Paul Stamets


American Mycologist, Author, and Advocate of Bioremediation and Medicinal Mushrooms

Author Quotes

I wrote Al Gore and Richard Branson. They haven't written back. But I wrote a two-page document on reversing global warming and saving biodiversity by investing in humus. Mycelium and mushrooms are composed of complex carbohydrates. They sequester carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. As the mycelium grows, it produces these wonderful acid crystals called oxalic acid, which are two carbon dioxide molecules joined together. So is the mycelium grows not only are these carbon rich compounds like proteins, but the cell walls are exoskeletons that are extremely high in polysaccharides, carbohydrates.

Mushrooms are like tips of an iceberg. Unfortunately it is the tip of the sinking iceberg as we lose biodiversity. But it is important that children are familiarized as quickly as possible that we live in symbiosis. We are symbiotic communities. Even humans are not just one species. We are these large mosaics of microbes.

Of all mushrooms commonly consumed, oyster mushrooms in the genus Pleurotus stand out as exceptional allies for improving human and environmental health. These mushrooms enjoy a terrific reputation as the easiest to cultivate, richly nutritious and medicinally supportive.

Time is short. We are going to lose 50% of the species on the earth in the next hundred years, of species that we know. What about the species that we don't know? Over 90% of the species in the kingdom of fungi are unknown. We only know about 10% of all the species that are out there. So we have a little bit of knowledge. And the little bit of knowledge that we have and what we know about it and how rapidly we are losing these candidate species means that we are losing tools in our biological tool chest.

If there were a United Organization of Organisms, otherwise called Uh-Oh, if every organism voted, would we be voted on the planet or off the planet? I think that vote is happening right now. Unless we pay attention to preserving biodiversity, the very organisms that give us life will be destroyed.

Mushrooms are miniature pharmaceutical factories, and of the thousands of mushroom species in nature, our ancestors and modern scientists have identified several dozen that have a unique combination of talents that improve our health.

Prevention is a lot better than treating after the fact. Every hour that we spend trying to prevent these bioepidemics and lots of species going down the toilet frankly, will be time very, very well spent.

Today, reishi stands out as one the most valuable of all polypore mushrooms in nature for the benefit of our health. Many naturopaths and doctors prefer organically-grown reishi from pristine environments because they are more pure.

If you do not know where the mushroom products you are consuming are grown, think twice before eating them.

Mushrooms can be invisible to the naked eye and they can be right in front of you. And people just can't see them. There have been many times that I have naturally sat down in the woods, mushroom hunting and not being able to find mushrooms. I am sitting there quietly in the forest resting. I look over and the very mushrooms I'm looking for are right by my feet sometimes.

Rather than going to molecular modeling and great computers and being able to play God, which I know incentivizes researchers and scientists because they can pull all these patents, I think it's much better that we go full circle and we look at the very habitats that have given us life and understand the complexity in the relationships.

Traditionally, our ancestors boiled mushrooms in water to make a soothing tea. Boiling served several purposes: killing contaminants, softening the flesh, and extracting the rich soluble polysaccharides.

If you look on the fungal genome as being soldier candidates protecting the U.S. as our host defense, not only for the ecosystem but for our population... we should be saving our old-growth forests as a matter of national defense.

Mushrooms have many helpful nutrients, including beta glucans for immune enhancement, ergothioneines for antioxidative potentiation, nerve growth stimulators for helping brain function, and antimicrobial compounds for limiting viruses.

Shivers went up and down my spine. It was too dark. I didn't have a flashlight. I pulled out my wallet and I threw some paper on the ground thinking, ?I?ll come back because what I felt, felt like one of these mushrooms that I was seeking.? The next morning I came back and there was a second collection of this species called Psilocybe sylvatica, which means woodland mushroom, ever collected. How does that happen? I mean, how does that happen? The improbability of that is beyond mathematics. Yet it happened. So mushrooms have called to me and I think they can call to many people. If we seek them they will find us more so than we find them.

Turkey tail mushrooms have been used to treat various maladies for hundreds of years in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous peoples in North America. Records of turkey tail brewed as medicinal tea date from the early 15th century, during the Ming Dynasty in China.

In the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, a new super kingdom was erected two years ago called Opisthokontum, recognizing that fungi and animals belong to one Superkingdom. So if we understand the evolution of life on this planet and that we have fungal origins, and understanding how to use these fungi as our hereditary partners can greatly have a positive impact in being able to support life systems on this planet.

Mushrooms provide a vast array of potential medicinal compounds. Many mushrooms - such as portobello, oyster, reishi and maitake - are well-known for these properties, but the lion's mane mushroom, in particular, has drawn the attention of researchers for its notable nerve-regenerative properties.

Some people think I'm a mycological heretic, some people think I'm a mycological revolutionary, and some just think I'm crazy.

Understand these mycelial lenses and how vast they are and then identify, if you can, target 10 edible mushrooms that you can learn how to identify. They are very easy. Morels are very easy. Shaggy Mane?s very easy. Choose the 10 most common edible mushrooms in your area. Learn how to identify them. And then take children into the woods. When you're picking the mushrooms, show the mushrooms come from this hidden, invisible network just beneath the surface of the soil and that these fungi create the very soils that give us life.

In the past, mushrooms were maligned as nutritionally poor. Since they are about 80 to 90 percent water when fresh, their net concentrations of nutrients can be underestimated. Like grains, however, mushrooms should be weighed when dry to get their correct nutrient value.

My book ?Mycelium Running? is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. It is a powerful book. It's one book I think in a series of manuals that people can use to help reverse course or change course. Smallpox doesn't care if you are Republican or Democrat. Smallpox doesn't care about borders. These bioepidemics are going to have a great leveling effect politically speaking because once they emerge out of the landscape we are going to all have to work together very, very rapidly.

That's what I think is happening. It is a growing plague of deforestation that is occurring around our planet. Once the CO2 levels hit 10,000 parts per million, all large animals will die off. That trend is a trend towards which we?re going right now. I wish people would spend more attention to this issue rather than so much of the political cacophony that dominates the airwaves.

Vitamin D from mushrooms is not only vegan and vegetarian friendly, but you can prepare your own by exposing mushrooms to the summer sun.

In the wild, an enoki mushroom is often squat-looking and its stem is rarely more than twice as long as the cap is wide. When they are grown by farmers and hobbyists, however, their stems elongate, the caps are smaller, and a forest of golden colored needle-like mushrooms shoot up all at once.

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American Mycologist, Author, and Advocate of Bioremediation and Medicinal Mushrooms