Paul Edward Stamets believes that mushrooms can save our lives, restore our ecosystems and transform other worlds. Presents a suite of six mycological solutions, using fungi, and these solutions are based on mycelium.
Now who is Paul Stamets? What is fungi? What is Mycelium? What is mushroom? Why are discussing them?l
Meet Paul Edward Stamets, A Prophet of the Eco-System
- Paul Edward Stamets is an American mycologist, author and advocate of bioremediation and medicinal mushrooms.
- Fungi Perfecti founder and president Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over 40 years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored several new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of mushroom cultivation. – See more at: http://www.fungi.com/
- Mycologist Paul Edward Stamets lists six ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu viruses. https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world/transcript?language=en
- He presents a suite of six mycological solutions, using fungi, and these solutions are based on mycelium.
- Mushrooms can serve as game changers in fields as disparate as medicine, forestry, pesticides and pollution control.
Fungi Our Ancestor No 1
- The Kingdom Fungi includes some of the most important organisms, both in terms of their ecological and economic roles. By breaking down dead organic material, they continue the cycle of nutrients through ecosystems. In addition, most vascular plants could not grow without the symbiotic fungi, or mycorrhizae, that inhabit their roots and supply essential nutrients. Other fungi provide numerous drugs (such as penicillin and other antibiotics), foods like mushrooms, truffles and morels, and the bubbles in bread, champagne, and beer.
- Fungi were the first organisms to come to land. They came to land 1.3 billion years ago, and plants followed several hundred million years later.
- Fungi sets up a microbial universe that gives rise to a plurality of other organisms.
- Though the animal kingdom branched off from the fungi kingdom around 650 million years ago, humans and fungi still have nearly half of their DNA in common and are susceptible to many of the same infections. says Paul Stamets in an article in Mother Jones.
- We’re more closely related to fungi than we are to any other kingdom.
Mycelium, the Soil Magicians
- Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. It is the threadlike part of a fungus that lives in the soil or in places that it can thrive in.
- Mycelium is the main part of a fungus and mushroom. It behaves similar to the neurons of the human brain, allowing it to grow into a living weblike network that adapts to its environment. Metaphorically speaking, mycelium is like the root of a plant and the mushroom and fungus are like the buds, leaves or fruits of a plant.
- The mycelium infuses all landscapes, it holds soils together, it’s extremely tenacious. This holds up to 30,000 times its mass. They’re the grand molecular disassemblers of nature — the soil magicians.
- They generate the humus soils across the landmasses of Earth.
- We have now discovered that there is a multi-directional transfer of nutrients between plants, mitigated by the mcyelium — so the mycelium is the mother that is giving nutrients from alder and birch trees to hemlocks, cedars and Douglas firs.
- Mycelium is Earth’s natural Internet. When you look at the mycelium, they’re highly branched. And if there’s one branch that is broken, then very quickly, because of the nodes of crossing — Internet engineers maybe call them hot points — there are alternative pathways for channeling nutrients and information. The mycelium is sentient. It knows that you are there. When you walk across landscapes, it leaps up in the aftermath of your footsteps trying to grab debris. So, I believe the invention of the computer Internet is an inevitable consequence of a previously proven, biologically successful model. The Earth invented the computer Internet for its own benefit, and we now, being the top organism on this planet, are trying to allocate resources in order to protect the biosphere.
- Mycelium’s labyrinthine tendrils prevent erosion, retain water, and break down dead plants into ingredients other organisms can use to make soil. Stamets likes to call fungi “soil magicians.”
Mushroom Meatless Meat
- A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source.
- Mushrooms are known as the “meat” of the vegetable world. There in lies our historic challenge.
- Mushrooms are classified as vegetables in the food world, but they are not technically plants. They belong to the fungi kingdom. Although they are not vegetables, mushrooms provide several important nutrients.
- Mushrooms provide many of the nutritional attributes of produce, as well as attributes more commonly found in meat, beans or grains. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.