Now here’s a report we’ve all been waiting for. Human urine was mixed with wood ashes and tested as a root crop fertilizer and …
The Research Details
Surendra Pradhan and colleagues at the University of Kuopio in Finland compared the yields of red beets grown outdoors in clay loam soils with three different fertilizer treatments.
1) Conventional mineral fertilizers
2) human urine from eco-toilets in which the urine is separated automatically from feces
3) human urine mixed with wood ash (birch tree if you’re interested)
The plots were all treated identically in that the same amount of NPK was applied to all plots by analyzing and adjusting applications of NPK on individual plots.
And The Results
Bottom line (so to speak) while there was a slight advantage to the human urine combinations there was no statistically significant difference in total yields between the three systems. The chemical compositions of the beets were similar for all three fertilizer treatments, and a taste panel found no statistically significant taste differences due to the various fertilizer treatments.
Researchers point out that no pathogens were found on the human urine crops from the soil but that people are warned not to apply human urine directly to food crops/plants.
Reference: Surendra K. Pradhan (Dept. of Environmental Sci- ence, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, FINLAND), Jarmo K. Holopainen, Janne Weisell, and Helvi Heinonen-Tanski, “Human Urine and Wood Ash as Plant Nu- trients for Beet (Beta vulgaris) Cultivation: Impacts on Yield Quality,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58(3), February 10, 2010, 2034-2039. (American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036.)