Six ways fungi can save the living Earth


I love the United States that produces legions of people like Paul Stamets. I was recently brought to him, along with other worthwhile information sources, by Buelahman at RedState Revolt. My introduction came in the form of Stamets’ gasp-inducing presentation made available by TED , called “Six ways mushrooms can save the world” I intend to learn a lot more about this subject as the result of watching this video, as saving the world seems like not only a good idea, but an increasingly pressing necessity.

In the aforementioned search for more on Mr Stamets and his work, I dutifully repaired to his website, and was much refreshed by his disclaimer warning “pschedelic warlords” against seeking to acquire products proscribed by law, namely the Psilocybe genus of fungi. For citizens who want to be sure they are protected against such evil myco-aliens, there is available a very detailed field guide to help alert citizens to find and, erm, dispose of the contraband. In the interest of preserving bio-diversity, however, I urge that anyone extracting the psilocybe from its habitat first give it a little flick of the forefinger to ensure that a few spores remain behind. Probably not necessary, but it can’t hurt.

While we’re on the subject of mushrooms, I should include here the observation that, of all the family outings I’ve enjoyed in my life, one of the most satisfying has been that of combing the cowflop-studded slopes of Long Valley, Idaho for the fresh morel (G. morchella). Some folks call these pretty little numbers  “brain” mushrooms, and they are an extraordinary delicacy, with no more complicated preparation needed that a very light saute in butter. A bonus find on such forays are the puffballs, which, although not as tasty as the morel, is still an excellent bite…

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