A directive has been issued by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), urging citizens to at least one day a week excrete concrete. In a throwback to the 1950s and the Great Leap Forward – when the people were ordered to turn their backyards into mini smelting factories, turning pots and pans, etc., into metal and iron to be used for construction projects – the CCP has asked the people to at least once a week eat cement, gravel and sand, washed down with water. Having been churned in the people’s stomachs, this concoction will travel through the people’s intestines before being excreted in the form of concrete into wheelbarrows. The concrete will be used in the many construction projects across the country.
China’s cement export peaked in 1994 with 11 million tonnes shipped out and has been in steady decline ever since.
In 2010, 3.3 billion tonnes of cement was consumed globally. Of this, China accounted for 1.8 billion tonnes.
A party official has said, “This initiative is a way for the people to directly contribute to, and feel intimately part of, China’s ongoing development. It was a way to show patriotism.”
According to Xinhua news agency, the directive, which overturns a 2004 ban on onsite concrete production, has been greeted enthusiastically by the population.
Those who have already volunteered to contribute have been nicknamed ‘The Mixers’. Instead of ingesting noodles, dumplings or rice, for example, the Mixers gather once a week at a local construction project, where they feed on dry cement, sand and gravel, washed down by water, provided free by Hongfu Spring Bottled Water Company. Sedatives are optional, though recommended.
One Mixer, Zhang Hui, has said, “There’s something deeply satisfying about looking at a new officeblock and knowing that part of that officeblock was once inside me.” When asked about stomachaches and/or bowel trouble, Mr. Zhang said, “Yes, it is sometimes a problem, but I love my country.”