I first blogged about Swedes freeze-drying corpses back in 2005, but Nancy Bovy has alerted me that it's back in the news.
Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh and her company Promessa have specialised in the freeze-drying method, and the company has applied for patents in 35 countries.
Promessa has promoted the idea of using the human remains, like compost, to feed plants and shrubs. [Link]Wiigh's patent applications in the U.S. are titled "Method at mouldering" and "Method for treating organic matter to promote mouldering." The first includes this disconcerting passage:
[T]here is a belief that we shall return to earth, which is reflected in the expression "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" of the burial ceremony, which provides the basis for all our life philosophy. Facts show, however, that we do not return to earth but flow away in liquid state.