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Digestion

Worms are amazing eating machines. Specialist composting worms can eat almost their own body weight in rotting vegetables (such as your kitchen scraps) each day. For a human that would be the equivalent to an average person eating a farmer's sack of mouldy spuds every day - yum!

Worms can eat almost their own weight in vegetables...

Worms can eat almost their own weight in vegetables...



Eating

The nearest a worm has to a tongue is it's prostomium, which serves as a wedge to force open cracks in its rotting food. The worm crawls into these cracks with it's mouth wide open and like a vacuum cleaner, sucks the tasty morsel in.


Chewing

As worms don't have teeth they have to mash their food up as it goes down, to avoid indigestion. Just like chickens, worms store their food in their crop. The food then moves on to their gizzard where it is mashed up using grit the worms pick up along the way.


Digesting and pooing

Once the food morsel has been broken down into smaller particles by the gizzard it enters the intestines. Here digestive juices containing chemicals and enzymes get to work extracting the nutrients the worm uses for energy and growth. The juices also break down chemical compounds useful for plants to maintain healthy growth. These pass through the worm and are conveniently pooped out in an easy form for plants to use in the worm compost. In fact studies have shown that using worm compost instead of ordinary compost can result in 36% better crop yields in the first year.

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