The Power of Mushrooms to Save the Planet
On a small mushroom farm tucked away about an hour south of Seattle, Paul Stamets has his nose in the dirt. Under the soil everywhere on Earth is the largest network of organism-to-organism communication—the natural Internet, he calls it. Stamets is one of the world’s leading mycologists (meaning that he studies mushrooms and their root structure known as mycelium). There’s immense power in mycelium, he says, for things like boosting human immunity, cleaning up oil spills, and guarding against outbreaks of disease. But more than anything. Paul Stamets just loves to smell it.
The fact that mushrooms have inherent power is itself a surprise—at least to me. A lot of people simply think of mushrooms as lawn pests, or as food.