Q: How can I get involved with the Infinity Burial Project?
A: Join the Decompiculture Society, offer your skills and expertise to the development of the project, make a tax-deductible donation, or help spread the word! We are especially seeking the following volunteer/pro bono assistance and resources**:
- Land near San Francisco, CA for decomposition experiments involving expired supermarket meat
- Green funeral director to oversee demonstration burial (pro bono)
- Green cemetery or conservation burial site for demonstration burial (pro bono)
- Experienced Industrial Designer to help co-create the next burial container(s)
- As always, funding is greatly needed to support the project. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation–See right hand column…
**Please contact jrlee at mit dot edu for more info.
Q: Will the Infinity Mushroom eat me while I’m alive?
A: No. The mushrooms we are working with are edible mushrooms, which prefer wood-based substrates. These mushrooms are selected for their capacity to digest dead human tissue. They are not being genetically altered and will not morph into a flesh-eating disease. Consider the following…At any given moment, there are a million fungal spores, bacteria, and even viruses in the air, on every surface, and even in your own body competing for nutrients. Your body, when alive, has a natural defense mechanism (your immune system!) to fight off these microorganisms. Your body, when dead, no longer has an active immune system and will therefore become food for any organism.
Q: What distinguishes the Infinity Mushroom from, say, a fungal infection?
A: See above.
Q: What toxins are in the body?
A: The Centers for Disease Control in the US says we have 219 toxic chemicals in our body. These include tobacco residues, dry cleaning chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, flame retardants, heavy metals, preservatives, etc. The CDC reports that the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen and plastic hardener which causes reproductive and neurological damage, is found in 93% of adults age 6 and older. For more information about this research, please refer to the following…
Q: Is formaldehyde dangerous?
A: Yes. On June 10, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classified formaldehyde as a known carcinogen (cancer causing substance). http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/releases/2011/roc/
Q: Is formaldehyde-based embalming fluid dangerous?
A: Yes. Funeral personnel and others exposed to formaldehyde-based embalming fluids are at greater risk for respiratory disorders and certain cancers, confirmed by several different sources. For example, in October 2009, a research paper published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported: “Duration of embalming practice and related formaldehyde exposures in the funeral industry were associated with statistically significantly increased risk for mortality from myeloid leukemia.” http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/101/24/1696.abstract
Q: When will the Mushroom Death Suit and Decompiculture Kit be available to the public?
A: The Infinity Mushroom is currently still in development. A non-prototype is currently available, but Decompiculture Kits and Mushroom Death Suits with the actual Infinity Mushroom spores will most likely be available in 1-2 years.
**To submit suggestions for this page, contact jrlee [at] mit [dot] edu