Customer Reviews: Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind
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on September 21, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The typical cow, horse, pig, sheep & chicken feces are covered. More exotic cat, dog, bat, rabbit, geese, duck, pigeon and zoo animal excrement! Are also covered.

My favorite though is using humanure for compost .... GREAT idea.

Plants pull nutrients out of the soil. Every time a crop is hauled out, the soil loses nutrients. If those nutrients are not replaced, the soil become nutrient deficient, and the food grown in the soil also is less nutritious, leading to nutritional deficiency diseases. There are 84 essential minerals in our soil and about 20 vitamins. Plants can make vitamins but, cannot make minerals, the minerals have to be in our soil.

Human excrement is very rich in minerals. When humanure is decomposed and returned to the soil, the nutrients are returned to the soil as well. When these nutrients are constantly added back in, the life cycle goes on like a wheel. The plants always have the right amount of nutrients therefore, the food is not nutrient deficient, leading to reduced nutritional deficiency diseases in the people who eat this food.

In America, we only add three nutrients into our crops. Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. We are literally flushing the other 81 minerals into the sewer, along with our health.

Overall a GREAT book to read on the crapper!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Though it was pleasurable and novel reading (especially for bathroom reading :-), there was just not enough information for one to actually go about doing much of anything (with manure). I kept hoping for a bit more technical detail on what type of manure is best for which type of crop, etc. This book is not meant to be useful for large commercial ventures, or even small gardens. It is a general introduction to *ideas and philosophies* about using and appreciating the value of manure rather than a practical guide to actually using manure. The author does suggest particular books for further reading that may be more useful for those wishing to actually use manure, for gardening, farming, etc. The author is more of an observer than a teacher. People who enjoy nostalgic stories about early American farm life and methods will enjoy this book.

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VINE VOICEon October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really enjoyed this book. Although I am not a farmer and I never plan to buy, It was fun to read the history of animal feces in farming and the huge role the author feels it should still be playing. The book talks about everything from building a proper manure back for one's barn to specific breeds of animals and their feces. Most of all the book talks about the problems with current day farming and how the focus is on volume and how the more animals you have, the more money you are actually losing - chiefly because of disposing of the fecal matter instead of using it for fertilizer. There's a lot here about the taboo we have built up against manure over the past few decades and how the FDA is extremely hesitant to let anyone use poo on foods that we eat due to e.coli and other bacterial scares.

Overall the book was a lot of fun and I enjoyed reading it. I really enjoyed Gene Logsdon's writing style. My only complaint would be the emphasis he puts on dry toilets and outhouses, without the realization that this would be hard to do in urban areas, especially in condos or apartment buildings. A lot of his ideas are only feasible in a farming or rurual community and it would have been since to see some urban ideas.

Definitely worth reading, even if you're not a farmer or someone interested in manure.
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VINE VOICEon January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Not your typical composting book - thank God!

The author has a very witty way of getting his point across regarding poop of virtually every kind. After all everything poops or farts or burps. The dilemma of late has been all about green house gasses & CFO's (Factory Farms where the animals pretty much stand knee deep in their own waste - enjoy your steak yum!).

Our disgust with our food system is one of the reasons why we try to avoid supporting it! We support local family farms as much as possible for the products we don't produce on our own small family farm. A good point made in the book that hit home - not to let people like myself get caught up in creating our own little "oasis" of better animal management & land management (both include poop of course) & ignore what is happening in the outside world. After all some people are in concrete jungles, or most simply don't have a couple of acres they can compost on without pissing off their doodie offended neighbors.

We have been composting for years now. We just have various piles. No temp checks or anything else. We don't have the time. However we never compost our cats waste or our own except for when the men pee outside. It's time to change that!

Thankfully this book discusses the taboo our society has in using cat/dog/human waste on our food & flowers. He provides enough information to enlighten the reader at how silly or as he puts it "insane" humans are. We behave as if crap is a vile evil thing that must hurriedly be flushed away as if it never happened! Why do we do that? Yeah it smells but it's not going to jump up and try to kill us! As a society we really do act strangely when it comes to certain types of feces especially our own. It was something I never gave any thought to until it was pointed out to me in this book. We really are a bit nutty.

This isn't a boring book with charts & percentages. Temperatures your pile must reach ect. It's not a science book on composting. Even so it is truly full of useful information no matter who you are. Like us with some land & farm animals, a concrete jungle dweller, suburbanite, or a giant CFO. All of us can benefit from the advice given in this book. The author will make you laugh, shake your head & keep you reading.

