environment

Can pee help feed the world?

16 Comments
By Laure FILLON

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


16 Comments
Login to comment

"Can pee help feed the world?"

An issue which could arise in America are the many medications which are also excreted in urine in the most heavily medicated country in the world. Whether these would be broken down in the agricultural process or taken up by crops will have to be determined. The nitrogen in urine occurs mainly as urea and the University of Minnesota Extension advises: "The agricultural industry widely uses urea, a white crystalline solid containing 46 percent nitrogen as an animal feed additive and fertilizer." But poop has been 'feeding the world' for many generations without issue so, by all means, piss on it and watch it bloom...and maybe that answers one of the questions of why dogs (see: wolves) like to pee on trees, a behavior from when wolves and forests were just common partners (like squirrels and oak trees) in a balanced, interdependent ecosystem.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Newly built urine sewage and collection systems everywhere and eating phosphorus enriched foods? Visit your psychiatrist for god’s sake, and better do that very quickly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There are more efficient ways to recover phosphorous and nitrogen from human generated wastes and on a larger scale.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is just an attempt to keep industrial farming practices going. Regenerative agriculture uses animals to do the same but it's easier to manage at a small scale so is overlooked https://www.renature.co/what-is-regenerative-agriculture/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I always pee on my compost heap (when no-one is watching, of course).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The cost to re-develop the sewage networks will be prohibitive and then there is a carbon foot print to anything related to construction. It maybe easier and more acceptable to #treatnreuse the waste water. It will still maintain a lot of the nutrients that are needed by the plants. There are a lot of correlations between climate, GHG, water and food. Not really sensible to solve one problem to create 2 more.....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But are people ready to go to the next level and eat urine-fertilized foods?

The veggies I grow are fertilised using mainly pooh - chicken pooh, cow pooh, bat pooh. Also water and gunk from the fish tank filter, which is basically diluted fish wee and fish pooh.

The stuff goes in the soil, it isn’t as if the food is being washed in wee before consumption.

If it helps even a teeny bit to reduce pollution, I say go for it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@cleo:

Bat poo? Are you sure that’s such a good idea? There are some diseases and other nasties transmitted to humans via bat poo, such as histoplasmosis and lyssavirus. If you haven’t done so already, I’d check out what the situation is in your part of the world if I were you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 I’d check out what the situation is in your part of the world if I were you.

lol Thanks for your concern, but my part of the world is here in good old Nippon. The bat pooh (aka fossilised bat guano) comes properly processed and packed, and is available at all good garden centres. It's a good price, but it works a treat, especially on fruiting plants like tomatoes, strawberries and peppers. Contains lots of potassium.

Don't worry, I'm not scraping up droppings from flying midnight visitors to spread around the allotment!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@cleo:

OK then! Here in my part of Australia bats are common, and there have been cases of illness in people whose gardens are right next to huge bat colonies, with all the attendant bat colony night-time gifts to their gardens. That’s what I imagined when I read your first post. But if you’re actually not a bat poop collector yourself, then eat up those veggies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In ye olde Japan, farmers would build urinals along major roads like the Tokaido and pilgrimmage routes to collect free pee for the fields. One of the houses at the Hida no Sato museum in Takayama has a urinal right next to the front door for the same purpose.

For us modern folks, the main problem would be other people catching us peeing on the plants. It does seem stupid to flush a load of NPK away and then buy it in another form at the home center.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

we use fertilizer on our farms, so I don't see much difference.

Agree with Cleo and say go for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Poor Millions can't even get to drink enough water and how can they even pee.

The rest of the millions have enough water in the supermarkets and they pee in the hole.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Agriculture started thousands of years ago, and I suspect the use of animal and human excrement as fertilizer started soon after.

On the subject of using urine, specifically, as a fertilizer, given that it will ofter contain harmful microbes, it would seem safer to use it on trees and other plants whose fruit will not come into contact with the urine.

Dad told me that in the Old Country, they would collect the human and animal excrement on the farm, and put it around the apple trees at the drip line. They were known for exporting first class apples.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing new China collects young males urine to boil eggs and eat them they said its very traditional. "They Said".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 China collects young males urine to boil eggs and eat them they said its very traditional. "They Said".

sometimes you got to say screw tradition

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites