mercredi 17 octobre 2007

Human urine is a good food fertilizer

Human urine is a good food fertilizer

KUOPIO, Finland, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Finnish scientists have discovered an inexpensive, abundantly available, effective and undeniably organic crop fertilizer: human urine.

Although urine has been used as fertilizer since ancient times, its use is rare today. However, it has gained attention in some areas as farmers increasingly embrace organic production methods and try to reduce use of synthetic fertilizers.

The scientists noted urine from healthy individuals is virtually sterile, free of bacteria or viruses and naturally rich in nitrogen and other nutrients.

In the new study, University of Kuopio scientists Surendra Pradhan, Helvi Heinonen-Tanski and colleagues collected human urine from private homes and used it to fertilize cabbage crops. Then they compared the urine-fertilized crops with those grown using conventional industrial fertilizer and no fertilizer.

The analysis showed growth and biomass were slightly higher with urine than with conventional fertilizer. There was no difference in nutritional value of the cabbage.

"Our results show that human urine could be used as a fertilizer for cabbage and does not pose any significant hygienic threats or leave any distinctive flavor in food products," the scientists said.

The study is to be reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved

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