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Biotech Japan Idle Science

Japanese Scientist Creates Meat Substitute From Sewage 417

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-going-to-need-another-slice-of-cheese dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Hold on to your hamburgers — Japanese scientist Mitsyuki Ikeda at the Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama has invented an artificial meat substitute made from human feces. The unseemly meal is made by extracting protein and lipids from 'sewage mud.' The lipids are then combined with a reaction enhancer and whipped into 'meat' in an exploder. Ikeda makes the 'meat' more palatable by adding things like soy protein."

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Japanese Scientist Creates Meat Substitute From Sewage

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  • by Hatta (162192)

    Hey, is that corn?!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Doubleplusgood this. Did you know I don't think there's a single piece of meat in this stew? Looks like meat. Tastes like meat. Isn't meat at all. Doubleplusgood!

      — George Orwell, 1984.

      • Look at the 'Fridge shot: It says "Shit Burger".

        • Re:Mmmm (Score:5, Funny)

          by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @08:18PM (#36457368) Homepage Journal

          Oh, they're going to run into real trouble here, McDonald's has a patent on this.

          • by bughunter (10093)

            Now they can revive the "I'd Hit It!" campaign.

            All they need to do is add an 'S'...

          • by Warhawke (1312723)

            To be fair, McDonald's is one of the few only FFRs/QSRs to use 100% real beef [wikipedia.org] in their burgers. A close friend of mine with Celiac disease tests off the charts with her gluten reaction, and McDonald's beef is the only fast food beef she can tolerate.

            I still laughed, though. +1

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lewoot (1636471)
      I wonder if consuming cayenne pepper beforehand will give the product a southwestern flair. Or if like... eating ginger and lemongrass will give it a pan-Asian spin. etc.
  • by enderjsv (1128541) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @06:51PM (#36456414)

    Disgusting. I'd rather eat soylent green.

  • suddenly sounds reassuring

    i'd rather be a cannibal than a shit eater

    although we do have the basis of a plot here for "human centipede 3"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Soylent Brown is Poop-le!

      Sorry, it was too easy.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Ghawd i wish the whole human centipede meme would just go away. I thought nothing could be worse than tub girl or goatse, but in the end you know those two were complicit in their depravity, while the hc is torture on top of being hors-categorie sick, and the fact that it's fictional makes it none better. Flesh crawling now.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "i'd rather be a cannibal than a shit eater."

      The two, it is worth mentioning, aren't mutually exclusive.

  • by jnpcl (1929302) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @06:54PM (#36456442)
    Try dericious shitty meat!
  • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @06:57PM (#36456496) Homepage Journal

    We're always seeing people eating strange things, whether it be fish that may or may not be lethal, to tasties like cow brains and pig testicles, this will be no different. There will be some that will eat it. If nothing else, ship it to people that would much prefer turdburgers to starvation. But the start will probably just be people eating it for the shock/novelty value.

    The scientist says his goal is to make it the same price as regular meat... I think they're going to have to go a little better than that, make it cheaper. If you can drop the cost per calorie/nutrient down to at least that of say, grain, it'd be an ideal foodsource for places that need food relief. Right now they don't see meat because of cost - grain is still their cheapest alternative. This would be a lot higher in protein, so if they could at least match the cost, that'd be a hit.

    • If this can be made palatable I suspect there will be some interest at NASA. For any kind of long duration missions this would make for a pretty handy food stuff supplement much like how they're now recycling urine.
    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      As soon as I read that this stuff could be used to feed the starving I thought: Great. Another way to further de-humanize the starving poor of the world.

      I can imagine someone saying something along the lines:
      "These people eat out shit for gods sake"

    • by Larryish (1215510) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hsiyrral]> on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @09:15PM (#36457876)


      Starving masses in Africa eating our bourgeois American white-people feces.

      That would be a total PR shit storm.

  • Eat shit and don't die!
  • This looks perfect for a Japanese gameshow.

  • Another option (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dawning (1532689) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:00PM (#36456536)
    Another solution to the global food crisis is to stop having massive freakin steaming piles of babies. (*Gives various religious doctrines a condemning glare*).. Further developing the pwned world would probably go a long way too.. If everyone can afford an xbox, they'll be too busy getting killed playing Halo to go reproduce. AHh, forget it, let's just chow down on some shit-jerky and "go to town"..
    • What we need is another WAR! If people are too busy getting killed for real, they'll be to busy to reproduce, OR eat!
    • by JordanL (886154)
      Most of the "religious" world doesn't have a problem with reproduction. It's places like Ethiopia, India, etc. that do, and I'm assuming you didn't mean them by "religious", as their predominant religious doctrines don't particularly support this sort of thing.
      • by Dracos (107777)

        All the places to which Spain and Portugal brought the Catholic dogma against contraception certainly do have a reproduction problem, although they can't see it that way.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      There is no crisis. People who breed unwisely will be dealt with by events. That isn't a problem for the human race, just the losers.

