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Flesh-Eating Mushroom Could Reduce Death’s Carbon Footprint

Flesh-Eating Mushroom Could Reduce Death’s Carbon Footprint


Death is not a popular topic of discussion for most humans, but it’s an event that we must prepare for nonetheless. And even those that are comfortable talking about death usually don’t spend much time thinking about what happens to the body tissue and excretions — skin, hair, nails, blood, bone, fat, tears, urine, feces and sweat, after the heart stops beating.

Currently, there are only two options for deciding what to do with a deceased body: traditional casket burial or cremation. One option requires the use of known carcinogens for embalming while the other releases toxic metals and harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

But some believe there are more natural ways to pass from this world to the next.

Forward-thinking researchers have joined forces on the Infinity Project, an attempt to cultivate certain fungi, dubbed the Infinity Mushroom, that will be trained to decompose human flesh and remediate the industrial toxins in dead bodies.

“Cultivation of the Infinity Mushroom is a type of decompiculture — the cultivation of decomposing organisms, a concept developed by entomologist Timothy Myles. The cultivation process promotes acceptance of and a personal engagement with death and decomposition.”

Ultimately, the project’s founder, Jae Rhim Lee,  hopes to create a burial kit complete with burial suits embedded with decomposition activators, and a membership society devoted to the promotion of death awareness and acceptance and the practice of decompiculture (the cultivation of decomposing organisms).

From the Infinity Project website:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.

Everyday we hear about toxins introduced to our bodies via food, water, air fresheners, household cleaners and more. It’s important to remember that these toxins don’t go away just because the body stops living. Providing sustainable solutions in death, as well as life, ensures that we continue caring for our planet after passing on.

Related Reading:

Would You Swim In A Pool Heated By A Crematorium?

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Images via Infinity Burial Project

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8:29AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

I would like to have a pine tree...perhaps even a redwood....grow over me...

9:20PM PDT on Apr 10, 2014

I love it and want one!! Wonder if the family could plant peach tree right on top of me in the suit? Id order one right now!

3:20AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Thank you

10:29AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

It sounds very cool but I have already arranged to donate my body to the local medical school....

8:58AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Interesting, we could keep the compost of our relatives and use it in our gardens so our dearest will be always near.

4:34AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

At first I thought yes this is a good thing. But then after thinking about it, no. Just put me in a box (cardboard will be ok) close the lid and put me in the ground. I don't want anything done and my children already know when I'm dead they have see me the last the last time they have seen me alive. I don't want an open casket, or embalmed. They can have a get together to remember my life, the music I loved and the quilts I made, and to rejoice I am in heaven with my savior.

Frankly, I am not against the idea of being composted but I know that's a long way off...

8:02AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

as a big hater of mushrooms, i couldn't think of any other possible way to be disrespectful to me once i'm dead! certainly not one for me, regardless of how good it could be!

5:08AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Hymmmn, after putting on the suit, to be decomposed for the betterment, of the Earth, where, Would you be able to be "Planted", "Legally"?...Growing up, on the Oceans, being U. S.C.G., 100 Ton, Masters Licensed Captain; Commercial Diver, 20 years, and More Affiliations with the Oceans; I've Always, wanted to be dropped into a Warm Ocean!...[To be recycled!... And, Having friends, ect., remembering me, each time they go to the Beach!...].No one, revisits Cemetaries, after they "Plant" You!... But, after consulting a Funeral Home, to help me with my internment, i was told, it's "Not Legally, Feasible!...[I Want to be Taken Way out to Sea, outside the Sight of Land, And thrown "Overboard", to be "Re-Cycled"!... ]. Not to be placed in a casket, that doesn't Dissintergrate, and go back into the Environment; Also, Cemetaries take up valuable Land, that could be used, Better!... Rethink!...

2:31AM PST on Jan 7, 2012

Before the existence of cemeteries people were directly interred into the soil. Our bodies return to the soil and plants benefited from its decomposition.

5:03PM PDT on Sep 15, 2011

Casket, cremation, or mushrooms........I could just imagine the fun Monty Python would have had with that one.......

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