Environment: Mushrooms Break Down Disposable Diapers

When I was researching this topic today, I couldn’t help but think of a recent article Richard wrote called Gross Foods That You Want To Eat Anyway. It was about how, according to a TED speech, we will have to change our food supply in the future so that we will still be able to sustain ourselves and maintain our good health. You can read the specifics in the article itself, but bottom line, someday we may find ourselves eating crickets, brains and grasshoppers instead of cheeseburgers and fries.

This new development I’m writing about today points to the same conclusion. As you know, disposable diapers are absolutely horrible for the environment. Regardless of whether they are dirty or clean, they can take hundreds of years to rot away in landfills. However, according to a discovery by Alethia Vazquez-Morillas at the University of Mexico City, there might be another way.

There is a certain kind of mushroom called a Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom), which when placed inside a diaper, will break it down completely within four months. But that’s not all. In addition to making disposable diapers more environmentally friendly, she suggests that we should also eat those same mushrooms. Before you start gagging, consider this… The researchers claim that a person’s urine is sterile, and once these mushrooms are steamed, they are cleaner than most of the vegetables in the supermarket. The reason these mushrooms are so special when it comes to diapers is because the diapers are made of cellulose, which is a particularly nasty material. These mushrooms have the enzymes needed to break that down.

I get it about these mushrooms, and I also get it that someday, probably sooner rather than later, we are going to have to start getting over our snobbiness when it comes to what we will eat and won’t eat. I just hope it doesn’t happen tomorrow, I need a little more time to warm up to it. You can read the details about this research on The Economist.

Mushrooms Dirty Diapers Environment

Via: [Book of Joe] Image Credit: [CCallanan / Shutterstock]