Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Perils of Packing & Putrified Peanuts

I was packing up an order Monday, scooping up handfuls of recycled packing peanuts to fill the top of a box, when I plunged my hands into something wet and slimy. LARGE and wet and slimy. SCREAM!!

We make a dedicated effort at work to use recycled packing materials as often as possible, and most of the packing peanuts we use are delivered to us by a woman who gathers them up at the local natural foods market. She also has a home-based business, and in her generosity, delivers to us the surplus peanuts from her foraging, as it were. We are fortunate, as these supplies can be costly to purchase, and why use something new when a recycled item is just as good?

Well. Many of these peanuts we get are starch-based and biodegradable, and soluble in water. A bag of two of this latest batch got caught outside in rain, and the water dripped inside the bag, and, well, things began to grow, if you get my drift.

When I recoiled at the slimy handful, I stepped back, held the bag at arm's length and lo and behold what should appear but a basketball sized hunk of blue-packing-peanut mold. Alive! Thriving! In its own little warm, plastic-enclosed terrarium-of-sorts.


At least there is a good chance that this was organic blue mold.

I suppose I should be thankful for that.


  1. Jeez, I thought you'd found 'the missing link'.

  2. Jesus I thought you were going to say it was a slug. I was terrified to finish reading. I'm glad I did!!!

  3. Yuck...slimy is so not western-world. We lived in Japan for three years, where silky and slimy (not crunchy and toasty) is appreciated. Travelling to the Isu Peninsula and staying in a beautiful Ryokan, the hosts thought that for us a western breakfast (eggs and bacon) vs Japanese (salad, fish and raw egg) would be more to our liking. Somehow, it all sitting outside of our room after being delivered at 2.00 am kind of messed with the intention.

  4. RK, there have been slugs, spiders, bees, as well as assorted objets. Lately it's all been pretty clean, so my guard was down.

  5. Ha, ha,ha,ha to a great way to wake up (to your story). And, ewwwwwwwwwwwweeee!

  6. Something so queasy-making about tactile horror...I, too, dreading the report, but an alive (self-aware?) ball of colorful organisms pretty much matches the imagination.

  7. Thoroughly disgusting, thanks! Gives a whole new meaning to "sustainability."