TechKnow: Mushroom Experiments - Full Episode

by @AJTechKnow July 14, 2015 6:00PM ET

WATCH: How to replace foam and plastic packaging with mushroom experiments


On this "TechKnow" episode, expert contributor Lindsay Moran travels to Green Island, N.Y., to investigate how mushrooms are being used to create eco-friendly packaging and insulation materials.

"We're taking local farm waste and mixing it with tissues from mushrooms and growing replacements for plastic foams that are used in protective packaging," explains Gavin McIntyre, co-founder and one of the chief scientists at Ecovative Design, a "revolutionary new biomaterials company" in Green Island.

More traditional Styrofoam packaging is made of polystyrene, an unsustainable petrochemical, and can take up to a million years to biodegrade naturally. One of Ecovative's goals is to develop packaging materials that not only decompose faster and more naturally, but also give back to the ecosystem. They do this by utilizing mycelium, the microscopic root structure that allows mushrooms to grow on trees and spread throughout the forest floor.

Original Air Date: December 29, 2013

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