Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Soylent Green turns out to be... human excrement

University of Sheffield news:

The future of farming: GM crops on organic farms fertilised by human excrement

Further analysis by scientists at the University of Sheffield found that the UK’s available soil has just 100 seasons of nutrients left in it. Professor Tony Ryan has been looking at the possibility of using human excrement as a fertiliser, he said: “Phosphorous and nitrogen are limiting nutrients both of which are found in human waste which the scientists believe could be used more efficiently. People produce 1.5 tonnes of faeces and urine each year (400 kg of solid and 1100 litres of liquid); this could provide 20 kg of elemental PNK fertiliser and grow 200 kg of cereal. A human resource we cannot afford to waste anymore."
I must admit I thought this had been abandoned, not because it's icky, but because of the accumulation of heavy metals in human excrement? Maybe they've figured out how to separate the lead and mercury (and sell it separately)?

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