Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
More mushrooms, less pollution! Yes, you heard right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment. Microscopic cells called "mycelium"—the fruit of which are mushrooms —recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What fungi expert Paul Stamets has discovered is that mycelium also breaks down hydrocarbons —the base structure in many pollutants. So, for instance, when soil contaminated with diesel oil is inoculated with strains of oyster mushroom mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks. In MYCELIUM RUNNING, Stamets discusses this revolutionary trend in mushroom cultivation and provides tips for choosing the appropriate species of fungi for various environmental purposes.
About the Author(s)
PAUL STAMETS is the founder of Fungi Perfecti and codirector and founder of the Rainforest Mushroom Genome and Mycodiversity Preservation Project. An advisor and consultant to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School and the 1998 recipient of the Collective Heritage Institute ’s Bioneers Award, Stamets lives in Kamilche Point, Washington.
Excerpt from Customer Reviews
Super Valuable Information, December 1, 2005
Last summer I attended one of Paul’s seminars at Fungi Perfecti. Living near by it was easy to attend however I had absolutely no knowledge of mushrooms other than eating Portobellos et al., and reading a little about the possibility of plugging stumps and logs. In fact, at the seminar I felt a bit out of place amongst all of the others who had particular goals and agendas for being there. I figured a bit of education could help me understand this whole mushroom thing. When I left I was completely blown away by all of the possibilities that mycelium offer and by Fungi Perfecti’s excellent presentation of this data. Most all of what Paul and his staff taught in this seminar is in this book.
This fascinating book is a treasure trove of effective low tech methods for ‘running mycelium’. Paul describes everything from gardening techniques to soil restoration to health care application using typical gourmet mushrooms (oh what Oyster mushrooms can do) and many other species. As a scientist, he backs his data with reputable references. He also uses language that may be challenging to those not educated in the biological/medical sciences. However, not unlike Dr. Andrew Weil’s publications, it is nearly impossible to simplify this type of information without giving all audiences from foresters to backyard gardeners to medical practitioners enough information to help everyone understand how powerful this natural filter in soil is regardless of their educational background.
Mycelium Running has very high quality color photos, detailed ‘how tos’ anyone can follow and specifics describing the chemistry of this powerful ally in its myriad of uses. This is a wonderful text that hopefully will assist us in restoring our battered environment and ailing health one backyard and human body at a time. For what it is worth, this is perhaps the most important and interesting book I have purchased in years. Now I have piles of card board stacked around my property successfully running all kinds of mycelium from spent mushroom kits. I expect to further the `running’ using the techniques from this book to build more productive gardens and help keep Rue Creek running clean.
Because of Fungi Perfecti and Mycelium Running’s superb information, I have truly become ‘beshroomed’. I now go out of my way to educate friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers alike of the beneficial effects of growing better gardens, managing yard waste (instead of burning), mitigating damage by clear cut logging, cleaning up polluted soil and water ways, removing termites and ants (cannot wait to get an off the shelf solution for this!), alternative/supplemental solutions for treating disease/cancer and every day use for maintaining good health. All of this is painstakingly described in this book; simply amazing.
Paul and his staff are the type of people who do wonderful things for humanity. So wonderful, it makes me want to start a new career and open a natural healing center. Because of Mycelium Running, it would seem there is high probability of significant grassroots restoration of earth and human body. Do yourself a huge favor and spend the money to get this book; it is worth its weight in gold. Next thing you’ll find is that you’ll be running mycelium in some way, shape or form. It is that easy. Kudos to Paul, Dusty and FP staff for your dedication and hard work!