Food is put into the machine and is then fed through a series of tubes into various chambers containing biological compounds that mimic the human digestive system, breaking down the meals and finally excreting them. The finished product is nearly identical to actual human waste, which is quite an achievement. Delvoye even offered the artificial shit for purchase, although he seems to have sold out of it for the moment.
Apparently the machine-poop is not gross, because it’s produced by a machine. Note the lady at the end of the video running her well-groomed hands through the poo. (video & more below the jump)
This made me wonder – what exactly IS poop? Other than having a vague idea of nutrients, bacteria, and fiber, I had never deeply contemplated it before. Fortunately, Brenna Lorenz is on the case with her comprehensive website Scoop on Poop:
About 3/4 of your average turd is made of water. Of course, this value is highly variable – the water content of diarrhea is much higher, and the amount of water in poop that has been retained (voluntarily or otherwise) is lower. Water is absorbed out of fecal material as it passes through the intestine, so the longer a turd resides inside before emerging, the drier it will be.
Of the remaining portion of the turd, about 1/3 is composed of dead bacteria. These microcorpses come from the intestinal garden of microorganisms that assist us in the digestion of our food. Another 1/3 of the turd mass is made of stuff that we find indigestible, like cellulose, for instance. This indigestible material is called “fiber,” and is useful in getting the turd to move along through the intestine, perhaps because it provides traction. The remaining portion of the turd is a mixture of fats such as cholesterol, inorganic salts like phosphates, live bacteria, dead cells and mucus from the lining of the intestine, and protein.
Ok, so I wasn’t that far off. But I’ll be even more impressed by Cloaca if it actually manages to include intestinal mucus in its artificial poop. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to buang air besar.