has come up with all sorts of ideas for new meat sources from cloned animals to chowing down
on insects, but this idea may be the most outlandish yet.
The Tokyo Sewage service in Japan serves over 13 million people over
approximately a 2,200 square kilometer area. It approached Mitsuyuki
Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, with an unusual problem -- it
had too much "sewer mud" (also known as human excrement).
It turns out human excrement is a breeding ground for scores of bacteria.
So Mr. Ikeda cooked up an unusual solution -- make
food [video] out of the feces.
The first step is to cook the bacteria, killing them, and to extract their
proteins via separation techniques according
to Yahoo News. Soy protein
is added to enhance the flavor. The meat mixture travels to a
"reaction enhancer" (likely a chemical reactor of some sort) where it
turns into a textured "meat" and is then extrude through an
The delicious "steak" is even finished with red food color to give it
a comforting hue. Mr. Ikeda claims that in initial testing people found
the feces steak to taste somewhat like beef.
Mr. Ikeda is afraid the main obstacle to deploying excrement meat to the masses
is the "psychological barrier." He states, "I admit that
few people would be keen to eat it knowing its made of human excrement."
Indeed, the concept of "fake" meat alone is hard for some to swallow.
Taco Bell was recently sued when diners discovered that its beef mixed "fake meat" filers with real meat.
How much would the "meat" cost? Mr. Ikeda comments, "As
far as the cost is concerned, because at the moment it includes the cost of
research our artificial meat is 10 to 20 times more expensive than normal meat.
But once the research is complete and it's put on the market, we'll
probably be able to price it at roughly the same level as normal meat."
The new "meat" is also healthier than traditional meat as it’s an
ideal mix of 63% proteins, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and 9% minerals.
The small fat content, in particular makes the feces steaks healthier
than their animal counterpart.
The new meat would also cut down on the greenhouse
gas emissions, which traditional livestock produce. In that regard it
could even earn
"carbon credits" helping its price to be cheaper than
The idea may sound crazy, but consider that Japan is no stranger to fine meat
products. Its Kobe region beef is renowned by connoisseurs worldwide
for it's delicious flavor.
And as the band Pink Floyd famously sang, "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?!"