Pssst...We Need To Talk About Sanitation
Our show today is a long-planned look at human waste. In other words... Poop. It has taken on a slightly more somber cast now that Connecticut is monitoring the possibility of its first case of Ebola.
But, in some ways, we've got the perfect guests, especially Rose George, whose book about sanitation begins in a small town in Ivory Coast "filled with refugees from next door Liberia." Rose is looking for a toilet and eventually succumbs to the reality that there is no such place. There's a building where people do their business on the floor.
This was always going to be a big part of today's show, the fact that 2.6 billion of the worlds people do not have toilets and because of that, a whole lot of people die of diseases far less exotic than Ebola. Imagine trying to contain that disease in a place where there is no sanitation system. Anyway, on this show, we mention the big unmentionable.
- Rose George is a journalist and the author of several books including Ninety-Percent of Everything: The Invisible Industry that Puts Clothes on Our Back, Gas in Our Car, Food On Your Plate, and The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters, which was recently re-released with a new Afterword
- Sarah Albee is the author of "Poop Happened: A History of the World From the Bottom Up" and more recently, Bugged: How Insects Changed History and her newest book, Why'd They Wear That? will be published in February
- Eric Alm is an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT and an associate member of the Broad Institute. He studied his feces every day for one year to learn more about his biome