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Urban Death Project seeks to compost dead humans to feed the crops: has it really come to this?

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

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March 22, 2015

(NaturalNews) A Seattle architect named Katrina Spade has proposed a new solution for urban food production: convert the recently deceased into nutritious compost to feed the food crops.

The project is called the Urban Death Project, and it describes the process of turning dead humans into food as follows:

The Urban Death Project is a compost-based renewal system. At the heart of the project is a three-story core, within which bodies and high-carbon materials are placed. Over the span of a few months, with the help of aerobic decomposition and microbial activity, the bodies decompose fully, leaving a rich compost. The Urban Death Project is not simply a system for turning our bodies into soil-building material. It is also a space for the contemplation of our place in the natural world, and a ritual to help us say goodbye to our loved ones by connecting us with the cycles of nature.

The Urban Death Project website describes the project as a 501(c) non-profit, and a fundraising effort is due to launch March 30th on Kickstarter. The donate page explains, "Your gift supports the creation of a meaningful, equitable, and ecological alternative for the care and processing of our deceased."


Human sewage is already used as compost for food crops

As a matter of full disclosure, I'm happy to say right up front that I am the developer of UltraClean Super Plant Food sold at and that our plant food has NO composted dead people in it. (Perhaps I should add that to the label?)

Nor does it contain human sewage waste as is frequently found in the majority of compost products sold at big box stores across America. Those products are derived from so-called "biosolids" which are sourced from human waste sludge mixed with other biomass sources such as dried leaves and plant waste.

Yes: in America today, if you buy compost from the big box stores -- or even directly from some cities -- you are growing your garden vegetables in composted human waste. Lovely...

The Urban Death Project wants to take it one step further. Instead of just composting the feces and sewage from humans, their idea is to compost the entire bodies of the deceased and turn them into nutrients for urban food production. As Fellowship of the Minds reports, this sounds a whole lot like "Soylent Green."

On one hand, death is a natural cycle of life; but then again...

From an environmental perspective, of course, the idea of composting human bodies into nutrients for plants isn't as strange as it might sound. In fact, the far more bizarre ritual is pumping dead bodies full of embalming fluids and burying them in overpriced luxury caskets full of synthetic resins and fibers. Embalming fluids are extremely toxic to the planet, and it seems far more respectful to put the body of a deceased person in the ground and let nature run its course.

After all, your body isn't YOU. The body is just a vessel for the non-material spirit (consciousness) which leaves the body at the moment of physical death. If your time with your physical body is over, then why not return the body to the Earth from which it came in as natural a state as possible?

So from that point of view, at least the intention of the Urban Death Project can't be faulted. The architect, Katrina Spade, appears to be approaching this from what she sees as a holistic community solution. But she's so far missing some huge problems with this plan, as I'll detail below. In fact, the Urban Death Project, if pursued as described on the website, would actually accelerate the death of the very same population it claims to help sustain.

Composting does not eliminate heavy metals and toxic chemicals

To understand the contamination problem with the Urban Death Project, consider this Q&A on the project website:

Q: Is it safe to compost bodies?