epiglottis flops down over the windpipe to make sure the food enters down the right way. Suddenly without warning I am getting coughed up, this is clearing the windpipe. This happened because the epiglottis didn’t have enough time to flop down.

After I have recovered I am pushed down to the stomach, the stomach is a very cool place, it stores food for 1-6 hours but during this time it churns the food into a chyme, partially digests protein and absorbs water, the stomached is lined with a layer of mucus which prevents the digestive juices from damaging the walls of the stomach, the juices also contain hydrochloric acid which kills bacteria and microorganisms. I can also see something else! The liver is the body’s largest gland, It sits to the right of the stomach where it not only detoxifies the blood, but also aids in digestion by creating bile, which helps break down fats. Bile’s salts break up fat into smaller pieces so it can be absorbed more easily in the small intestine. Enzymes are everywhere there speeding up chemical reactions and breaking down large molecules.

I have reached the small intestine, the small intestine is a long narrow tube that is 6 metres long! By this stage I have become tiny particles that is being absorbed by blood. The inner lining of the small intestine is covered by tiny cactus like projection called villi, it increases the surface area to allow more nutrients to be absorbed by the walls of the intestines so they can enter the blood and be transported around the body, did you know that the small intestine has three parts, The duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum, Each of them has a special role.

They are lined with different linings so they can absorb different nutrients. The first part is the duodenum which has two tubes entering from the pancreas and liver, which secrete chemicals important for digestion. The second part is the jejunum, it is the middle part it’s job is to absorb nutrients like proteins, fats and cholesterol. The third part is the ileum, it’s job is also to absorb nutrients but it also connects rectum which is the end of the small intestine. Some of me is sent to the large intestine for water to be drained.

This has been a long journey but it seems like it’s coming to an end. I have travelled down into the rectum. Where I am stored temporarily. I am now in many parts and look nothing like a cheese and ham sandwich, the human has now gone to the toilet and I am exiting the anus and flushed down the toilet.

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