Seems like all I think about these days is waste: why there's so much of it, how dangerous it is to human and ecosystem health, and what we can do about it--and with it. My recent feature in Nature explored the products that can be made out of human waste, and now, thanks to a major Innovation in Development Reporting grant from the European Journalism Centre, I have the opportunity to both broaden and narrow my focus on that topic. Broaden because I will be looking beyond toilet waste to all sorts of urban organic waste, including human waste. And narrow because I will be investigating specifically how this waste can serve as a resource for farmers, who are struggling with issues such as soil degradation and fertilizer and feed scarcity. In doing so, I hope to show how cities--long disconnected from the agricultural countryside--can contribute to their own food quality and security.
This is going to take a while, but I hope it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, please enjoy this interview I did with Joanna Bostock of my all-time favorite radio show, FM4's Reality Check, on the many uses of poo: