Oyster mushrooms (pleurote in French) from a small local enterprise in the centre of Montreal which is growing food from what would otherwise be waste.

Oyster mushrooms ("pleurote" in French) from a small local enterprise in the centre of Montreal which is growing food from what would otherwise be waste.
Photo Credit: Radio-Canada

Turning garbage into food -“green” and delicious

It was a bold gamble that is paying off for two Montreal women.

In a small non-descript warehouse in the central Montreal borough of Hochelaga-Maissoneuve, something unique is happening. The women are creating a food item from a variety of waste products.

Some 1,200 large perforated buckets are stacked in a small plastic covered greenhouse inside the building. From these are growing thousands of oyster mushrooms for their business called Blanc de Gris

Once transferred into the greenhouses, it will take about a month for the mushrooms to grow to market size
Once transferred into the greenhouses, it will take about a month for the mushrooms to grow to market size © Radio-Canada

From these buckets the two co-founders harvest about 90 kilos of mushrooms per week which they sell to about 30 local restaurants.

In return they collect the restaurant coffee grind waste which would otherwise go into the garbage which goes into growing the mushrooms..

Co founder Dominique Lynch-Gauthier began her interest from harvesting wild mushrooms then began growing some in her home.

It’s not easy as the mushrooms require similar conditions to those found in their natural forest environment.

The *greenhouse* inside the building. Once the mycelium has begun to grow in the dark storage, the buckets are moved into the greenhouse where it takes about a month to grow to market size
The *greenhouse* inside the building. Once the mycelium has begun to grow in the dark storage, the buckets are moved into the greenhouse where it takes about a month to grow to market size © Blanc de Gris

After two years of research, and wanting to be “green”,  she came up with her own ideal recipe for the mushroom substrate. Along the way she was helped by a university horticultural programme, a story about a Parisian grower using coffee waste, and advice from a local mushroom expert.

The unique recipe for the substrate consists of the restaurant coffee grinds, a little straw, cereal residue from a local micro-brewery, some wood chips also from a local tree trimming sources, and a little straw.

Ths substrate materials are put into a large mixer-pasteurizer prior to being cooled and put into the buckets.
Ths substrate materials are put into a large mixer-pasteurizer prior to being cooled and put into the buckets. © Blanc de Gris

Once Dominique had a successful recipe, she then thought of turning this into a business,  a career that she admits she couldn’t have imagined for herself a few years earlier.  She brought in her childhood friend Lysiane Roy Maheu to help with the marketing and sales and together they created, “Blanc de Gris”

The various ingredients are mixed and  pasteurized to remove bacteria before becoming the substrate for the mushroom.  The material is then injected with mushroom mycelium and left undisturbed in the dark for two weeks  to avoid contamination from any mould.

Co founders (L) Lysiane Roy Maheu and (R)Dominique Lynch-Gauthier in their warehouse operation in central Montreal
Co founders (L) Lysiane Roy Maheu and (R)Dominique Lynch-Gauthier in their warehouse operation in central Montreal © Radio-Canada

The buckets are then moved to the greenhouse where temperature and humidity are controlled.

The end result is an ecological and environmentally friendly product, and fresh.

Local restaurant chefs agree, noting that there is a pleasant nutty taste to the product and it’s firmer. The advantage of course is that it can be picked and delivered to the restaurants almost immediately ensuring that critical freshness.  And in addition to making use of what would otherwise be sent to the garbage, because everything is locally sourced and delivered, there is an added environmental advantage as no shipping is involved.

Lysiane delivering to a local restaurant where she will also pick up the coffee dregs. The chefs appreciate the freshness of the local product.
Lysiane delivering to a local restaurant where she will also pick up the coffee dregs. The chefs appreciate the freshness of the local product. © Radio-Canada

The two young women are now thinking of expanding their line by creating such things as mushroom marinades

Additional information- sources

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Economy, Environment, Lifestyle, Society, Work & Labour

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*