As a WAHM, I’m always looking for new opportunities to make a little extra cash—and if the work I find can lend a little more goodness and light into the world, all the better. I’ve worked as a freelance writer (yup, doing that as we speak), a proofreader, an editor, an online tutor, and a lactation consultant.
In this gig economy, it turns out there are quite a few awesome side-hustles out there that don’t involve representing a multi-level marketing company. Woo-hoo! And now it looks like there might be yet another option to add to the list.
Yup, it turns out you can donate your fecal matter to science.
I’m not even kidding. And yes, they pay.
I know. I KNOW. Who on God’s green earth would want to donate their dung? Well, according to The New York Times, quite a few people would. And not only are these people making a pretty penny for handing over their chocolate lava, but they are helping to save lives in the process.
Again, I’m NOT lying here. This shit is totally true.
As the Times explains it, stool donation is used primarily to treat cases of Clostridium difficile, a serious and sometimes deadly bacterial infection. “Fecal transplants,” as they are referred to, have even been approved by the FDA as a treatment for the disease. “The Food and Drug Administration has approved fecal transplants only as a last resort for treating C. difficile infections after antibiotics have failed,” explains the Times.
The treatment is very promising, and according to a new study put out by The New England Journal of Medicine, fecal transplants might even be a better first line of defense against the disease. In fact, fecal transplants might soon be used to treat any number of digestive disorders, including ulcerative colitis.
So yeah, your shit really could be a hot, steamy ticket, and if you are up for donating it, you could even make a nice chunk of change.
However, you wouldn’t be the first person rearing to get their rear end on a toilet and deliver. It turns out that the United States already has most of their donor quota filled at the moment, but you might have a better shot if you are Canadian, as Canada seems to have a shortage of stool donors. Who freaking knew? Get to shittin’, Canadians!
“Though stool banks in the United States said they have a sufficient supply of stool samples to meet the current demand, Canadian researchers said they have fecal transplant programs in only a few cities and anticipate the need to expand stool banks in order to provide services to patients in more remote areas and other parts of the country,” explains the Times.
So let’s say the idea of poop donation appeals to you, and is something you think could fit into your life. What would you have to do? And what kind of paycheck are we looking at here?
Well, first of all, just having the inclination to drop your drawers and deliver your deuce isn’t going to get you very far. It turns out there is a grueling screening process for being a shit donor. Generally, only a small percentage of people pass the screening process, which includes a full health exam and a litany of questions.
And even if you pass the initial interview, your blood and poop themselves have to pass inspection. Because of course.
“Only about 3 percent make it through our screening process,” Carolyn Edelstein, executive director of OpenBiome, a poop bank in Boston, tells the Times. “We like to joke with our donors that it’s easier to get into Harvard or M.I.T. than be a stool donor.”
WELP. Who would have thought?
However, if you are able to secure a shit gig like one at OpenBiome, the job is pretty dang easy, and the pay is quite generous.
Edelstein explains that once you are accepted as a donor, you can pretty much donate your shit as many times a week as you wish, though they generally ask you to commit to 3 times a week for a two-month period. Samples can earn you about $40 a pop, which can really add up if you donate (and poop) regularly.
There is one catch, though: you do have to do the deed at the donation center itself, so you have to basically be able to crap on demand. (Not sure how transporting the poop from home to the donation center would be any better, if we are being totally honest here.)
One man named Ed, who was interviewed for the Times article explained how he drops by the center every day on his way to work, and pooping/donating is just a part of this daily morning routine now.
Good Samaritans like Ed aren’t just in it for the money, though, because their shit can literally save lives.
“To do something as simple as going in and making a stool donation, and know that it can literally change someone’s life from one day to the next when they have a disease like C. diff, where they can’t even leave their house and the next day they can go about things fairly normally — to see that impact makes me feel good,” Ed shared with the Times.
Heroes don’t always wear capes, folks.
So what are you waiting for? You never know, you might just have what it takes to be a poop donor. You could save a life, and make a few bucks on the side. All by taking a shit, which you do anyway.
And if you think about it, that’s a beautiful fucking thing.