Japanese Make “Delicious”, Nourishing Steaks From Human Feces
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 “exploder”.
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 animal-derived meat.