It’s the most disgusting thing on the planet. Even the thought of it is enough to make you lose your appetite and the smell is horrendous. I’m talking, of course, about poop. Cow poop specifically. If you’ve ever been to a farm, you’ve probably experienced firsthand the stench that cattle can produce. It’s common knowledge that fertilizers can be made from the feces of animals, but there are other uses. We can convert cow dung into electricity, or even building materials. Hard to believe?

In a NY Times article, we meet farmers Gianantoino Locatelli and his wife. They house about 1500 cattle, and their exports range from milk to electricity. In the farm, the cows poop an unbelievable amount. The farmers collect this manure, and process it by separating the methane and other various compounds from the dung. Some of the gasses are used in generators to produce electricity, and the processed manure is used as the base for merdacotta. The farmers have used this substance to create many things from flower pots to toilets. It seems disgusting, but it’s something to think about. In a world of over 7 billion people, there aren’t many resources to go around. Although it certainly isn’t possible for all farms to be like Locatellis, his farm “use(s) the whole of the cow,” an idea that we must embrace if we keep changing the world as much as we are. Because the last thing an overcrowded planet needs, is more waste.