Myth or Science: The Power of Poo

Jennifer Gardy lifts the lid on poop to discover if it’s myth or science that we’re flushing a valuable resource down the toilet.
Available on CBC Gem

Myth or Science: The Power of Poo

Nature of Things

It is not exactly something we talk about in polite company, but the fact is, everyone has to go poo.

Every year, worldwide, we produce 9 billion kilograms of the stuff — six metric tons each over our lifetime.

Is My Poop Normal? Here’s the Scoop.

From human poo to animal poo, researchers are embracing the brown stuff.  They believe it’s scientific gold, and are digging into it because they’re convinced poop holds secrets that could help change our lives.   But are they full of it?

  • Can colon cleanses really improve your health?
  • Can scientists utilize dogs and their sense of smell to help protect some of the world’s most endangered species?
  • Do toilets spray fecal bacteria all over your bathroom?
  • If your poo floats, is it a sign that you’re not well?

In Myth or Science: The Power of Poo intrepid scientist, Jennifer Gardy, goes on a journey to find out.  Her goal: discover whether poo is simply waste to be banished, or a valuable byproduct that has the power to revolutionize our health. 

ONLINE EXTRA: What if your poo floats?

As a microbiologist, this quest is right up her alley.  Once again she offers herself up as a human guinea pig by drinking water extracted from poo and swallowing a pill camera to film her colon. 

She also performs real-life experiments with the world’s top researchers, including a test to find out whether eating a vegetarian diet makes poop smell better, and another aimed at discovering whether dogs face north-south when they do their business.

Why do dogs scratch the ground after they poo?
They Eat That? Bizarre Poo-Related Behaviours Found In The Animal Kingdom
ix Things Poop Can Do For Us

In the process, Jennifer Gardy will uncover the latest scientific discoveries about feces, find out if excrement really is our enemy, and explain how we may actually be flushing an extremely valuable resource down the drain.