For North Koreans, Human Excrement a Top Seller

Posted on January 18, 2011

Everyone knows North Korea is one of the more…weird countries out there. It’s ruled by the diminutive and utterly insane Kim Jong-Il and is fiercely militaristic, ensuring the world that you best bring your A-game if you want to challenge it to a game of RISK. What people don’t know, however, is its love of human excrement.

Yes, human excrement. Poop. Feces. The end result of a Taco Bell bender. All of this and more is apparently a hot commodity just north of the DMZ.

According to Professor Kim Young-soo of Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, interviews with a number of North Korean defectors revealed that skinny jeans (Hipster couture), adult films, and yes, human excrement are selling like “hot cakes.”

When I first read that I pictured pancake-shaped feces sold in a Denny’s. Clearly North Korea isn’t that weird.

Of course, there is semi-logical reason for all of this. Everyone loves pornography, regardless of country of origin, and “fashionable trousers” were banned, making skinny jeans a hot ticket item for North Korean women. But what of the human excrement?

According to Kim, households used human waste as fertilizer. Since the average human probably doesn’t produce enough waste each day, some shops have begun selling it to deal with the shortage.

This is all well and good – you gotta do what you gotta do to survive – but makes us ask: where do they get it, and how much do they pay for it?


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8 thoughts on “For North Koreans, Human Excrement a Top Seller

  1. not_very_funny

    Pretty lame attempt at a creating a sensational story about using human waste as fertilizer. Not all farmers are affluent enough to buy chemical fertilizer or even to shop at supermarkets, and since they have to survive by growing their own food, they rely on an age-old custom. What's your next story going to be about? Anorexia in poor African countries?

  2. jesse

    No different from the "bio-solids" we purchase from the local water treatment plant. This has been going on in the US for over a decade. I'd say waste not want not, but in NK case the second half of that statement would obviously be untrue.

  3. outlook 2010

    I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.


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