6 Valuable (And Disgusting) Ways They're Reusing Human Waste
We live in an era of recycling, where hippies scream in horror if they spot a soda can in the garbage and go into convulsions at the thought of a landfill full of paper. But if you think glass bottles, milk jugs and CSI are the only things that can be recycled, read on. The next dump you take could be used to build a school in Japan.
What is it Good For?
Generations of frat guys told women "It's good for your skin!" in a desperate scheme to find willing targets for their mayonnaise cannons. As it turns out, not only is this claim apparently true, but several companies are actually peddling brogurt as the next great beauty cream ingredient.
The hilariously named Cmen Beauty Now offers discreet shipping of the pure product straight to the buyer's home, along with reassurances of the stock being disease-free and provided by individuals who are "tested monthly." They really have to boast about their quality control, because their competition is a whole nation full of guys drunkenly offering to apply it directly to the customer's face at no cost (high five, bro!).
Meanwhile, Skinscience, a Scandinavian company, is marketing an entire line of Spermine beauty creams and serums. Spermine is an antioxidant found in human semen that's said to be 30 times stronger than vitamin E and able to repair sunburned skin, based on results Skinscience gathered after testing their products on 3,000 women (curiously, no men signed up to participate in the "rub sperm all over your face and sprinkle some on that sunburned back of yours as well" tests).
We note that both of these companies make zero effort to disclose where exactly they're getting their massive quantities of semen from. So until we get some transparency to this process we're forced to imagine a hand-made sign and a line of hobos that stretches all the way around the block.
What is it Good For?
Human hair is traded on a large scale, whether it be females donating their hair to Locks of Love or Sean Connery donating his chest hair to the Smithsonian. However, it disturbed us to discover that much of what is swept up from the floors of barber shops and beauty parlors winds up in our food. No, we don't mean that nasty, black, curly hair you found in your French fries last week. We mean as an FDA approved food additive.
It turns out that human hair is a main source of L-Cysteine, a substance used as a dough conditioner. It is used to speed up mixing and add elasticity, making it very popular for pizza dough and other bakery specialties. Obviously it's not still hair by the time it makes it into the food, so the hair you found in your large meat lover's was not in fact put there on purpose, unless the cook just thought it would be funny.
Except real cooks don't fuck around.
Always struggling to find ways to be more disgusting than the Western world, China figured out that human hair could be used to mimic artificially hydrolyzed soy sauce, thereby eliminating the need for any actual soy. Hair was gathered from salons, barbershops and hospitals across the country before being transformed into the popular cooking condiment (a process outlined under the "shits and giggles" section of the Chinese national budget).
A news article highlighted the practice and the Chinese government eventually banned it. In a country that doesn't exactly have top of the line safety standards for the stuff they make, even they draw the line at feeding people salty hair juice. So that's something, at least.
What is it Good For?
Your piss can save lives. It turns out there's a component of urine (Urokinase) that just happens to be extremely effective at breaking up blood clots, the kind that happen when someone suffers a stroke or a heart attack. Now before you decide to piss all over someone in cardiac arrest, we should mention that it takes a special filter to separate the anticoagulant goodies from the rest of the urine, though if you were going to piss on that person anyway we suppose we can't stop you.
So if doctors and stuff can use your piss, why aren't people going door to door with buckets buying it off you? And if they're not doing that, how do they collect the stuff? Well, it turns out somebody already has a whole bunch of piss on their hands...
Yes, we're talking about the Porta-John company. By treating their more than 10,000 rental toilets like giant specimen jars, they have gotten enough product to go into the production of what their website refers to as "human sourced proteins."
A filter is placed in each Porta-John, harvesting the desired proteins on a flow by flow basis while weeding out undesired clutter such as shit, used condoms and things that lay outside the dark boundaries of the human imagination. We're guessing the guy that gets sent to retrieve these filters didn't really "wow" anybody during the interview process.
What is it Good For?
Putting a new twist on the old phrase "built like a brick shit house," the Japanese have found a way to make up for the annoying lack of natural building materials in their country by patenting systems that use a much more common resource--sewage--to mold bricks.
There are several companies making these types of bricks, some of which use 100 percent sewer sludge while others prefer a more refined mixture of sludge and debris from standard ceramic tile factories. The bricks are molded and then fired at extreme temperatures, which we assume smells something like cookies baking in Hell.
The end product is a durable building material often used for outdoor plaza flooring, walkways... oh who are we kidding? The end product is a motherfucking brick of cooked shit. Enjoy.
Your Hair (Part 2)
What is it Good For?
Cleaning up oil spills.
Turn on the news on any given night and you're likely to see depressing images of some animal or another marinating in the aftermath of an oil spill like appetizers at a chocolate fondue party.
Back in 1989, an American hairdresser named Phil McCrory was watching just such footage and decided he wouldn't be helpless any longer. Using his hairdressing knowledge, he reasoned that if the hair of a 50s greaser could hold a pint of oil, huge mats of hair could be used to soak up entire tanker spills.
History cannot agree on the exact amount of acid McCrory had taken when he got this idea, but it is generally accepted he was naked and eating macaroni out of a sock. At any rate, he began experimenting with the notion, and as a result there are now hair mats being used to combat crude oil spills worldwide.
The mats are quite effective, though they look a lot like a dreadlock that's been used as a dipstick and/or the top of Samuel L. Jackson's head in Pulp Fiction. Once laden with oil, the mats are tossed into compost heaps to be broken down into top soil by an army of worms and bacteria, which experts note is like disposing of radioactive material by stuffing it into a Twinkie and feeding it to James Gandolfini .
Everyday newborn baby boys are circumcised, quickly and neatly altering their plumbing before they are old enough to remember the trauma of having their genitals mutilated with a scalpel. For years, hospitals have simply discarded the leftover bits in a container presumably reserved for the grossest of the gross surgical waste. But not anymore.
A company called Intercytex is now using some of those wee snippets of penis hat to create Vavelta, a skin treatment used to fight wrinkles and scarring.
It's nothing like cheese. Trust us.
Striving for skin as smooth as a baby's... er, foreskin, over 150 patients have now undergone the procedure, paying a stunning $1000 per vial. Each vial contains enough material to treat an area of skin the size of a postage stamp and is stuffed with over 20 million live fibroblast cells, all isolated from the original foreskins and then multiplied in a lab.
Could these experiments result in the cells multiplying out of control, and producing a giant mutant foreskin monster? Yes, according to the screenplay we started writing just now.
Still, given today's tumultuous economic times, it's refreshing to know that a gallant few are still fighting the good fight against old age by throwing down thousands of dollars to be injected with cloned baby dicks.
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For more examples on how human excrement is benefiting mankind, check out 6 Ways They're Turning Random Crap into Alternative Energy. Or find out about how our friends from nature are helping us live better, in 6 Disgusting Ways Animals Can Improve Your Health.
And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks because we know you aren't eating anymore.