Is the smell of poop harmful

It's just shit

Take this booklet, go to the bathroom, and make yourself comfortable! I promise you the following text will be easy to read. At least that's my intention when I write it. I want the text to slide really nicely. Seen in this way, the ideal reading for ...

Are you smiling embarrassed? Because you are talking about something that you would rather not have mentioned? Because you don't want other people to think you have digestion? True to the motto: shit is shit. Worse, you are in the office right now and nothing is further than using the office toilet for your business? It would be a minor disaster if you actually had to, wouldn't it? And if you did, you would never take a magazine with you. You'd give that away, my goodness! Under no circumstances do you shit in the office! In these toilet cubicles, which are open at the top and also at the bottom, so that everyone can see that someone is sitting there. And the work colleagues stand in front of the door and hear the slightest plump. No, you'd better stay at your desk. In stark contrast to the male colleagues who march towards the toilet with a bundle of newspapers under their arm and give them the phone in front of them with the words "Please answer if someone calls, I'll go shit!" Put it in your hand and disappear - for at least twenty minutes! And when they come back they'll have a proud, smug smile on their face, as if they've just done something really great. What can sometimes be possible, such a human droppings can weigh up to 1.5 kilos. You can call that “something big”. Although, newspapers are no longer taken to the toilet today, at least I was told. Not because men have become more uptight or discreet. Smartphones are just easier to handle.


I almost don't dare to say this, and believe me, I hate it when I have to divide into «women are like this and men like this», I actually refuse, but on this matter ... it's just like that, dear women, When it comes to bowel movements, we women need to become more like men. The fact that we do it, the smells and the noises, we shouldn't give a shit either! I would like to tell you how to do it, but I can only be a role model to a limited extent. My relationship to my digestion is definitely relaxed and, for a woman, probably above average. But that's not so difficult for me either: It is robust and reliable, a godsend. That wasn't always the case, but when you travel as much as I do, live so often in unfamiliar apartments, stay overnight in cheap hostels or in places where there is neither running water nor electricity, you have to cultivate a fucking attitude. Anything else would be unhealthy. Or have you never heard the story of a friend of a friend who on a trip did not go to the bathroom until it came out upstairs? Is a myth. But I've only known that since I started working with gastrointestinal specialist Dr. Martin Wilhelmi spoke. Until then, the idea of ​​it acted like a natural laxative. For the past few years, I've been happy to travel the world, and when my friends complained about constipation while traveling, I cheerfully gave tips: Drink coffee! Use the toilet next to the lobby if your room is so ultra-modern and the toilet is either glass-walled or not partitioned off at all! Smoke a cigarette! Okay, you can't really guess that. But it does work. According to Dr. Wilhelmi are also helped by magnesium, flea or flax seeds and the correct position works wonders: "Take your legs up, because in the crouching position you have to build up less pressure to squeeze out the chair." His most important advice, however: reduce stress! The nervous system in the brain is closely related to the nervous system in the intestine. Means: cramp in the head equals cramp in the intestine. But tell my friend, who told me how, out of shame and plopping noises, she covered the whole toilet with paper, not the ring, the whole bowl, and yet couldn't sit. "I needed a whole role, it didn't help!"

I was also a little proud, admittedly, because I don't have these problems. Because I don't shit. At least that's what I thought. And then this year I went on a 100-day trip around the world with two men and had to realize: When it comes to being relaxed, I play in the amateur league. If they had to, they loudly communicated it. "It is knocking!", There was a knock, they said, and everything had to be left standing so that they could do their business. They sat there for up to half an hour while I scurried to the bathroom in the morning. Sometimes afterwards they discussed the nature of their business with each other: "It was as big as a forearm!" - «No, don't say that! But now you're making me jealous! ». At some point, we were driving through the western US, they asked why I would never talk about my chair. I would never have said I had to, I had never been in the toilet for long - I was triumphant inside - what was the matter with me. "Why so uptight?" - "Me, uptight ?!" I wanted to call out. "I'm totally relaxed!" But that's only partly true. Or why do I say "Can we stop?" I have to pee briefly », but never« guys, stop! I have to have a nice chair »? Dear women, I don't know. I could ask a sociologist, a biologist and a psychologist and each would have an explanation or a theory. Our bodies, society, upbringing, the image of women in the media, all these factors that make us what we are. But actually it doesn't matter. The fact is: the problem sucks. And unnecessary. There is no healthy woman who doesn't have to. We spend around a year of our lives on the toilet. A year! Why is something that is so normal such a big taboo? Because it smells bad? It does more when you eat meat. Because the breakdown of animal proteins creates chemical substances that cause the unpleasant smell. But don't triumph now if you are a vegetarian or vegan. It may stink less, but you sit twice as much as meat eaters. Because of the fiber. And vegetables like onions, cabbage, beans or fruits like avocado also produce disgusting gases. You can't avoid the noises anyway. If you don't want to be heard, you have to emigrate to Japan, where many toilets have different sound programs. Instead of plopping you can hear soft music, the chirping of birds or the sound of flushing. That it doesn't smell is simply impossible, says Dr. Wilhelmi. There are pills from a French company that make the farts smell like perfume, but our feces just stink. Bacteria in our rectum are responsible for this and ferment the food.

But we might not really care about that little bit of smell: because our sense of smell gets used to everything. After 15 minutes at the latest, we no longer notice even the worst smell. In addition, not all stinks are the same. What you find offensive may be pleasant to someone else. It's all a question of culture. For some animal species, your own excrement is even a treat: rats, mice, dogs, pigs, elephants, chinchillas, beavers, ground squirrels and guinea pigs eat their own excrement.

We don't have to go that far - even if eating a little feces wouldn't even be dangerous - but: How about if instead of disgust we felt a certain appreciation for our chair? Just like in ancient times, when you used a person's excrement to read his character and even future from it. This was called coproscopy. In late ancient Rome, human excretions were used as face cream; for firmer skin. And in the mid-19th century, when its suitability as a fertilizer was rediscovered, shit was a popular currency.


Even today, poop can be a lucrative business. British artist Marc Quinn sculpted a bust of his face out of his own feces in 1997. He called his work "Shit Head" and was invited to various exhibitions with it. For the most expensive coffee in the world, Lopi Luwak, only coffee beans are used that have previously passed through the digestive tract of a certain crawling cat species. If you want to drink from it, you have to dig deep into your pocket: one kilo costs up to a thousand francs.

The Italian artist Piero Manzoni has proven that you can actually make gold out of shit: in 1961 he sold his own droppings. Neatly packaged and labeled “artist shit”, a thirty-gram tin cost as much as thirty grams of gold. Today the value has risen many times over: Manzoni's cans are traded for over 100,000 francs at auctions.

Israeli researchers also want to do business with the business. It has long been known that mammalian excrement is rich in nutrients and energy. In rural India, cow dung has been used as fuel for centuries. The scientists at Ben Gurion University have now pressed human feces under pressure and high heat into charcoal. The result is remarkable: the experiment generated three to four times as much energy as was necessary for production. The researchers are already dreaming of a toilet with a built-in pressure vessel that converts the excrement directly into coal.

It will take a while before we use the products of our stool for grilling. We should get our tense relationship under control sooner. It can't be that something so human makes it so difficult to be human! If you nod and smile when caught smiling, then next time you should walk to the toilet with your head held high. And when you see another woman walking towards the bathroom with the magazine in her hand, nod like a sister. Because remember: it just sucks.