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NOVA scienceNow

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Food Is Fuel

In this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW, learn about the potential energy contained in food. Correspondent and technology columnist David Pogue explores how a rat is digested by a snake and how food fuels the body. Scientist Stephen Secor demonstrates how to measure the amount of energy stored in a food using a bomb calorimeter. Portions of a dehydrated cupcake and rat are burned in a special tank; the results show that the cupcake has twice as many calories as the same amount of rat.

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