Chewable Plants

Is it possible to give an ordinary piece of rubber a new afterlife?

A human can produce an average of 0.5 to 1.5 liters of saliva each day or 0.3 to 0.4 ml per minute. This production of saliva can be increased or stimulated by eating, drinking or chewing some gum. We make gum soft by using our teeth, they grind the gom into smaller particles, and saliva glues it all back together. So, juicy it is!

If we spit it out, a certain amount of saliva will last in it. Suddenly a crazy thought came up: "Would the amount of saliva be enough to grow a plant?" This made me very curious. In this experiment, I take a closer look at what the consequences are for the plant and the synthetical rubber inside the earth.

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Chewable Plants Digitale Schets -

Click here for info sheet - Phase 1

Click here for info sheet - Phase 2

(View the progress by scrolling down the page)

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PHASE 1

 

MATERIALS

The seeds I have used will grow into edible flowers or herbs, this was a well-considered choice because chewing gum is also a food product, to exchange this snack for a more tasteful and nutrient source. Most chewing gums consist of a synthetic rubber and are therefore not biodegradable.  I think it's more interesting to use certain gums for the experiment, since they differ by the amounts of added sugars, whether they affect the growth process. Burying trash is not my intention neither a solution to the waste problem but rather analyzes whether it causes damage.

Chewing Gum:

  • Sportlife - sugar free and mint flavored. 
  • Mentos - mint flavored.
  • Bubblicious - sweet bubbelgum and strawberry flavored.

Seeds:

  • Lemon balm.
  • "Edible flowers": Hollyhock, borage, calendula, cornflower, marigold, nasturtium and violets.
  • East Indian Cherry.

 

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Chewable Plants - Seeds and Gum -

 

REALIZATION

14/01/20 - Each chewing gum was chewed until a smooth mass, then I slightly rolled the juicy gum in the seeds. The seeds would suffocate if they were completely wrapped with the synthetic rubber, and the experiment would have failed immediately. Afterward, I filled some transparent plastic cups with soil and planted the chewing gums covered with seeds. I also added a layer of hydro grains.

 

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Chewable Plants Close-up of Sample -

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Chewable Plants - Samenstelling 1 -

Reasons why the first experiment failed:

  1. No prior knowledge of the professional field.
  2. Not really thought of the conditions in which they can germinate (season, seed spacing, soil type, etc.)
  3. Water too little.
  4. Added water couldn' t drain because of the plastic cups (the seeds probably suffocated).
  5. Seeds need nutritious soil to grow or fertilizers must be added.
  6. The hydro-grains should be under the layer of soil.

 

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PHASE 2

 

MATERIALS

Chewing Gum:

  • Sportlife - sugar free and mint flavored. 
  • Mentos - mint flavored (was apparently sugar free)
  • Hollywood - mint flavored. 
  • Bubblicious - sweet bubbelgum and strawberry flavored.

Seeds:

  • Lemon balm Basil. 
  • "Edible flowers": Hollyhock, borage, calendula, cornflower, marigold, nasturtium and violets.
  • East Indian Cherry.

 

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Chewable Plants - Gum and Seeds 1 -

 

REALIZATION

31/01/20 - I've decided to redo the experiment with a more professional approach. Therefore, I asked Linnea Slipsager for help, who has more experience and knowledge of the cultivation and aftercare of plants. Linnea advised me to use different kinds of soils, and even mix them with compost. Compost contains important nutrients that could help the growth process. Also, the plastic cups need to be replaced by suitable flower pots. The seeds were planted the same way as before. (Each chewing gum was chewed until a smooth mass, then I slightly rolled the juicy gum in the seeds.)

 

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Chewable Plants Shelf -

 

OBSERVATION

03/02/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 03/02 -

 

06/02/2020                       

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 06/02 -

 

10/02/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 10/02 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 10/02 (2) -

 

14/02/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 14/02 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 14/02 (2) -

 

21/02/2020 

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 21/02 -

 

25/02/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 25/02 -

 

03/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 03/03 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 03/03 (2) -

 

06/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 06/03 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 06/03 (2) -

 

09/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 09/03 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 09/03 (2) -

 

13/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 13/03 -


 

16/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 16/03 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 16/03 (2) -

 

20/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 20/03 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 20/03 (2) -

 

23/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 23/03 (1) -

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 23/03 (2) -

 

30/03/2020

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Chewable Plants - Waarneming 30/03 -

 

Click here for info sheet