Mushrooms aren’t just for stir-fry and psychedelic experiences anymore. Researchers are working on creating building materials, medicine, cleaning products, textiles, biofuels, packaging, and countless other products out of the fungi.
So what can’t mushrooms do?
“Mushrooms can’t play tennis,” says Tradd Cotter, mushroom researcher and cultivator for a company called Mushroom Mountain. “As far as their versatility in agriculture, medicine, and in the laboratory, there’s not much they can’t do.”
Mushroom Mountain focuses on growing, harvesting, selling, and researching mushrooms. The South Carolina-based company takes advantage of its proximity to Clemson University to collaborate on several research projects at the university, from medical to civil engineering, all involving mushroom science.
Here's a look at some of the emerging ways mushrooms are proving useful: