No matter how much you like Winnie the Pooh, human excrements otherwise known in the vernacular as poop can take time getting used to. Diaper days for mommies and daddies can help out a bit, but even if you work in the healthcare profession, it’s just hard to mix up defecation and food and live to tell the tale.
Urine and spit belong to the same category. However, did you know that some foods may have these organic human additives in them? Here are top 10 foodstuffs that are as delicious and as healthy as they are filled with the stuff that we all love to hate and yet some can’t get enough of.
10. Poopalicious Spiders
A big part of the chunks that humans dispose of on a regular basis actually contains unused nutrients which can be immensely useful not only for fertilizing plants but spicing up dishes or keeping us healthy, like fried spiders from the streets of Thailand and Cambodia that are sold by street hawkers to commuters from all walks of life in Phnom Penh or Bangkok. Of course, it would be tortuously time-consuming to extract the innards from the little eight-legged creatures, so washing them before frying them would have to be enough.
As it turns out, the spider meal is rich in proteins and for a cheap price, it’s a steal, especially for a struggling family of eight. The fresh crunchiness is also to die for. So you can just close your eyes and imagine that you’re inside the cinema pigging out on popcorn or chips. It’s all good. You’ll be chewing or munching on spider eggs, arachnid stomach, and of course, that spider poop that the little creature failed to eject before it got caught in the human trap. It’s pretty much like an insect being frozen in time inside an amber; except that you’re not actually preserving it for posterity or scientific progress, you’re eating this one. And it squirts inside your mouth, too!
9. Korean Wine Inspired by Baby Poo
This hare-brained wine idea came up and became a controversy in 2013, causing South Korean as well as Japanese media to check out the veracity of the claim. It celebrated the magical powers of baby poo to inspire awe and wonder in the taste buds. According to select media reports, the wine tasted more like a medicinal herb drink with absolutely no hint of what it actually contains. To this day, it remains to be proven whether the reports are true or just plain hype. But the die is cast. No one will feel safe making a toast in a busy Seoul wet market anymore. But for all the Indiana Jones lovers out there, this is the zenith if not the holy grail of food junkiness. You just have to listen to the whispers in a crowded South Korean street to know where to go.
8. The Great Baby Poo Sausage Rescue
Call it fuet or pork sausage with a twist, for it originates from 43 baby stool samples and utilized to ferment sausages. Tasters say that this baby poo version of fuet takes just like any other fuet. So aside from the normal taste, you don’t have to feel bad at all. Many ingredients for otherwise normal food like cheese or yogurt actually hail from the human gut, which is reportedly rich in good bacteria cultures. Many of the so-called probiotic drinks can come from human feces such as the world-famous Yakult tonic drink from Japan. The bacterial culture henceforth named as Lactobacilli Shirota strain in honor of the scientist Dr. Shirota who discovered the good microorganism colony came from, you got it right: under our asses. At any point in time, there’s always a war going on in the average human gut between the little good guys and the little bad guys. Whoever wins will determine whether you go to the latrine in a regular way or in an unexpected rush triggered by a diarrhea attack. Kudos to the scientific community for finding health inspiration from the most unlikely sources.
7. Papaitan from the Philippines: The Localized Word for Bitter that Actually Means So Much More
As if duck egg abortion weren’t bad enough, here comes a bitter and hot soup and meal combo that is as common in Manila streets as it is higher up north in a country of over 7,000 islands. What accounts for the greenish hue of this dish is bile which, as you would guess, emanates from goat or cow liver. However, it’s actually much more complicated than that. For when you’re dealing with an animal’s internal parts such as intestines, some leftover poop can actually get left in the batch no matter how carefully you wash the stuff. And that adds even more excitement to the bile-flavored stuff. Who knows, the phenom might even add more authenticity to a dish that everybody seems to eat in these hot and humid islands. Rest assured, no brown bear in captivity was harmed in the making of this steamy Filipino stew. The picture of the creature trapped inside a bamboo cage is just too much to bear, prompting many animal rights advocates to call it foul. Luckily, there are no brown bears in the Philippines, at least, not the last time we checked.
6. The Steak Made from Human Poop
LiveScience was actually the first to report this one, so kudos to Rachael Rettner who writes in June 2011 that she’s actually found a Japanese steak that has been flavored with human feces in a good-natured way. It can be as excellent tasting as any other steak out there, on the premise that you make sure that you cook it well before you eat it. And this makes medium rare definitely out of the question. To extract the good bacteria that marinates the exotic steak, the Japanese turn to the average Tokyo sewage for inspiration. And for all the sheer resourcefulness, every slice of steak is gifted with an extra 60% or so protein content. So for anyone who likes to scream for more protein, this Japanese steak is it.
5. Salivary Glands to the Rescue: The Sake Like No Other
And what about saliva? For some time now, we’ve been concentrating on exotic foods rich in human feces content or additives, all the while when saliva is the holy grail of antimicrobial action. And you ask, really? Well, just consider Jesus Christ who made it a part of his ministry, biblically speaking, to cure blindness by rubbing a combination of spit and sand on the poor man’s eyes. So the next time you question the practice of adding saliva to the modern day diet, think again. It’s not as gross or as far-fetched as you think. Examine, for example, a mouth-chewed sake from Japan as a cherished tradition in Tokyo or Kyoto. Nowadays, a cultured mold called Aspergillus oryzae is the shortcut for giving the Japanese rice wine its distinctively bitter and pungent taste. However, with tradition still more valued than modernity in the country, it’s not strange to find packs of Samurai-faithful localites in isolated areas to still prefer to ferment the rice by chewing with their gums or teeth. Mind you, the rice in this equation needs to be dried afterward, so perhaps it’s still a much more sanitized version of the human saliva after all. Go figure.
4. That Great Puke or Poop Controversy
Over at Listverse, there’s an ongoing debate regarding whether Ambergris is really the vomit of a great whale. It is believed that it’s more likely to be the giant marine animal’s feces rather than what comes directly from the sperm whale’s mouth, instead. Anyway, The National Geographic Society concurs when on September 1, 2012, it reports about a British boy beachcombing and finding a treasure trove of the intestinal slurry that could be worth $60,000 or more. The great thing going about this controversial large intestine byproduct is that it’s heavily used in the French perfume industry especially when you talk about the musk scent. For culinary purposes, Ambergris is priced in ice cream and other dessert products. How chefs and other gustatory experts find or discover these things can be the cause for endless fascination and even childlike wonder. Nevertheless, humanity as a whole deserves credit for developing the wine press, let alone the art of making liquor from collectively stepping on ripe grapes. In fact, even God’s proverbial son himself has been reported in the Bible to relish the taste of well-fermented wine. And yet Ambergris was yet to be discovered in those times.
3. Shellac: Insect Poop for the Sweet Tooth in Us
Let’s keep talking about desserts. And to an unsuspecting person, there’s nothing wrong about glazed treats like candies, cakes or cookies. They have been part and parcel of our gustatory makeup for a very long, long time even by Star Wars standards. What most people never know, however, is that the substance known as shellac actually comes from the Laccifer lacca Kerr insect which is so highly prized in Burma, India and other Asian countries. The poop of this insect finds its way into the glazing for an infinite number of sweet-tooth concoctions all over the world. The process of converting insectary defecation into glaze is a long and laborious process, but the bottom line is someone’s got to do it. And the last time we did some fact checking, the burgeoning USA desserts industry is worth at least a whopping $34.5 billion. Just imagine how much glaze’s market share is on that one. Want more sweets?
2. Let’s Talk About Honey
Technically speaking, honey is a vomit from the average bee. After all, the tiny and immensely helpful insect with a painful sting has two stomachs in order to effectively collect all the sweet stuff from flowers all over the world. The collector bee returns to the honeycomb once its stomachs are full and regurgitates all the sweet goodness to the next bee in line, which yet another bee passes on to one of the tiny cells in the bee colony to whisk out any extra water content. It’s fast, safe and efficient. And we can’t get over just how much we all love honey. The sad news is that the bee population all over the world has been going down for the past twenty years or so. Albert Einstein, himself, yes, that heavyweight physicist once said that if the bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, humanity will only have two weeks to live. Wish there was a way to reward the little ones for all the good things they’ve been doing when they’re not working on a bee sting. To us humans, zombies are just a figment of TV and movie imagination. To the bees, however, zombie bees are a reality. Apocephalus borealis is a North American fly that infects the lovable honey-making creatures with bacteria, causing them to implode and become zombees in the process. It’s a scary thing. Just imagine what happens if all the bees in the world were to become zombees. Who’s going to make our honey?
1. When an Elephant Gets Stung by a Bee: The Sankt Gallen Brewery Story
Now it’s time to talk about the elephant defecation that in April Fools 2013 took Japan simultaneously by surprise and by storm. A Japanese brewery in the Kanagawa region was responsible for unleashing a beer laced with coffee. While there’s nothing strange about that, the coffee actually comes from the excrement of Thailand-raised elephants. Once again, this is another labor-intensive process similar to honey or glaze gathering. And this is because, in order to manufacture the coffee that goes into the brew, the elephants need to be fed with coffee instead of peanuts, tree barks, fruits or grass. Worse, the resulting Elephantidae excrement only has a small percentage of caffeine in it, so just imagine how much waiting is involved. Unless of course, diarrhea were to become part of the equation. As we don’t want to give anybody any wild ideas about mass producing elephant poop, let’s just stop right there. These creatures already work hard enough. We don’t want to cause them any further aggravation.
In the final analysis, human and other excrements have and still are giving some foods a wild ride and the general public a run for its money. The future definitely looks bright for poop since aside from being used in fertilizers and building artificial lands, it can evidently be put to better use provided it’s properly sanitized and the awful smell vanished without a trace. In fact, the energy sector has found a way to generate fuel from animal poop, thus making septic tank overload a blessing rather than a curse.
From Thailand to Australia to France and South Africa, these are the food stories that can make you throw up just by imagining how the dish would look like in reality. Most of the time, however, the dog’s bark is worse than its bite, so-to-speak. You just never know how you’ll like an exotic dish unless you have finally tasted it yourself. Thus, to taste is to believe. While eating dog or cat meat can be outright repulsive or against western culture, some foods may have weird contents that are actually healthy and not bad tasting at all. In fact, some cuisines take getting used to but can get addicting after the second, third or fourth time around. It’s just like learning to drink beer or Tequila. It’s an acquired taste.
It’s high time to get adventurous about the food that we eat. Just like traveling, trying out unfamiliar culinary delights can transform you into a true citizen of the world. Also, we must pay tribute to all the gallant men and women who find strange avenues to develop gustatory delights that are as out of this world as they are delicious. Just like the food samples above, you just never know where the next revolutionary culinary idea will come from as Gordon Ramsay himself will attest. Surprisingly, some food adventurers have taken it upon themselves to seek inspiration from septic tanks, sewage disposal systems, and even bug culture. The likelihood is higher that we’re only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to food inventiveness from the discovery of winemaking and into the future.
And what about saliva and other animal fluid transfer products? At the rate that they’re being employed in many cuisines of the world, the spit of all the baseball players around the world combined won’t be enough to feed the huge demand for beverage drinks, foods and desserts in particular. So the next time you expectorate, cough or visit the latrine, think about how much all this can mean to the food industry. And let’s just leave it that, lest we spoil the mystery and the suspense. You may be wary about eating out because when you’re not being a nice customer, anyone can just spit on your food when your back is turned. As it turns out, however, there may already be a secret ingredient as part of the menu if you pause to think about the top 10 foods made from poop/vomit/spit. But don’t let all these spoil your appetite. Bon appetit!