Why we eat so Much
The cells of the body are constantly, day by day, minute by minute, breaking down and needing repair, are constantly requiring replacement by new cells, and, in the case of the child, are continually increasing in number. The repair of an ordinary machine, an engine, for example, is made at the expense of money, but the repair and replacement of our human cell machinery are accomplished at the expense of food. More than one third of all the food we eat goes to maintain the body cells, and to keep them in good order. It is for this reason that we consume a large quantity of food. If all the food we eat were utilized for energy, the housewife could cook less, and the housefather could save money on grocer's and butcher's bills. If you put a ton of coal in an engine, its available energy is used to run the engine, but if the engine were like the human body, one third of the ton would be used up by the engine in keeping walls, shafts, wheels, belts, etc., in order, and only two thirds would go towards running the engine. When an engine is not working, fuel is not consumed, but the body requires food for mere existence, regardless of whether it does active work or not. When we work, the cells break down more quickly, and the repair is greater than when we are at rest, and hence there is need of a larger amount of food; but whether we work or not, food is necessary.