    • Re:Another option (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Volante3192 (953645) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:44PM (#36457106)

      Another solution to the global food crisis is to stop having massive freakin steaming piles of babies.

      Or, just a modest proposal here, have more babies.

    • Another solution to the global food crisis is to stop having massive freakin steaming piles of babies. (*Gives various religious doctrines a condemning glare*)..

      The problem of course, is that most religious doctrines don't say "go out and have piles of babies". In fact, off hand, I can't think of a single one.

      Further developing the pwned world would probably go a long way too.. If everyone can afford an xbox, they'll be too busy getting killed playing Halo to go reproduce.

      That birthrates in the dev

      • The problem of course, is that most religious doctrines don't say "go out and have piles of babies". In fact, off hand, I can't think of a single one.

        Genesis 1:28 [google.com]

        In fact, birthrates primarily vary with two simple factors - education and women's rights. You might want to get yourself some of the former.

        Both are vigorously and often brutally suppressed by various Christian denominations, Roman Catholicism in particular, and in stricter interpretations of Islam, such as the Taliban. You might want to get yourself some of the former, neh?

  • by dawning (1532689) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:01PM (#36456558)
    The breath mint industry probably paid for this research.
  • Choices, choices (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Iron Chef Unix (582472) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:02PM (#36456568)
    From the video: "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." Hmm, should I buy the ribeye or the extruded soy-supplemented feces meat? At the same price, the choice is so difficult....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They even suggested a pipe line between the US and developping countries, to convey the "food".
    They only thing they failed to predict was the state of the US economy, which may require to operate the pipeline in reverse.

  • by Tropico (1855650) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:04PM (#36456590)
    Recycling nutrients for space travel is essential. Astronauts already drink water that is extracting from human urine. Extracting proteins and lipids from human waste could be just as important.
    • Beat me to it. This is the obvious benefit. I doubt it will ever be the marketing coup that "astronaut ice cream" was, though.
      • by Culture20 (968837)

        Beat me to it. This is the obvious benefit. I doubt it will ever be the marketing coup that "astronaut ice cream" was, though.

        This could be "astronaut soft serve"

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      You won't be able to recycle feces for protein for very long. Other nutrients, sure, but just like recycling water from urine, that's not particularly difficult.

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Astronaut 1: "And you thought drinking your own recycled pee was bad... Ha!"

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:05PM (#36456612) Homepage Journal

    Once I think I've gotten used to the weirdness that comes out of Japan -- they go and top themselves.
    I suppose they'll be coming out with Tentacle and Used Panty flavored Shit-Meat® in short order

  • by mswhippingboy (754599) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:09PM (#36456658)
    I don't buy it (and believe me I won't!).
    There are lots of strange things that can be made edible (snails, bugs, pond-scum, dogs, cats, etc).
    Why choose what is probably the most disgusting choice, excrement? And if you have to choose excrement, why does it have to be "human" excrement?

    TFA even shows the scientist with a bag labelled "shit burgers"! This sounds totally like an attempt at simply getting some hits on You Tube.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      It's just made from the chemical in it. That is all. DO you know what happens to treated waste now?
      Here the sewage is filtered, the water is purified and sent into the river, and the crap is treated and then slung iout into crop fields, where plant bring up the chemicals and turn them into taste food.

      This is the same thing, just don'e better and faster.

      This could be a valuable tool for space flight.

    • Why choose what is probably the most disgusting choice, excrement?

      I'd say there are more disgusting choices. Unprocessed excrement for one. Plutonium. Live children. Your own body parts.

      Although if it was a choice of eating my own brain and eating my own poop, I might choose the suicideburger over the shitburger.

    • When you are on a spaceship hurtling through the void, you dont have dogs, cats, or pond-scum to recycle. But you do have plenty of shit.

      Like the childrens book says, Everybody shits.

  • Wow, that's not the movie I saw. I could see eating people, but shit? Nah, this sequel will never work.
    • From Logan's Run:
      Box: "Fish, and plankton, and sea greens, and protein from the sea. It's all here. Ready! Fresh as harvest day!"

      Of course, protein was the only accurate part of that statement. It still got the job done, as would refined shit paste (TM Taco Bell), it's just a matter of which fiction you prefer to cover up the gory details of the food supply. A tour of a meat processing plant would be gruesome as well.

  • You got trolled (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freefrag (728150) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:11PM (#36456696)
    Googling the researcher's name and his institution only brings up this story. Looks like you someone successfully trolled slashdot.
    • by carlzum (832868)
      Mitsuyuki Ikeda is referenced in countless articles and papers about education and sustainability organizations. The organization and project seem consistent with his other work. I'd like to believe it's not true, but it's really not a hoax.
    • by adolf (21054)

      It's not a troll -- it's just old news.