What is fantastic to me is how the author discusses so many different types of feces. The animal they come from, the size & how easy it is or isn't to deal with. The cost of raising animals. Fencing issues. From horses to rabbits & the already mentioned humans. It really amazes me how he can be so informative without being dull & does it in a very little book! The ease of reading, the wealth of information & the humor make it a perfect book for High Schools. A little enlightenment just might be what it takes to improve our messed up food system & our own silly feces phobias.

This is a book worth sharing.
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I don’t want to do a full review of this very interesting, readable and informative book, partly because as a neophyte gardener I am not qualified. Instead I want to concentrate on what I think is the most important part of the book. That is, the proper use of human waste.

Logsdon’s position as he outlines it in the concluding chapters is that we desperately need to take human feces and human urine and get it into the soil where we grow crops and stop flushing it down the toilet. He makes it clear (and most educated people already know this) that we have the ability to treat human waste so that disease-causing pathogens are destroyed making recycled human waste as safe as any natural, “full service” fertilizer. (Artificial fertilizers consisting of just nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are lacking in trace elements necessary for healthy plants. Manure and urine have those trace elements.)

He points out that not only do we waste human manure and urine we also incur a huge expense in doing so. Furthermore we use massive amounts of water getting rid of the stuff. He advocates using dry toilets in rural and farm areas, even outhouses. In the cities the entire method of dealing with human waste needs to be redone so that the waste is returned to the farmland. Problem here, as Logsdon points out, is that there is no way at present to insure that nobody is dumping poisonous chemicals and discarded pharmaceuticals down the toilet. People do it, and it is impossible stop them or to know who they are. Consequently recycling waste from human sewer systems may include recycling poisons and such.

Logsdon also points to the “Yuck” factor in the minds of some people who have been taught that human excrement is something to be avoided at all costs. Consequently our politicians who make the decisions about what to do with human waste aren’t going to step up and change the system. What is going to change the system is the fact that with so many people on the planet at some point not too far in the future fertilizer will become so expensive and the soil so depleted of trace elements that there will be no place left to go but to human manure and urine.

Our sense of disgust at using our waste (and that of our dogs and cats) on our farmland is based on the fact that without treatment pathogens will set up shop in fields and bodies and cause disease. We know this from vast human experience and have evolved to practice avoidance. However the world has changed and we can no longer throw the chicken bones over our shoulders, nor can we relieve ourselves at the river’s edge nor can we just pick up and move when our midden piles grow too large and smelly. We must perforce recycle everything and realize that what may seem disgusting to us is really manna from heaven to a plant.

—Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is” and other works
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on December 7, 2015
Have you seen the movie Martian? I knew what he needed to do before it happened on the screen because I read this book. Scientific yet readable. It amazes me that this subject is so sensitive especially since we seem to appropriately be concerned about our impact on the environment. Very bold to use Holy and S*** in the title. Thank you Mr. Logsdon. Will you come help me with dog rescue poop?
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
from my wife:

"I didn't know what to expect from this book, but found it absolutely fascinating. The author has a good sense of humor. That combined with the nature of the subject matter made for a page-turner. I was amazed at the history of the collection of manure and the analysis of the means of storing and handling to retain the most nutrients. Oh, and what we've done to the land! So many odd facts that I never would have thought to ask about. Anyone with animals and/or land would benefit from reading this enjoyable book. Anyone with a vote as well."
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on April 22, 2016
A nice little book outlining the virtues of manure in plant culture and use and value of this product in agriculture. Techniques of manure management and uses of the product are discussed with wit and wisdom.
A very worthwhile read.
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on July 15, 2015
Everyone should read this book.
We defecate in our drinking water, dairy farms are forced by regulation to create giant cesspools and to spend a quarter million dollars on covers that must be replaced, when all of that material should be on farm fields.
Not all progress is progress. Water is scarce in many parts of the country and we are using too much in attempts to rid ourselves of a by product that used to be used instead of washed away.
People buy bags of steer manure for big bucks and guess what? It's s*it.
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on January 2, 2014
It is apparent to any thinking person that we can't run from pollution forever. Eventually, every "over there" becomes here, and our culture regarding manure (both animal and human) has failed to embrace this fact.

Mr. Logsdon seeks to address this deficit. He covers practical aspects of animal manure handling, discusses how these considerations are different and similar to human manure handling, before moving on to the basics of microbe science and how we actually reduce soil fertility by depriving it of these natural fertilizers. He closes with a discussion of how this relates to large scale municipal waste and its use as biosolid fertilizer for commercial farming.

While much of the information here is found in other references as well, no one else can write it with Logsdon's wonderful style.

Highly recommended.
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