Changing a dirty diaper isn't a fun job. Eating a diaper is even less fun, but luckily there is a fungi that can do just that.
Oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, can devour 90% of a disposable diaper within two months, observed Alethia Vázquez-Morillas of the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City in the journal Waste Management.
What's more, the mushrooms grown on diapers are edible. Vázquez-Morillas has dined upon them herself.
"They are cleaner than most of the vegetables you can find in the market, at least in Mexico," said Vázquez-Morillas in an interview with the Economist.
Disposable diapers normally take centuries to biodegrade in landfills. They are mostly made of cellulose, the tough material that plants use for structural support. In the airless netherworld of a landfill, cellulose can take 500 years to break down.
But oyster mushrooms thrive on cellulose. They are already grown on cellulose-rich materials like barley straw, coffee grounds, and even the left-overs from making tequila.