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Japanese scientist creates 'poop burger'? Surely not

A Japanese scientist reportedly finds a way to do something ecologically useful: create artificial meat from sewage containing feces. But doesn't the story smell just a little funny?

Are you going to be having a burger today? Bacon? Cheese? Pickle? How about feces?

I am not being facetious. I am not even being fecetious.

For Digital Trends informs me of a trend that might just have your digits twitching involuntarily.

It seems that a researcher from the alleged Okayama Laboratory in Japan has taken it upon himself to take the concept of "waste not, want not" to a new and delirious level.

Mitsuyuki Ikeda is clearly not a man who is faint of heart or of stomach. On allegedly being approached by the Tokyo Sewage company, which was concerned that it was in possession of just so much sewage mud, Ikeda digested the problem very carefully.

He poked and prodded at the sewage, actions which revealed that it was rather full of protein, thanks to all the bacteria that was embedded in its sludge.

"Why," he reportedly said to himself, "there is meat in this mud. And there is no murder involved."

So he supposedly set about sucking out the proteins, mixing them in with a reaction enhancer, and slamming them into an exploder--a process that seems to have, well, exploded a poop burger.

The resultant meat is supposedly 63 percent protein. The rest is, well, rat urine, mouse droppings, discarded newspapers, toilet paper, and other tissues. Oh, of course I'm kidding. It is officially described as 25 percent carbohydrates, 3 percent lipids and 9 percent, um, minerals.

As any reasonable human being would, you will be wondering what this poop burger tastes like. Allegedly, with the addition of a little soy protein, it tastes like real meat. The sort you might get at your local Cow's Jr., or wherever it is you gain your sustenance.

You will notice that I have embedded a video that assists you in the visualization of this new culinary trend. You might wonder why this man is using a dismembered finger--last seen in certain videos obtainable online for a fee--in order to indicate the finer elements of his work.

While you consider that, please consider Ikeda's words too. "I admit that few people would be keen to eat it," he said. This is not merely because it supposedly costs between 10 and 20 times what you might pay at Cow's Jr.

Perhaps I've seen too many staged videos lately, but I am still not convinced this experiment is at all real. (Did you notice how many allegedlys and supposedlys I've already slipped in?)

Does it bother you that the narrator so cheerily describes it as a "turd burger"? Does it strike anyone as just a little odd that, at 1:34 into the video, Ikeda reaches into the fridge, on whose door is emblazoned the fine motif: "S--t Burger"?

Of course this could be a mere scientific joke. Of course, it is tempting to believe Digital Trends and all the other media who are reporting this to be real science. And, of course, very soon we'll all be eating excrement anyway, both metaphorically as well as physically.

But I tried googling this Okayama Laboratory and I got a company that seems to make stents and other medical devices. I did get a result for Okayama University, but there seems to be no trace of a Mitsuyuki Ikeda there. Although I did find a Mitsuyuki Ikeda who works for UNESCO and is very keen on Education for Sustainable Development.

I tried googling just "Mitsuyuki Ikeda" and I got hundreds of results about his alleged poop burger, but only one result for the same UNESCO-employed Mitsuyuki Ikeda.

So, unless the poop-burgering Ikeda or one of his cohorts can contact me now--or, even better, send me a sample--I am of a mind to flush this story out as a load of old artificial meat.