The Turd Burger?

Japanese scientists supposedly make steak out of human excrement

Whether you call it recycled meat, a poop patty or a stink steak, news that Japanese scientists are making faux-meat from human feces is causing something of a sh!tstorm.

If you can get past the gross-out factor, it’s all pretty fascinating. According to the plot line, “facing an abundance of sewage mud”, Tokyo Sewage reportedly approached researcher Mitsuyuki Ikeda, of the Okayama Laboratory to come up with some sort of use for it. What he discovered: The muck contains a surprising amount of protein.

And who needs protein? Well, we do. So by extracting the protein and doing a bit of scientific whizbangery, the result was a sort of “meat” that’s 63% protein and 25% carbohydrates. Adding colors and flavoring, those brave enough to eat it supposedly say it tastes a lot like beef. How’d you like to be the guy who had to do the first taste test? Eccchhhh.

Whether or not most folks will be able to overcome the psychological barrier is yet to be seen. On the plus side, the researchers say the meat is low in fat, reduces carbon emissions and “completes the food chain”.

What’s weird is that there’s no discussion of how the fecal matter and bacteria turn from ecoli-inducing, cholera-infecting sludge to a hamburger patty. Also setting off my bullsh!t-detector is  that part of the scientific process is described as combining the protein “with a reaction enhancer and put it in an exploder”. An exploder? Is that really a thing?

The turd burger story smells a little funny, quite frankly, and BiteClub wouldn’t be surprised if the news turns out to be a hoax, despite a  narrated video (notice the refrigerator labeled “Sh!t burger”) and international reportage (which doesn’t mean sh!t, usually).

What’s your take? Pure crap or a clever way to reduce, reuse and recycle?

– Thanks to BiteClubber Christopher Hanson for this little tidbit of sunlight.