Mycelium is known as the vegetative portion of fungus or a fungus like substance. It is the root portion of the fungus. The purpose of mycelium is to transport nutrients to the fungi that has blossomed or produced fruit. While this is an oversimplification of mycelium, the purpose is to generalize providing a base understanding of the purpose of mycelium in our environment.
Mycelium is becoming popular in various industries as we are finding additional purposes. Today there are various companies that use mycelium in construction, food, and other products like packaging.
An ecofriendly use for the product is packaging material used to replace common products such as polystyrene and plastics. The company that currently is manufacturing this type of packaging product is Ecovative Design. The research and development, foundry, and formulation of the packaging material is currently in New York. Ecovative Design currently licenses their technology for commercial use. Ecovative Design is experiencing an increasing demand paving the way for the new factory to be opened in Northern California. The new location is four times larger than their existing location in New York.
Continuous advancements are seen with mycelium. Mycelium is being used to revolutionize the food industry providing for a different and naturally organic replacement to meat. In addition to the food supply dilemma, we are seeing construction materials being developed and used in modern day construction. You can now purchase a mycelium insulated door, mycelium boards, mycelium building blocks, and many other construction materials. Mycelium can even be used as a flame retardant. The versatility and potential of mycelium at least for now look endless.