Last week, the Internets were all hopped up on this seemingly perfect bite-sized story. A Japanese scientists makes a protein-rich food source from human feces. Gross. And everyone–from Fox News to Bill Maher–had a blast with the grody concept.
Well Salon’s Justin Elliott is doing something incredibly novel with the story: ACTUALLY RESEARCHING AND REPORTING ON IT. And guess what? It turns out the whole crappy (pun!) affair might just be a hoax.
It seems that Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda is a real person. So that’s good. But with a little research, Elliott finds all of the “news” stories about the feces-turned-food-solution use a YouTube video from some random source as the basis of the story. Fox News was the first to report on the breakthrough. Uh-oh.
What’s even more dubious are the errily similar stories from the ’90s about Japanese Scientists turning crap into meat.
Elliott has reached out to scientists Mitsuyuki Ikeda for the straight…poop…on the matter, so we’ll update you as he finds out more.
In the meantime, check out the YouTube video that started it all and let us know what you think!