How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
By Paul Stamets
Ten Speed Press, Paperback, 9781580085793, 340pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2005
The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called "mycelium"--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium's digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
In this comprehensive guide, you'll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined "mycorestoration," as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.
As a physician and practitioner of integrative medicine, I find this book exciting and optimistic because it suggests new, nonharmful possibilities for solving serious problems that affect our health and the health of our environment. Paul Stamets has come up with those possibilities by observing an area of the natural world most of us have ignored. He has directed his attention to mushrooms and mycelium and has used his unique intelligence and intuition to make discoveries of great practical import. I think you will find it hard not to share the enthusiasm and passion he brings to these pages.
--From the foreword by Andrew Weil, MD, author of Eating Well for Optimum Health
“Stamets is a visionary emissary from the fungus kingdom to our world, and the message he’s brought back in this book, about the possibilities fungi hold for healing the environment, will fill you with wonder and hope.“
--Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire
“This is the kind of book I love: highly factual and practical and mixed with the spiritual content that sets the great writers apart from all the rest.“
--John Norris, former deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and founder of the Bioterrorism Institute
“This is the first book to give the Kingdom of the Fungi its proper place in the scheme of things. It is the most important book on nature that I’ve seen in years.”
--Gary Lincoff, author of National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
“A paradigm-changing book. Stamets’s visionary insights are leading to a whole new understanding of how mushrooms, scarcely seen and rarely appreciated, regulate the earth’s ecosystems.“
--John Todd, founder and president of Ocean Arks International
“This visionary and practical book should be an instant classic in the emerging science of how to use nature’s wisdom and fecundity to rescue the earth and ourselves from the unwelcome consequences of human cleverness.“
--Amory B. Lovins, chief executive officer of Rocky Mountain Institute
“This gospel of fungi contains crucial pragmatic solutions showing us how to work with nature in order to heal nature.”
--Kenny Ausubel, founder and co-executive director of Bioneers
“In his respectful and casual way, Paul brings depth and clarity to the complexity of fungi and its place in the natural order, all the while engaging us in fungi knowledge for healing our planet.”
--Guujaaw, president of the Haida Council, Haida Nation
“Stamets’s best work to date, Mycelium Running provides a wealth of information showing how fungal mycelia and mushrooms can profoundly improve the quality of human life. Should be mandatory reading for government policy makers.”
--S. T. Chang, professor emeritus, Chinese University of Hong Kong