DailyDirt: Magic Mushrooms
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Fungus is everywhere. One of the largest organisms in the world is actually a huge fungus over 2 miles across, growing in Oregon. Fungi might have even been the first organisms to live on land, and mushrooms covered the earth’s surface after the world’s worst mass extinction event — feeding off all the dead plants and animals. So it might not be cockroaches that inherit the earth, but fungus. And if we ever find alien life, it could look more like mushrooms than humanoid life.
- Mushrooms are often overlooked, but they’re vitally important to the earth’s ecosystem — helping to decompose all kinds of organic (and some inorganic) matter, creating the soils for plants to grow in, as well as providing a source for numerous life-saving drugs for us. Fungi might help us clean up pollution and get rid of various toxic wastes, so someday there might be another meaning for the term “magic mushrooms.” [url]
- White truffles are a rare delicacy — only found in the wild — with prices higher than gold. Other kinds of these edible mushrooms are expensive but not as rare, and the industry supplying these delicacies is a secretive and sometimes shady business. [url]
- Fungus isn’t just for eating anymore. Certain fungus species can be used to produce jet fuel. It’s still a challenge to scale up biofuel production using fungus, but it could be easier to get biofuels from fungus than from microorganisms like algae or from plants that need more resources for cultivation. [url]
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Filed Under: biofuels, delicacies, ecosystem, food, fungus, life, mass extinction event, mushrooms, organisms, white truffles
Comments on “DailyDirt: Magic Mushrooms”
“Mushrooms are often overlooked”…until your friend has you eat one and 6 hours later you are saying “what the hell happened?”
Strangely enough, I’ve got two 65 liter mycelium incubators sitting right here by me in my office. Growing mushrooms is pretty fun just for being able to sample some of the oddball varieties you’d never find in a US store or restaurant*. The real fun, though, is designing & building the equipment: I never got around to playing with Arduino until I needed to build an automated humidity regulator.
FWIW, Paul Stamets has some really interesting books on mycology, detailing quite a few intriguing non-gastronomic uses for fungus… the only problem being that he’s really into patents, to the extent that he’s probably got an office in East Texas.
* – If anyone knows how to grow black morels, I’d happily trade a kidney (or my soul) just for a hint.
Is the 2 mile wide mushroom some American joke? Like it’s where the NSA offices are? or where they grow Trumps?
that’s an enormous fungus (the plant-like thing that lives in the dirt and forest) rather then a mushroom (the fruit/seed/spore structure that the fungus sprouts)
It’s not a vast fungal plain as far as the eye can see, covered in mushroom trees and grasping tendrils. There are tendrils and masses of the same colony spread throughout the whole area, infecting trees and sprouting up mushrooms. Samples over time finally confirmed researchers were not just finding the same Type of fungus in the soil but in this case finding segments of the same colony/organism.
Fungi Are Closer To Animals Than Plants
I wonder how vegetarians/vegans justify eating them?
Fungus, my Arch-Nemesis
As much as I love some mushrooms, nicely browned in some butter or a dozen other ways, fungus has caused me never ending grief. They kill my tomato plants.
Septoria Leaf Spot, early blight, late blight, you name one, my tomato plants likely got it sometime. This past year was the worst, all plants dead by August. That is after using every possible prevention available. I may have found Interstellar more plausible than most. I’ve seen nothing new in years to combat blight.
This coming year I’m moving to a new community garden, one that hopefully isn’t loaded with fungal spores. Wish me luck, I’m gonna need it. The new garden is organic only.
Re: Fungus, my Arch-Nemesis
Beware the blight.
If you have tomato blight problems in your home garden it would be easy to spread it to a community garden. The spores are already all over your gardening gear, your muddy gardening boots, the gloves you wore when pulling the last blackened tomato bushes out of the ground. Contamination is not a certainty but it is a risk if you were attempting them this previous year.
All hope is not lost for your home garden!
Give up a year, two would be even better, and grow no tomatoes or related plants At All, that would be one option, or remove all dead plant material (my folk’s even burned them instead of composting) and treat the entire area with fungicide according to directions for use on tomatoes. Cures exist if you hunt them.
oh but what about magic mushrooms lol
oh but what about magic mushrooms lol……
Re: oh but what about magic mushrooms lol
Those are in Oregon too.
I’m reminded of an episode of Leverage where the victim of the week worked at a cooking school before the boss turned evil and forced him and his students out. He tells the team that he heard the boss talking with some shady foreign guys about buying some product for $12,000 a kilo. Elliot immediately says “cocaine.” But after they infiltrate the place, they find out it’s not cocaine… it’s truffles!