Is there anywhere in any culture where the excrement of a living organism is eaten or forms part of a dish, cooked or uncooked.
Technically, yes. A certain civet cat in the Philippines has wild coffee beans as a regular part of its diet. It ingests the fruit but cannot digest the beans. These are collected by gatherers, washed, dried, roasted and ground. Even tourists admit it makes good coffee.
I’ve never tried but know someone who has, and who is a bit of a coffee gourmet. He said it was middling to poor coffee, with a slightly unusual flavour (can’t think why!). He said as far as he could make out, based on his own experience and talking to others, it was basically a novelty. There was no taste reason to prefer it.
Alcohol is a metabolic by-product of yeast, but I assume that’s stretching the definition of “excrement”.
I was in Indonesia last year where they also do this. It was explained to me that they use the civet cat because it can tell which fruits are ripe.
Is that just a myth. They would need large numbers of civet cats feeding exclusively on ripened fruits, then their excrement has to be found and beans harvested from it.
How could they possibly make a viable commercial product out of it to sell as coffee to tourists?
Technically, everything we eat has SOME creatures poop in it. Bugs, mice, etc.
But past that, there are lots of foods which are purposely partly metabolized by other living things before we use it. Fermentation is accomplished that way. Yeast in baked goods is a living creature that we use every day.
Usually, rather than eating other creatures defecation, we eat their children or their ovum. Wheat is baby grass, yanked away from the parent, ground up, mixed with other living things children parts, baked, and then carefully decorated to please us.
Would blue cheese qualify?
Well, they could capture and breed lots of civets and keep them in cages, feeding them lots of coffee cherries.
(How they actually do it is they capture and breed lots of civets and keep them in cages, feeding them lots of coffee cherries.)
There are lots of cheeses that qualify. One in particular, is only considered to be good, if you can still see the LIVING bugs crawling around in it and eating and pooping, AS YOU CONSUME IT.
Bees regurgitate honey. I guess it’s not technically excrement. But it’s the closest I can think of offhand.
Shellac is used as an edible glaze on candy and some other food.
The lac used to make shellac is excreted/secreted by an an Asian insect as it crawls up trees eating the bark.
I cannot find a reliable source that explains whether the lac is considered to be a type of excrement. Many web sites do call it that, but I do not know if they are rigorously using the word or just using it casually.
Excrete and sucrete are not synonyms. Excretion is unwanted waste products being dumped. Secretions are chemicals that are deliberately produced for a specific purpose. The sites calling it “excrement” are quite simply wrong.
It’s what I was told.
I believe they actually have captive civets.
I think whitebait would count.
How about shrimp guts? I often don’t devein my shrimp and we know it’s not a vein but the gut. Same with crawfish.
Ethanol is basically yeast shit. Think about that the next time you open a brewski.
Does the not-yet-excreted feces of animals eaten-whole count?
If so, most insects are eaten whole, as are many molluscs, some crustaceans and a few vertebrates too.
On re-reading, does the ‘living organism’ exclude it? (i.e. are we talking about eating the excrement of something while that something still lives, uneaten)
Similar to the civit poop coffee, is Jacu birdshit coffee, which I expect is even more expensive.