Cultivating exotic mushroom species like the "shitake" with beer waste, is a possible project in the heart of Brussels. It is a "start-up" that has been brewing for three years: waste from a famous Brussels brewery, Cantillon, and other local "brasseries" minimize the ecological impact of the crop with the aim of contributing to the circular economy.
The initiative, dubbed "Le Champignon de Bruxelles" (The Mushroom of Brussels) is a cooperative created by three young graduates, convinced that cities are also a good place to produce food.
"The majority of food consumption takes place in cities. The idea is to produce closer to consumption and reconnect citizens with their food," explains to the economist Hadrien Velge, one of the founders of the project.
The mushroom greenhouse occupies 750 square meters of the 8,000 that form ‘Les Caves de Cureghem’, cellars built in the 19th century. The "champiñonera" of Brussels has been reborn now with this initiative that seeks to take advantage of this place, that is humid and sheltered from light.
"For now we produce 1.2 tons of mushrooms per month. They grow on a compound based on beer waste, rescued from the urban breweries that proliferate in Brussels, and which replaces wood as the main compound of the "soil" in the mushrooms grow.”
"This is a by-product that is wasted in the cities. ... Here, we transform this organic matter into a product that has a very interesting nutritional value," says the economist.
According to ie.invertalia.net, the Shitake, one of the most consumed mushrooms in Asia is progressively being introduced into European gastronomy.