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June 01, 2022

Announcing Trace Material Season 3!

Announcing Trace Material Season 3!

Healthy Materials Lab’s hit podcast Trace Material is coming back this summer – we’re exploring a whole new material!

We know every windowpane, brick, and even every piece of packaging have their own story to tell. What are they made of? How did they come into our hands and homes? And, perhaps most interestingly to the Trace Material team, who made them and why? Trace Material is a podcast devoted to exploring the materials that make up the world we live in.

In season 1, we took a deep dive into the booming world of hemp. We traced the story of hemp from its colonial roots in America, where it was often grown by enslaved people on plantations, through the war on drugs, and to today’s booming industry post-legalization.

In season 2, we investigated all things plastic by uncovering the human stories behind the synthetic material. We traced plastic’s origin from a test tube in a garage to its mid-century takeover and how it’s come to represent the excesses of our current era.

In season 3, we’re traveling underground to a world beneath our feet…ruled by the kingdom of fungi.

Fungi’s reputation is a mixed bag. They’ve been associated with death, decay, or mysterious magic, in many cultures. Much of the work of fungi goes unnoticed because it grows in the shadows or underground. We’re only beginning to understand the many ways plants and animals live in harmony with fungi and the possibilities these relationships can unlock.

Fungi can do so many things. They can be food and medicine, they can break down toxic materials, they can be grown into fabrics or molded into bricks and we’re in the process of diving into all of these applications.

This season will have a special focus on mycelium, which is the root-like structure of mushrooms. There’s currently so much material innovation happening in the world of mycelium, and we want to break it all down for you. How can something be made into products that could be healthier and more sustainable alternatives to leather, styrofoam, and bricks? Stay tuned for Trace Material Season 3 to find out.

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