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Can Mushrooms Replace Packing Peanuts?

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Can Mushrooms Replace Packing Peanuts?

By Katy Rank Lev, MNN

Your days of picking packing peanuts out of the carpet could be numbered. According to e!ScienceNews, a product called Mycobond is sweeping the shipping industry. The main ingredients? Inedible agricultural waste and mushroom roots. According to the article, the fungus-based material takes “just one-eighth the energy and one-10th the carbon dioxide of traditional foam packing material.” And the best part? You can add these shipping supplies to the compost bin once your package arrives safe and sound.

A New York-based company, Ecovative Designs, is producing the new packing technology. Founders Gavin McIntyre and Even Bayer emphasize that they don’t “manufacture” their materials — they grow them. According to the article, the product is not dependent on petroleum and so will have a much more stable supply cost. The founders received a National Science Foundation grant to hone their sterilization process (necessary to get their mushroom roots growing free from “competing” fungi).

According to the article, the two currently are exploring cinnamon-bark oil, thyme oil, oregano oil and lemongrass oil to help Mycobond grow in the open air. The article quotes McIntyre, who says the lab-like sterilization room “simply emulates nature,” and “uses compounds that plants have evolved over centuries to inhibit microbial growth.”

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Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally – all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

90 comments

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1:57AM PST on Nov 22, 2012

Good article..thanks

7:23AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

As much packaging cut down as possible, the better! This is awesome!

1:13AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

7:00PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

thanks what a great idea.

5:57PM PST on Feb 15, 2011

Excellent concept!

7:41AM PST on Dec 7, 2010

Thanks

6:39AM PST on Dec 7, 2010

I can't eat peanuts anyway. I'm allergic to them.

6:38AM PST on Dec 7, 2010

interesting

4:03PM PDT on Sep 18, 2010

Very interesting.

3:58PM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

oh cool

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