Fungus is underrated. Mushrooms are not only good for eating, they can play a vital role in environmental protection efforts. They can also lubricate your chainsaw, break down your diapers, and reduce the need for non-organic fertilizer. Here’s how:
According to an article in last month’s Economist, Mexican scientist Alethia Vázquez-Morillas has found a way to use mushrooms to break down used diapers. Diapers can take centuries to rot away, but with Vázquez-Morillas’ method of mycoremediation —the deployment of fungi to clean up waste—they biodegrade in a matter of months. “…Cultivating the right type of mushroom on soiled nappies can break down 90% of the material they are made of within two months. Within four, they are degraded completely. What is more, she says, despite their unsavory diet the fungi in question, Pleurotus ostreatus (better known as oyster mushrooms), are safe to eat. To prove the point she has, indeed, eaten them.” Click here to read more.
Mushrooms Employed to Address Urgent Need to Replace Fertilizer Use:
As it becomes increasingly apparent that non-organic fertilizer poses a serious threat to global agriculture, and “given the fact that the world’s population continues to rise, it makes sense that researchers are looking for ways to reduce dependence on artificial fertilizers and increase fertility in soils.” Scientists have discovered that certain mushrooms, mycorrhizal fungi, can be used to form alliances with plants in a way that reduces the need to apply phosphate fertilizers. Because tropical soils are particularly lacking in this type of fungi, “researchers have been working on biotechnology breakthroughs that allow huge quantities of mycorrhizal fungi spores to be suspended in gel and shipped to farmers around the world. Field tests are currently underway in Colombia to assess the impact of these preparations on crop yields.” Read more here.
To hear the world’s number one fungus fan, Paul Stamets, speak about further benefits of mushrooms (non-drug related of course), click here.