He is the Jean Valjean of possums.
This little marsupial snuck into someone’s kitchen for a feast of bread, and he didn’t want to leave.
The owner tried to shoo him out with a wooden spoon, but it doesn’t work very well, because he totally DGAF.
Submitted by: (via Alex Steel)
Breaking down one of the most difficult types of trash, this incredible working incubator turns sterilized plastic remnants into nutritional biomass humans can consume and digest, in short: food. Texture, taste and flavor depend upon the strain of fungus, but reportedly can be quite strong as well as quite sweet.
Livin Studio, an Austrian design group known for innovative work on insect farms, has built a working model of this growth sphere (dubbed the Fungi Mutarium) that takes parts of mushrooms usually left uneaten and grows them into fresh snacks.
From the creators: “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.”
In terms of the process, “Fungi Mutarium is a prototype that grows edible fungal biomass, mainly the mycelium, as a novel food product. Fungi is cultivated on specifically designed agar shapes that the designers 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. “
For now, the digestion is a relatively slow process, taking up to a few months for a set of cultures to fully mature, but by the standards of plastic biodegrading in nature this is still an extraordinary feat. The team continues to work with university researchers to make the process faster and more efficient. “Scientific research has shown that fungi can degrade toxic and persistent waste materials such as plastics, converting them into edible fungal biomass.”
This novel application comes just a few years after a group of Yale students discovered a species of fungi on a trip to Ecuador as part of a Rainforest Expedition and Labratory led by a molecular biochemist. Even in the absence of light and air, the species they examined thrived in landfill environments, suggesting potential near-future and larger-scale solution for existing waste sites as well.
Bringing healthy and organic fruits and vegetables into low-income areas of Toronto lacking grocery stores, this converted bus is much more than a normal food truck – it looks like an ordinary vehicle until it stops and deploys its colorfully-stocked shelves (images by Laura Berman).
As in many cities, there are ‘food deserts’ in Toronto in which it is hard to find fresh seasonal produce. Using a vehicle donated by the Toronto Transit Commission, LGA Architectural Planners helped convert this vehicle to address this issue.
“Even in a city as dynamic as Toronto, there remain neighbourhoods where residents are unable to access the foods essential to a healthy diet. This happens for a variety of reasons, including low-income, lack of access to public transit, and long distances to groceries and markets. Such conditions make it extremely difficult for individuals and families without access to a vehicle to find and purchase healthy foods. Senior citizens who might be less mobile are hit especially hard by this type of isolation.”
Lettuce, berries, okra, yucca, broccoli, apples and more fill the fold-out shelves extending out from the side of the Mobile Good Food Market. Inside, bins of additional veggies and fruits can be accessed by walking or wheelchair, a handy feature for cold and wet weather.
The project was commissioned by FoodShare Toronto in partnership with the City of Toronto and United Way Toronto in a joint effort to help supplement unhealthy local options in neighborhoods starved for good and fresh foods.
“The design also offered the opportunity to shop from the inside in inclement weather,” notes Dean Goodman of LGA, pointing out that as a former Wheel-Trans bus, ramps for ease of entry and exit were already in place. “Good food is beautiful when displayed well, so when we decided we wanted this to be a feature we worked out the mechanism so one person could fold out the shelves, restock as necessary and display the food so it was attractive.””