Published on October 4th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan1
6 Ways Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
Here’s a fun one. Someone shared this video with me recently and I thought it was worth sharing with you all.
Mushrooms are apparently amazing. I have never spent much time learning about these fungi, but after watching this video below, I have developed a great respect for them. It is likely they were the first living organisms on the planet; they “open the door for other biological communities;” the largest organism on the planet today (measured by area) is a widely thought to be a fungus in Malheur National Forest in Oregon; fungi use radiation as a source of energy; and there are many more interesting things about them.
Here are a few key points I pulled out of the video below:
- Mushrooms are a critical force holding soils together.
- They sequester carbon dioxide, one of the most common greenhouse gases causing global warming.
- They can clean and feed on petroleum waste, turning hydrocarbons into carbohydrates. As a result, they can be used better than possibly anything else to facilitate habitat restoration in places downstream from farms or chemical factories to clean up the waste and facilitate the healthy growth of life.
- They can be used as a medicine for numerous diseases, working much better than pharmaceuticals in fighting off flu viruses.
- They can be used as potent natural pesticides.
- They can be transformed and used as an energy source.
But I really can’t explain the benefits of mushrooms in the way mycologist Paul Stamets does in this TED talk. This is an extremely fascinating video and I highly, highly recommend checking it out.
Next time I go to the store or go mushroom hunting, I know I’ll be looking at these guys a little differently.
Want some more info on mushrooms, especially edible ones? Check out these posts: