clarification of "coffee pee"

Bob Vickery vickery at MPX.COM.AU
Fri Oct 24 00:51:04 EST 1997

>At 01:55 PM 10/23/97 GMT, Douglas P. Jensen wrote:
>>>curiosity) with a clarification of the term "coffee pee."  The excretion in
>>>question has the same *aroma* coming out as it did going in.  Thus, I
>>>suppose I could have asked what compounds give coffee it's characteristic
>>>aroma, but that would have squeezed WAY to much levity out of the question.
>>While wee're at it (pun intended) can the same be said about
>>"asparagus pee", or does this particular aroma come from a metabolite?

We used to give  asparagus to students in first year genetics classes.
That was before we worried about the ethics of experimenting with students.
I have been told that everybody makes the aromatic mercaptan but only some
people have the gene for smelling it.

>With asparagus it must be a metabolite.  I wouldn't eat the stuff if it
>smelled like that!
>And while we're on metabolism, plant products, and human waste, (geez, we
>must be biologists to do this!) I have some evidence that betalains are not
>broken down in our bodies (at least not in mine).  I recall one time I tried
>to expose my kids to beets.  I bought a fresh bunch, cooked them up, and
>everyone refused more than the requisite bite.  My wife was no help
>either....Anyways, I ate all of them in one sitting (yummy) and for the next
>two days, ...well...everything was very pretty pink.
>Willy, does that beat your coffee pee question for self-consciousness?  I
>sure hope my students don't read this stuff.

I never used to notice the beetroot effect, but since I lost my colon
things are like Douglas describes them.


Bob Vickery
bob at
vickery at

More information about the Plant-ed mailing list