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(article, Culinate staff)
Ever heard of Renuva? Probably not, since it's brand-new. As Allison Arieff pointed out last month in the New York Times, the stuff is an alternative to polyurethane, made from soy instead of petroleum. OK, it's made by Dow, the chemicals megacorporation, but still, the idea to replace a fossil-fuel product with a food-derived substance is interesting — and raises issues of its own, as commenters on Arieff's piece were quick to point out. Given the planet's problems with hunger, deforestation (in part due to soybean farms), and the unknowns circling around GMO crops, is using food to make non-food really such a good idea?