On Saturday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to legalize natural organic reduction, also known as human composting, according to CBS News.
This makes New York the sixth state in the United States to allow this method of burial, following in the footsteps of Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and California.
Human composting is a process in which the body of a deceased person is placed in a reusable vessel with plant material, such as wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. These materials provide a habitat for microbes to break down the body over the course of about a month.
While proponents of human composting legislation may argue that it has environmental benefits, it is important to recognize the potential risks and dangers associated with this practice.
One of the main concerns with human composting is the loss of a physical burial site for loved ones. The process of human composting involves the breaking down and disposing of bodies, making it impossible for individuals to visit the graves of their deceased family members.
Additionally, the soil produced through human composting contains human bacteria, viruses, and pathogens that may not be effectively eliminated through standard composting processes and can potentially transmit diseases to humans who consume crops grown in it. This means that the soil is not safe for growing food and should not be used around edible plants, such as vegetables, fruit trees, berries, and more.
The process of composting human waste also requires a system that is able to maintain high temperatures for an extended period of time in order to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens.
It is crucial to thoroughly evaluate the safety and potential risks of this practice before moving forward with its widespread adoption.