Malawi, let them fart! The science of farting

Malawi is once again making international headlines, but this time not for convicting a gay couple, or allowing Madonna to adopt another child but for considering in parliament a law to ban “fouling of the air”. The Justice Minister George Chaponda and Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga got in a wrangle about the Minister’s misinterpretation of the clause in the Local Courts Bill

“Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanor”

This clause is meant to refer to pollution and not breaking wind…but Chaponda’s statement caught the attention of major media houses and celebrities like Whoopie Goldberg. He obviously does not know what “vitiates” means and is diverting attention away from more pressing matters like the fuel crisis in Malawi, Malawi’s failure to access funds for the Global AIDS fund, or withdrawal of funds by Germany and the US. But he should be schooled on why people should fart and do fart..Dr. Chaponda..just for you…the Science of farting.

What is a fart?
Farting, breaking wind, or more medically – flatulence is the release of intestinal gas through your bum. The gas can come from a variety of sources – air we swallow, gas from chemical reactions in our gut, gas that enters our intestines from our blood, or gas produced by bacteria that live in our gut. It is normal for bacteria to live in your gut. Good gut bacteria help your body digests certain foods and also protect you from disease.

What is fart gas made of?
It varies on what you ate, how much air you swallowed and the gut bacteria inside you. Common gases are nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen. Methane is the culprit in fart lighting.

Why do farts smell?
Farts don’t always smell but when they do its because of sulfur. Eating foods that contain a lot of sulphur – eggs, cauliflower, meat are the best for stinky farts. Beans on the other hand will make you fart a lot but not stinky farts. Beans have a sugar that we can not digest in our stomach, so once the beans arrive in the intestine, the bacteria feast on the sugars releasing a lot of gas.

Silent but deadly or as loud as a thunderstorm
How noisy or quiet your fart is depends on the speed at which the air leaves your bum and how tight the muscles in your bum are. If you clench you bums – your farts can come out as silent as a puff! In a busy room…no one will know it was you…very crafty!

Farting is good! Better in than out..
Its embarrassing to fart in public but farting is a perfectly natural body process and even necessary. On average, a person produces about half a litre of fart gas per day, distributed over an average of about fourteen daily farts. It is better to get rid of those gases than clenching your bum to keep them in.

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5 thoughts on “Malawi, let them fart! The science of farting

    • rily 24 times a day….apparently we also fart when we sleep and we release gas sometimes without even knowing…how much do you think human farts add to climate change?

  1. We knew there was something that didnt smell quite right about this ‘fart law’ issue when it blew up all over the world 🙂

    Miss M as usual, you wrote up a snappy and informative blog post. Cheers

  2. i like this blog,sometimes a fart is unexpectedly released when you’re laughing or getting up on a couch,geez it gets so embarrassing!

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