Livin Studio in collaboration with Utrecht University has developed a novel fungi food product grown on (plastic) waste, a prototype to grow it. This is the designers’ explanation of the project:
Fungi Mutarium is a prototype, it grows edible fungal biomass (especially mycelium) , as a novel food product. Fungi is cultivated on specifically designed agar shapes called “FU”. Agar is a seaweed based gelatin substitute and acts, mixed with starch and sugar, as a nutrient base for the fungi. The “FUs” are filled with plastics. The fungi is then inserted, it digests the plastic and overgrows the whole substrate. The shape of the “FU” is designed so that it holds the plastic and to offer the fungi a lot of surface to grow on. Its shape has been developed inspired by mushrooms and other plants in nature.
WHY: Food production has to be revolutionized and more technologies are needed to farm under extreme environmental conditions.
HOW: Scientific research has shown fungi can degrade toxic and persistent waste materials such as plastics, converting them into edible fungal biomass. We were working with fungi named Schizophyllum Commune and Pleurotus Ostreatus. They are found throughout the world and can be seen on a wide range of timbers and many other plant-based substrates virtually anywhere in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia. Next to the property of digesting toxic waste materials, they are also commonly eaten.
As the fungi break down the plastic ingredients and don´t store them, like they do with metals, they are edible.
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