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New Leather Made from Bread-Eating Fungus

A novel technique turns food waste into faux leather.

Researchers have found a way to turn food waste into sustainable fake leather using fungi.

Unlike cotton, leather and other petroleum-based products, we have plenty of food waste. 

According to Feeding America, we waste 108 billion pounds of food each year in the U.S.

For the experiment, researchers fed fungi unsold supermarket bread. 

As it fed on the bread, it produced microscopic natural fibers. 

The scientists harvested the fibers and spun them into a yarn that could be used in clothing. 

Some of the cells were also dried out to make paper- and leather-like materials. 

Who knows? Your next handbag, wallet or pair of chaps could feature fungus fashion.

Next, the group will work on thicker versions to more closely mimic real animal leather. 

The researchers will present their results at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS Spring 2022 is a hybrid meeting being held virtually and in-person March 20-24, with on-demand access available March 21-April 8.

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