For accuracy and time, the audio above is an edited version of what aired.
When the time comes, you’ve got options for how you want to go.
In Minnesota, the typical options are: a traditional burial, donating your body to science or flame-based cremation. A method pioneered by the Mayo Clinic and legalized in Minnesota in the early 2000s is focused on the environment.
Liquid or flameless cremation — also known as alkaline hydrolysis — relies on the body’s natural decomposition process, accelerated through the use of machinery and basic chemicals. The technique is designed to use less energy than traditional cremation and is sometimes seen as a gentler, greener option.
The process leaves behind a sterile solution of salts, sugars and other byproducts of natural decomposition that can be drained and treated. Bones are left behind and can be ground into ashes for the family of the deceased.
Although the chemical process was patented in the late 1800s, and has been used for various reasons throughout the century, the trend for greener cremations in the burial process has seen an increase in popularity.
MPR News’ Phil Picardi spoke with Jason Bradshaw of Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services to discuss this process.
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