The Humanure Handbook, 4th Edition

Shit in a Nutshell

Non-Fiction - Environment
300 Pages
Reviewed on 06/19/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Joseph Jenkins is internationally known for authoring the Humanure Handbook — A Guide to Composting Human Manure — which has been sold worldwide, published in foreign editions on four continents, and translated into over a19 languages so far. Jenkins speaking schedule has taken him nationwide, to Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He has worked in Mongolia, Africa, India, and Haiti teaching “composting as a sanitation alternative” or “ecological sanitation” since 2006. He has been a compost practitioner since 1975 and has grown a compost-amended organic garden since then. Jenkins can be reached via his web site at where videos, instructions and the complete Humanure Handbook can be accessed free of charge.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite

To some, it may be the worst subject to talk about but in fact, it creates the best fruits and vegetables. Have you tasted a tomato that has been grown in compost or filtered human waste, both used as fertilizers? Human waste, also known as biosolids, is being used by farmers all over the world as fertilizer, as well as cow manure to grow their crops. In The Humanure Handbook: Shit in a Nutshell by Joseph C. Jenkins, the reader will discover the various aspects of how beneficial waste or poop is to the planet. You will not only be entertained by the comical illustrations and educational photos but within the 15 chapters from Microbes: Friend or Foe? and Compost Nuts and Bolts to Bum Rap, you will gain a better understanding of how beneficial waste is to the planet while discovering a lot of facts that you possibly never even think about as you eat and flush the toilet every day. It all may seem gross but this book is a must-have for any library. Trust me.

I was interested in this book and this subject because this is something my dad had been saying and doing for decades using knowledge from his Southern roots. I thought it was gross personally, but when I saw fruit in our backyard I noticed how sweet and large it was, unlike anything in the grocery store. As Joseph states in this book, there is something magical about Humanure (human waste) and Compost (food waste). This book covers so much to educate you on the subject from a glossary, the connection to your toilet and the sewer system, septic tanks and Compost Toilet Manners and Etiquette to how to build a Humanure Hacienda and much, much more. Food for thought; have you ever wondered what happens when you use the restroom on a plane, train or bus? It could be sold for fertilizer.