Remember that urban legend about KFC? It did the rounds in the early days of the internet, and alleged that the Colonel's finger-lickin' favourite had been given a shorter, snappier name because its products were derived from something that no longer fitted the legal description of a chicken. Instead, this bogus email described a new species of beakless mutant, bred with extra legs and wings, so they could be divided into more portions. Although I never believed any of the claims in the email, I occasionally find myself trying to mentally piece together the various sections in a bargain bucket, like the world's greasiest jigsaw puzzle.
The fast food companies are so vast and powerful that it's easy to distrust them, no matter how much they spend trying to convince us that they're a bunch of huggable, benevolent animal lovers. While the PR companies spin yarns about animal welfare that suggest the cows live a life of blissful indulgence that would make the Sultan of Brunei jealous, we still lift the sesame-topped bun and peer suspiciously at the "all meat" patty.
If you subscribe to rat-faced turd fetishist Gillian McKeith's view that 'you are what you eat', it might be wise to give hamburgers a miss, should you ever visit Japan. Concerned about the world's rapidly growing population, as well as the effect of industrial food manufacture on natural resources, Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda has been investigating alternative sources of protein, and come up with a less than palatable solution: sewage mud.
The biggest barrier he faces is the psychological aversion that most people have towards eating a burger made out of human waste. The fact they're low in fat seems to offer little consolation.
Based at the Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama, Ikeda's studies have found that human excrement is rich in protein and abundantly available. Ikeda's labour-intensive process involves extracting the proteins and lipids from the cack, then combining these elements with what he calls a 'reaction enhancer', before blending it with soya and steak sauce in an exploder.
The only drawback, besides the obvious, is the fact that Ikeda's burgers are about twenty times more expensive than their meatier counterparts. But that's because he includes the cost of research, testing and manufacture in his pricing plan. Obviously, if he can encourage the world to bite into a shit sandwich, the costs will drop like a log. He also understands that the biggest barrier he faces is the psychological aversion that most people have towards eating a burger made out of human waste. The fact they're low in fat seems to offer little consolation.
Who knows, maybe turning the food chain into a perpetual cycle will solve the problem of food shortages once and for all. And we can spend the rest of our lives feeling like the woman at the back end of the human centipede. They say that London's tap water has already passed through seven other bodies by the time it reaches your glass - so surely this is just the next logical step? But hold the pickles please, they're really disgusting.
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