Panda poop could help grow green tea

An Yanshi, wearing a panda costume Saturday in Ya’an, China, unloads droppings used as fertilizer at his tea farm. (Reuters )
March 19, 2012

China’s national treasure, the giant panda, will become more precious if one businessman succeeds in using its poop to grow organic green tea he intends to sell for more than $200 a cup.

An Yanshi grows the tea using tons of panda dung from animals living at centers in China.

The panda-dung tea will be sold in batches of 50 grams that will cost about $3,500. It takes about three grams to make a cup of tea. Can you do the math to figure out how much a cup will cost?

An says he will donate some profits to a fund for pandas.

“I just want to convey to the people of the world the message of turning waste into something useful,” the former teacher and journalist, 49, said at a tea tasting over the weekend.

An described the tea as fragrant and smooth. Some of his guests, however, were not impressed.

“It’s sold at such a sky-high price. Perhaps this is just hype,” said Li Ximing, 49.

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