Let’s face it: we all poop. And while we all flush it away like nobody’s business, it has become the business for a (non-profit) company called OpenBiome. They actually PAY you for your poop – at $40 per dump (with $50 thrown in as ‘bonus’ if you donate more than 4 times a week). This works out to about $250 per week, or $13,000 per year!
Well, only if you live in Massachusetts, USA.
So why is someone paying for mere poop? Because they want the bacteria in it. And what makes this even weirder? The fact that they will use your poop to help other people with poop problems.
A lesson on gut biome
Normal folks have gut bacteria (the ‘friendly bacteria’) which fights off other nasties, however, those who’ve used antibiotics for too long don’t have them. This means they can get infected with a bacteria that’s ridiculously hard to get rid of – aptly called C. difficile.
And as far as bacterial infections go, this one is pretty disgusting. It gives you diarrhea so nasty that 14,000 people in the USA die per year from it – literally, they poop to death. Plus, about 250,000 people are hospitalised per year from this illness.
There is a treatment
Luckily, this deadly infection can be countered with the introduction of some ‘friendly bacteria’ (if you’re wondering why eating yoghurt or kimchi is important, now you know the reason). The old-fashioned treatment sounds more disgusting than the infection: fecal transplant by way of sticking someone else’s poop into you through the back door (as in, via colonoscopies). Science, however, has come up with a better way to get these friendly bacteria in you.
You guessed it. You eat the sh*t.
Introducing the poop pill: it’s made with frozen fecal matter, so it only melts as it gets to your small intestines. The success rate is also very high, thankfully.
So, back to them donor poops. OpenBiome doesn’t accept just any poop – only folks who have the ideal BMI, health and age are screened, and those who can commit to 4 donations a week for 60 days are selected. Oh, and did we mention you’d have to live in Medford, Massachusetts where their lab is?
So just think: if you’re squeamish about blood donation, you can donate your stool and still save a life! And with the extra cash, you can buy a $425 ‘Golden Poop Pill‘, which after swallowing, will turn your poop sparkly and golden!