A STUDY has shown that growing food with products taken from human wee and poo is safe.
Most of the nutrients needed to help plants grow can be found in human wee and poo. Urine has high levels of important elements like nitrogen and potassium, while poo has nutrients that are good for soil. The study used human waste fertilisers to grow cabbages. They wanted to see if they grew as well as those using more common fertilisers – ones made from chemicals or manure (animal poo).
Another important thing to check was if it is safe, as wee and poo can contain harmful microscopic organisms or traces of drugs and medicines that someone might have taken. The results found that using the wee fertiliser was best, and just as good as a more common fertiliser. A mix of wee and poo was second best, and using just poo produced the smallest amount of cabbages.
It was also found that the risk from using human waste as fertiliser was low. Dr Ariane Krause, lead author of the study, said that fertiliser which came from wee had “huge potential” as a fertiliser in farming. She wants to see more of these recycled products used in the future, as they are better for the environment and cause less pollution than some synthetic (not natural) fertilisers. The full study was published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science.