Our weekly serving of off-the-menu items – a few popular favorites from the week, as well as a few morsels that may have slipped your notice.

Reviving Rundown Buildings with Mushrooms
Redhouse Architecture is using mushrooms to recycle derelict houses by demolishing the buildings, turning the waste into a pulp, and combining it with mushroom mycelium. The new, mushroom-based material is biodegradable, and can be cut into bricks or used as insulation.

Growing Communities through Urban Gardening
Dubai’s Sustainable City is a miniature city on the outskirts of Dubai that focuses on energy efficient living and sustainable lifestyles. The settlement includes domes set aside for urban farming, where residents can grow produce of their choice. Members of the community cite farming together as one of the processes that has brought them closer together with others in the sustainable city.

Revolutionizing Cold Brew Coffee
FrankOne’s vacuum technology coffee maker can make cold brew coffee in record time. Although cold brew coffee has experienced a recent surge in popularity, it takes a long time to brew, and few consumers make their own at home. However. with the pressure of a vacuum, water can be forced through coffee grounds, producing quality cold brew in a shorter amount of time.

The Importance of Conserving Wild Crops
In order to improve the genetic composition of crops—and produce new strains of plants that can grow more efficiently—crop breeders must introduce new genes to existing strains of crops. These unfamiliar genes typically come from wild crop relatives, making their conservation essential to improving agricultural production.

This video shows the process of extracting, preparing and weaving pineapple fibers into cloth.

Fabric Made From Pineapples
Traditional Filipino Piña cloth, often gifted to royalty and exhibited in museums around the world, is crafted from pineapple fibers. The painstaking process of making the cloth requires scraping the leaves of pineapples until their fibers are exposed, and then carefully washing away excess glucose, before weaving the fibers into a gauzy cloth.