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(article, Culinate staff)
The world of food packaging is changing. Sure, there's still plenty of planet-destroying plastic out there, but takeout containers are often recyclable and/or biodegradable, and bags, while still troublesome, are often compostable. (They're also frequently made, somewhat problematically, from corn.) And as a recent New Yorker article by Ian Frazier noted, now there's a Styrofoam replacement made from fungi: bq. In widespread commercial use since the 1950s, Styrofoam is now everywhere. . . . Foamed polystyrene breaks down extremely slowly, in timespans no one is sure of, and a major chemical it breaks down to is styrene, listed as a carcinogen in the 2011 toxicology report issued by the National Institutes of Health. The fungal version, produced by a company called Ecovative, breaks down in about a month in a compost pile. As Frazier — himself the inventor of a gadget to remove plastic bags from trees — wrote, "\[Ecovative's\] products can be made almost anywhere, with local agricultural wastes and minimal use of energy. Ecovative's eventual goal is to displace plastics all over the world."