Why your waste might save your life!
When you’re a kid talking about poo and wee is funny, when you’re a grown-up it’s sometimes embarrassing. But at every age, the stuff that comes out of you is pretty important. At the very least you can learn a lot about yourself and at best, it’s protecting you from all manner of nasties. Yeah, it’s a bit gross (when is waste not?), but once you get past that it’s incredible how handy your own ‘garbage’ can be.
If you’ve got our Healthy Me box, you’ll know all about the Bristol Stool Chart – the universal scale of poop health. Well, archaeologists took poo analysis to a whole new level, studying stools from a prehistoric village in Turkey that are around 10,000 years old (known as coprolites) They found out that the people that lived in this village were infected with a very specific parasite. The fact that faeces can survive that long is pretty mind-blowing let alone the fact that it can be used to identify a parasitic infection!
It’s no secret that we need to get better at how we produce enough food for everyone on our planet, and our wee could play a big part to play in this. For starters, it’s 95% water so if we were able to collect it safely, the water could be used for crops (and don’t forget astronauts drink water filtered from urine, so if we can get past the ick factor we could too). More interestingly, all urine contains phosphorus which is used in fertiliser, something we need a lot of. Again, if we could get better at collecting it, we’d be able to meet a quarter of the world’s demand, all from our pee. Oh, and if you can bear to boil it down, you could do this! ????
Spit it out!
Saliva – the most underrated of bodily fluids in our opinion. And not because it’s our mum’s last-minute stain remover (eeoo!). Spit is chock full of data. What’s more, it’s easy to collect and analyse. From DNA testing to figuring out if you’re at risk of heart disease. A simple swab is all you need to unearth a plethora of information, some of which might help you to take action before a disease or hereditary condition can cause you harm. How cool is that?
Here are a few more phlegmy facts for you!
Now we don’t expect or suggest you start hoarding your bio-matter, but perhaps you’ve now got a greater appreciation for your own waste. After all, if it’s good enough for Matt Damon to grown his spuds in…