BURLINGTON – Burlington’s CityPlace may have found new life as City Council engages in top secret negotiations with a business as experimental and entrepreneurial as it is controversial. In a The Winooski exclusive, we
have learned of a proposal to put a manufacturing plant in the middle
of downtown Burlington that would produce edible Covid-19 PPE.
While the world has been focused on the numbers of new cases, and while we mourn the suffering and loss – of life, employment and large gatherings at sporting events – alarms are beginning to sound regarding the millions of face masks, gloves and gowns that are being disposed of every day. One study, quoted by the World Economic Forum, says if every person in the UK used a single-use face mask each day for a year it would create an additional 66,000 tons of contaminated waste. Opération Mer Propre, a
French charity, warns of the risk of there being more masks than jellyfish in our oceans if things don’t change dramatically. Enter “Viral Edibles,” a start-up looking for a home and a neighborhood amenable to extreme ecological sensitivity.
Jack Hanson, Progressive Councilman from Burlington East, is excited about the possibilities. “CityPlace has been a mess. Now, at long last, we see something exciting, something not only our community could support, but the whole nation can be excited about.”
S. D. Ireland is said to have its trucks cleaned and at the ready for large-scale mixing of the ingredients of the edibles. “A little water, a little Clorox, and we are pouring Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine like there is no tomorrow into our mixers, just to be on the safe side,” said Scott Ireland, President and CEO.
The science behind the project is complicated. “We may need to leave a bit of concrete in the trucks, just to give the edible mix some staying power,” explained Ireland. “We’ve learned,” said Councilman Hansen, “that the project has to consider how many calories are in each mask.”
Spokesperson for “Viral Edibles,” Jongsoo Wong, explained the company is attempting to ensure that the calories contained in the masks would be burned up in the process of chewing and digesting them, leaving the caloric effect at net zero.
Wong says the company is currently looking at several flavors as initial offerings. “We are experimenting with Mac & Cheese, Tofu and Meat Jerky. The chemistry is very intricate,” he continued, “as we have to create a product that can last up to eight hours but is also edible after a brief single use.” “Viral Edibles” expects the Mac & Cheese to be popular with the younger crowd, the Tofu to engage the diet-conscious folks, and the Meat Jerky to appeal to health care providers and teachers who are also country music enthusiasts.
If the edible face masks are a hit, the company is poised to begin research on edible gloves and gowns. “With this project the sky is the limit,” exclaimed an excited Don Sinex who recently regained control of the CityPlace project.
Some of the construction complexities have to do with how the project could include housing over a manufacturing plant that would exhaust pungent odors. One plan under consideration is to exhaust the fumes below ground rather than into the air. “If you can’t see it, you probably won’t smell it,” reasoned Scott Ireland.
As word of the project has leaked out, some are expressing cynicism. Chief among the detractors is Burlington’s lone Independent Councilman, Ali Deng. “Now we know why S. D. Ireland would want to be involved in CityPlace,” said Deng. “This project would provide a lucrative, long-range contract that would keep their trucks busy year round. It smacks of a monopoly!”