Part 3: Mushrooms to the rescue

Wild and Cultured:  Musings from the Greenman

Disclaimer:  this article is meant to provoke insight into the many uses and mysteries of the mushrooms that live among us.  It is not an invitation to experiment into the potentially lethal ingestion of some of the mushrooms mentioned.  Consult with a experienced guide, and not merely a book or website when attempting to identify species for consumption.

From the mystical, to the meaty and medicinal, mushrooms have enriched our lives and have established themselves as our strange kin from another kingdom that have numerous riches and secrets.

Going further still, some has asked, can mushrooms assist us in saving this precious world whose ecological balance is at a tipping point? Paul Stamets, a mycological wizard believes so and he has put his own money and experience where his mouth is.  In a contest to see which bioremediation technology would clean diesel soaked soil similar in concentration to the Exxon Valdez spill, his team’s oyster mushroom petroleum-eating kit outshone the bacterial and chemical attempts (whose piles of dirt “remained dead, dark and stinky” after four weeks).

Not only that, but his mushroom pile was deliciously aromatic, bursting with huge oysters, which nourished insects and birds, sprouting an upbeat ecology after only nine weeks!

While some mycologists remain skeptical, Read more...