Mushrooms are our ancestors. Mycelium fields have a consciousness. Most importantly, they create the soil on which all of life on earth depends. And yet, we have identified less than ten percent of all species of mushrooms, and we’re rapidly destroying the habitat they—and we—need to survive. As Paul Stamets says, “We are Neanderthals with nuclear weapons. I sense that our descendents are screaming back from the future saying, ‘Wake up. Don’t you see?’ We have all this ability with Google, and the internet, and the ability to do DNA coding, and yet we don’t have the most elementary understanding of the very organisms that generate the soil that gives us life.” Mr. Stamets has made it his life’s work to change that, and with this interview you can join him in that endeavor. You’ll hear fascinating stories of the healing power of mushrooms, and how they may play a key role in reversing the destructive impact our modern technology and industry have had on our planet. His passion for his work is clear, and he’s likely to inoculate you with a fascination for these organisms, which have so very much to teach us. (hosted by Michael Toms)
Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for more than thirty years, and is sought after the world over for his expertise. He has discovered four new species, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He has received numerous awards, including the 1998 Bioneers Award from the Collective Heritage Institute, named as one of the 50 visionaries changing the world in Utne Reader 2008 , and recipient of National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s 2008 Green-Novator award. He is the author of numerous articles and scholarly papers.
His books include:
- The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home (co-author J.S. Chilton) (Agarikon Press 1983)
- Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide (Ten Speed Press 1996)
- Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Ten Speed Press 2000)
- Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Ten Speed Press 2005)
To learn more about the work of Paul Stamets go to www.fungi.com.
Topics explored in this dialogue include:
- How we can make our forests less flammable
- How mushrooms can turn our most toxic pollutants into food
- Why mushrooms may provide a cure for AIDS and tuberculosis
- How you can use mushrooms to power your car
- Why mushrooms may hold a key to spiritual awareness
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Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 8/16/2008 Program Number: 3274