      The WTO did a presentation [youtube.com] on this very subject several years ago.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      If it's not on Google, it's not real huh?

  • So now with a bit of infrastructure investment, MacDonalds can hook their kitchens up to their bathrooms and voila : a perpetual motion machine.
    • No not really, they still need electricity to run the processes, there is no such thing as a free lunch, even if you eat your own shit.

  • McDonalds has been doing this for years.
  • by ruiner13 (527499)
    Just no. If it comes down to me eating my own shit (reprocessed or not) or death... well, it would be a tough decision.
  • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:18PM (#36456798)

    This reminds me so much of elementary school recess.

    "I'll give you my snack if you eat a bug, Timmy"
    "No, I don't want to"
    "What are you a wuss? It's just a bug"
    (kids start chanting)
    "Eat a bug!"
    "Eat a bug!"
    "EAT A BUG!"

    Timmy eats the bug.

    Timmy is still known as "that kid that ate the bug" at the 50'th anniversary high school reunion.


  • Now that's the SHIT!
  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @07:29PM (#36456934)
    It was some years ago now, but i want everyone to know that i (*me*) devised a method for the reverse process. I'm still seeking my patent on the methodology.
  • Introducing the HUMANCENTiPad2.
  • As anybody who's an old hand at EVE probably realized: This stuff is Protein Delicacies!
  • Soylent brown is made of... eww...

  • I hope they only plan to feed this to animals that they hate.
  • I have a question. Why would anyone even *work* on this? I mean, were scientists sitting at lunch kicking around ideas, and one of them picked up his Pulled Pork sandwich, and said "Heyyyyyyy, I just got a thought..."

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @08:03PM (#36457242) Journal

    ...didn't need a video...

  • A few things to consider

    1. The price of meat is more expensive in Japan then most countries. So saying they'll get the costs down that of japanese meat isn't really a draw card for most other western/american nations.

    2. Compleating the food cycle? I thought we got mad-cow disease because we did this very thing with cows. We reduced the food chain and had cows eating cows, Rather then having intermedate agents inbetween.

    Now we want to mimic that efficency with humans eating human shit...

  • I think I need one of those in my lab. But for now, I'll pass on the s**tburgers. I could get over the aesthetics, but TFA didn't convince me that viruses are eliminated from the raw materials.

  • Now, the next time I watch Full Metal Jacket, I will be reminded of this article when the line comes up, "It's a big shit sandwich, and everyone has to take a bite."

    • Also...

      Figures I would hit submit right before coming up with another smartass remark.

      This development gives a whole new meaning to Assburgers.

  • "the major problem is the psychological barrier"

    well, no shit!

  • by Greyfox (87712)
    I'm pretty sure my high school cafeteria was doing that in the 80's!
  • Currently it costs roughly 10 to 20 times the normal cost of real meat (granted due to research), and once all is said and done, not only will it not be cheaper than regular meat, but it will be around the same price.

    What incentive would there be for someone decide to eat turds over meat again? You can't play the vegetarian card, I doubt you could play the taste card, I mean if it were half the price of meat or lower then maybe I can see a market, but the only market I can see is those kind of people who li

  • What amazes me is they actually label it "poop burger" (unko baagaa) on the white board (when he uses the lady-finger pointer).

  • by Myopic (18616)

    The Yes Men did this with re-Burger long ago.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @12:23AM (#36458898)
    This is apparently an story that has resurface around the web. Only this time it's gotten more attention. Googling with various date range and looking for "Environmental Assessment Center, Okayama, Japan" - "Mitsuyuki Ikeda" gets the same story popping up all the way back to a L.A. Times article dated 1993, and shows an enormous absence fact checking since.

    " 2007 Sep 27, 2007 - The Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama Japan announced in October that it had manufactured an experimental sausage by adding soybean protein and steak flavoring tosewage solids from TokyoSewage isnt really such a dangerous and dirty thing said a spokesman However he did not ... From News of the Weird | News of the Weird | Chicago Reader - Related web pages www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/news-of-the ... "

    Check this http://www.google.com/search?q=Environmental+Assessment+Center,+Okayama,+Japan&hl=en&biw=1062&bih=543&prmd=ivns&sa=X&ei=OoD5TbWtNcTTiALGx9DnBA&ved=0CDgQpQI&tbm=&tbs=tl:1,tlul:1990,tluh:2010 [google.com]

    http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=119734.0 (2009)
    http://absolutelyfobulous.com/2009/09/03/ooey-gooey-poop-burger/ (1993!!!!)
    "Dec 30, 1993 - In October the Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama Japan announced that it had managed to make a sausage out of recycled Tokyo sewage by adding soybean protein and beef flavoring The company does not plan to market the product commercially however citing the main ..."

    So it is a genuine news story? Not sure, but smells very fake. Although both the alleged researcher and the organisation do have other mentions on the internet, only the organisation seems to be genuine.

All the simple programs have been written.