I'm still trying to decide whether this is a belated April Fool joke, or a real news report.
Burying a pair of underpants in a field may not seem the obvious starting point for the perfect roast, but farmers are being urged to dig deep for tastier meat.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) claim interring a pair of cotton smalls in a pasture can reveal vital information about soil fertility.
According to the experts, sterile and lifeless soil will keep underwear intact, but organically thriving soil will eat away at the briefs, leaving nothing but the elastic waistband.
Dig up the pants after just two months, and it is possible to judge how healthy the land is.
. . .
Scottish farmer Iain Green, of Corskie Farm, near Elgin, in Moray, has been burying his pants in various fields since September.
"The theory behind the test is that the cotton will be devoured by the microbes and bacteria in the soil, so the more you have the better,” he said.
"We buried them in different fields, some which we think have healthier soil and others which aren't as good."
Earlier this week fellow farmers and officials gathered at Mr Green’s farm to dig up his underpants and analyse the findings. Some had entirely disintegrated while others looked like they had been recently buried.
Mr Green added: "I think quite a few of them were quite surprised and are away to try it for themselves.
There's more at the link.
Hmmm . . .
- I presume there's a different decomposition rate between various materials. Is there a "cotton decomposition index" of some sort, to compare with a "wool decomposition index" or a "flannel decomposition index", to obtain accurate comparisons between them?
- I presume the origin of the underwear also has a bearing. Would one use Chinese-made underwear to research a rice paddy, but American Carhartts to check a cow pasture?
- What about farmers' religious beliefs? Is it licit to use (say) a Mormon temple garment as a test item? Does a Catholic codpiece out-perform (so to speak) a Dervish diaper?
- How deep should the underwear be buried? Too shallow, and it might get grazed, which might be bad for animal digestion. (Can underwear be ruminated?) Too deep, and it might find itself in the real nether regions! What depth for optimum decomposition?
- Can (and should) the underwear be re-used for its original purpose (after laundering, of course!) if it doesn't decompose?
(Of course, since the article concludes by informing us that "The ‘Soil my Undies’ challenge was first launched by the California Farmers’ Guild in July", we might conclude that it's not so much "science" as "Californians being Californians" . . . )