Are you eating or drinking while surfing the ‘net? If so, you may want to stop, at least temporarily, while you read this.
Or not! People all over the world are ingesting food and drinks created from human or animal waste. Some might consider this the ultimate in being eco-friendly, re-using what otherwise certainly wouldn’t have a lot of other purposes. In some ways this is an ingenious puzzle, because there are many hungry people and food and beverages are expensive. If there are ways to feed people healthy and nutritious meals from these, er… leftovers… then it could be helpful.
Let’s face it, people are simply fascinated with what their bodies do anyway. So we’re not surprised you’re here checking this out. One of the bestselling picture books for generations has been Everybody Poops, and we can tell you already know what it’s about! You’ll see humorous scenes in movies that involve bodily functions, such as this bathroom scene from the first American Pie movie.
So get ready to expand your palate and learn about 10 foods and drinks made from poop and pee!
10. Your Favorite Burger Probably Has Poop
We know, we know, we know… when you start to learn exactly what is in a candy bar, hot dog or, yes, hamburger meat we all get a bit queasy. Candy bars actually do have a small percentage of insect legs in them, for example. But Eric Schlosser explained in the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, that there is poop in hamburger.
Consumer Reports has tested 300 packages of ground beef, purchased from over 100 different stores in more than 25 cities across the USA and they found that 100% of the meat they looked at had “fecal contamination.” Personally this is making us want to switch to hot dogs at the next BBQ but we’re wondering what Consumer Reports would find when they looked into that… then again, maybe we’re better off not knowing.
9. You’ll Actually Eat Baby Poo Sausages
What’s most alarming about these baby poo sausages, other than the simple fact that they exist, is the news that they are kind of delicious. Which grosses us out a bit more. Yes, it is sort of adorable that tiny, totally nuclear smelling baby poops are turned into small sausages. But actually putting them on the grill and then into your mouth?
The sausages were created in Spain by researchers who used three types of bacteria from the baby’s poop. Part of us wonders what they were talking about in the first place, to inspire looking at baby feces as a great source for the next yummy sausage to offer the planet. But that’s just us!
8. NASA is Really Into Making You Eat Poop
NASA received $1.6 million in grants in 2015, to work through 2018 on the space program. One of their grants is focused on repurposing astronaut feces into food.
Remember that NASA is not just looking at sending astronauts to the Moon now, but also longer missions, such as Mars. So, efficient food solutions are critical.
One thing to keep in mind here, especially if you are excited about becoming an astronaut, is that this turns astronaut poop into food – but says nothing about doing so individually. So think of this more as a “team effort” perhaps with meals served either individually or buffet style. But you’re going to be a lot closer to your fellow astronauts than you ever otherwise considered you would be!
7. USA Astronauts Drink Pee, but Russians Won’t
On the International Space Station, the USA astronauts drink pee and something called “condensate” which is actually the breath & sweat. While the Russian astronauts won’t touch it, the USA astronauts drink this and it’s collected from the entire crew on the International Space Station, including the 12 mice that are on board.
Layne Cartner, the water subsystem manager at the International Space Station states “It tastes like bottled water.” But Carter does admit that you do have to get past the thought that it is the pee and condensate that you are drinking.
6. We Know You’ve Eaten Mouse Poop, and So Does The FDA
Do keep in mind that food standards in the USA are excellent. But it might surprise you to know that the Food and Drug Administration actually has a document called a “Defect Levels Handbook” explains how much of what type of defect (like mouse poop, insect parts, mold, etc.) is permitted on what type of food product.
The FDA explains that it is “economically impractical” to grow, process and harvest raw food products that could be 100% free of these defects. Also that these defects in the amounts listed in the Handbook pose no true risk to your health.
So if you dare, take a look at the handbook to see what’s permitted in some of your favorite foods. Just don’t blame us if you suddenly start to lose weight!
5. In Korea You Can Get Drunk on “Feces Wine” Called Ttongsul
Ttongsul is a traditional Korean drink, made by Dr. Lee Chang Soo. This is an alcoholic wine made from feces. It is created with poop from a child that has been fermented, and Korean rice wine is also used. Ttongsul is actually also considered to be a form of medicine, not simply an alcoholic drink.
We’re not entirely sure how someone came to the conclusion that poop would make a great source for wine, and we don’t really want to know. Imagine looking at a child’s poop and thinking, “I’d really like to drink that.” Honestly, probably the less said about this, the better, come to think of it.
4. One of the World’s Most Expensive Coffees is Made From Animal Poop
Coffee lovers and people who seek out indulgences of many types actually are very fond of Kopi luwak, also known as civet coffee. This coffee has been made from coffee cherries that the civet cats have eaten and digested and then come out in their feces. As the coffee beans go through the civet cat, they are actually fermented. This Kopi luwak coffee is considered to be one of, if not the most expensive coffee in the world, at $700 per kilogram.
Kopi luwak is most often created on the islands of Bali, Sumata and Java, and the coffee cherries are found in the Philippines.
So, you might wonder: what does coffee taste after its been through a civet cat’s digestive tract? Critics agree to disagree, as some love it and others just love to trash this pricey coffee. One belief is that its fans like it because it is super rare and very expensive, so to have it shows you are one of the elite few who can afford it.
3. Elephants Never Forget to Have Coffee, and They Make It Too
Well, those civet cats had better watch their backs! Because coming up close behind in the poop coffee business are some ambitious northern Thailand elephants, creating Black Ivory coffee. This too is considered to be one of the world’s most pricest coffees to drink.
So what exactly does coffee taste like after it’s been through the stomach and intestines of a herd of 20 elephants? It’s rumored to have an “earthy flavor” (hey, no kidding!) but also to be nice and smooth.
We wonder what the people who have to pick this out of the elephant poop think about how the coffee tastes! But if you’re a coffee lover, this one is certainly worth having a cup to try it!
2. Thinking About Drinking Pee? Just Make It a Cocktail
A little cocktail to get the pee down, no kidding on that one, right? Well actually, an enterprising UK site that sells bathroom fixtures published a unique cocktail recipe book, with drinks you might want to try. What’s going to surprise you is they are all alcohol-free, as if this is a time when you really want to skimp on the booze. But we guess you have your choice between making yours alcohol-free or adding some alcohol. Hey, if you are drinking pee then we are beyond any sort of judgement for you.
So check out The Complete Urine Drinkers Cocktail Guide to learn what tasty cocktails you might want to consider the next time you’ve got to pee.
1. Pee Becomes Beer, Which Becomes Pee, Which Becomes Beer… You Get the Idea
Now, we’ve left the very best for last. Scientists in Belgium have created a solar energy machine that takes pee and actually turns it into beer, something we think is making a ton of people smile right now. We know you’re going to turn this back into pee, which, well then we guess you can turn into beer. One of the world’s biggest mysteries has actually been solved. If you start to pee beer, then do please give us a call!
The solar energy turns the pee into water, which is then brewed as beer. The scientists at Ghent University should be very, very pleased with themselves as we’re sure that people who usually don’t notice scientific developments are certainly paying close attention to this one. But seriously – this technology could be very helpful for a lot of things, especially in places that are rural or developing countries.
There’s only one question to be solved: which comes first, the pee or the beer? Do you start by drinking a beer (from a can or a bottle) and then pee and use the machine? Because something’s got to get this wonderful process going!