New Things in our Environment
Did you know . . .
A discovery was made in 2011 by Yale researchers that could change our plastic world! They found that a species of mushrooms in South America can actually eat plastic and yet remain an edible mushroom for us to consume! Pestalotiopsis species can not only eat plastics made out of polymer polyester polyurethane (PUR) but can turn them into solid and liquid suspensions. I guess the next step would be to find out what to do with these suspensions. Can they be made into something new? Or broken down into original components?
What’s even more exciting is that they didn’t stop their research with Pestalotiopsis. They tested many other mushroom species closer to home, and found an edible one that is available in the Carolinian forests of Southern Ontario. Oyster mushrooms, Latin name Pleurotus ostreatus, (picture above) grow on oak and beech stumps, as well as other hardwoods. These delicacies can be found all year round, so don’t let the bitter cold keep you indoors. Pull on your winter boots, mitts, scarf and your warmest coat and start hiking through neighbourhood woods.
I doubt you will be able to grab spores in quantities where you could start your own plastic-eating compost pile, but you can certainly enjoy the taste! You will find many recipes, but here is one that I found I thought you would like (and maybe you could give a shout-out to the website that provided this amazing treat, Youth in Food Systems https://seeds.ca/schoolfoodgardens/3-plants-that-flourish-in-ontario-winters/)