Hey, there.

Hello, my name is Jo-an. It's spelled Joan, but really it's pronounced as the former. But, by now I react just as much to Joan as I do to my real name, so you can call me by both. You can even call me Jack if you want.

Anyways, this is my Biology blog. You know that course SBI 3U1? Yeah, this blog is made solely for that purpose. Basically, this blog will be used to respond to various topics presented to me throughout the course. I'll try to be as insightful as I can, but forgive me if it doesn't exactly come through on the world wide web. Okay, enough with the formal stuff. To conclude this little reverie of mine, I hope you enjoy this trip through my brain. Well, the Biology section of my brain, anyway.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And you thought it just ended up in the sewers...

What do we think of when we think of crops and farming? Soil, water, a couple of tractors, maybe some animal manure. But human waste? Hmm... that's new.

Agricultural methods are rapidly reaching new heights right before our eyes. Human waste are now being used as fertilizers by farmers everywhere. Human waste can also be called "biosolids". Although the fact that our crops are being grown with our poo may make some queasy, it's not just as simple as that. Biosolids are treated human waste in order to be used as fertilizers. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of using biosolids as fertilizers.

There are considered to be many pros in using biosolids as fertilizers. Biosolids are a good source of organic, and safe nutrients. Because biosolids come from humans, this reduces the need for chemically based fertilizers, while at the same time, providing the crops with the proper nutrients and minerals. Also, biosolids are considered to successfully restore land, improving its fertility and replenishing its topsoil. Another huge pro that can come from using biosolids as fertilizers is that it reduces erosion, which can protect the water quality. "Adding biosolids to soil also supplies organic nutrients that are released slowly to growing plants. These organic forms of nutrients are less water-soluble and, therefore, less likely to leach into groundwater or be carried away by streams and other surface waters." (1) Another one can also be that because we are recycling the waste, we are saving land space, not to mention money.

Of course, with all these pros come the cons. Of course, when told that human waste solids are being used to farm, one may not react well. It can be seen as gross, actually. Besides this, other cons could be: potential health hazards because the solids may not have been filtered properly, causing this to transplant into the crops, and eventually into our dinner tables. The odour, for the people that live around the area, might be a huge problem as well.

Seeing this pros and cons, I think biosolids are a great idea. Their pros outweigh the cons significantly in my opinion. Anything we can do to help the Earth, I'm all for.


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  1. Hey Joan,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog entry. I agree with you with the fact that biosolids do have its pros and its cons, but in the long run it is a great preservator for keeping our soils healthy by giving off the nutrients the land needs. I do believe that Biosolids can be considered disgusting but whatever helps the environment stay green is fine with me. Great job!

  2. Hey Joan!
    I found your blog very interesting and informative. I like how you expressed both the pros and cons of the idea of using bio solids. Though the concept of bio solids is referred to as human waste, we need to acknowledge the positive aspects of this sufficient method and how it has greatly impacted crop development, as well as a number of other factors. They have strongly influences our system of agriculture, and it is considered a method which has been used for a long period of time. As unappealing as it sounds, thank you bio solids!