Crowds in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak are flocking to a house in Buon Ma Thuot to contemplate a huge Reishi mushroom weighing 220 kg.
The mushroom, with the scientific name Ganoderma Lucidum, is 1.7 meters long, 1.2 meters wide and 0.6 meters tall, said Dao Duc Dai, 27, a resident in the city’s Tu An Ward, who owns the huge mushroom, which is highly valued for its health benefits.
“On October 1, my mother-in-law at Farm 717 in Ea Kar District told me that a farmer had discovered a huge mushroom on a mountain and wanted to sell it,” Dai said.
Dai then went to look at the mushroom and agreed to buy it for VND200 million (US$9,400), he said.
Dai hired eight young men to dig the mushroom out of the ground and load it on to a hired van to bring home, to the surprise of everyone who saw it.
The front part of the mushroom looks like a toad sticking its tongue out, and its back has holes that look like caves.
Hundreds of curious people now flock to Dai’s house every day to see the enormous mushroom, and many of them photograph or videotape it or pose for photos.
After Dai posted about the mushroom on Facebook, a person in Hanoi offered to buy it for VND700 million ($32,920), and a Chinese national wanted to buy it for VND1 billion ($47,012).
However, Dai refused to sell it.
“I am waiting for the mushroom to be evaluated in terms of age and quality so that I can obtain a place in the Vietnam Record Books.”
Lingzhi mushrooms, also called Reishi, Lin zi, or mushroom of immortality, is an important component of the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries.
It is used to increase energy, stimulate the immune system, and promote health, according to medical websites.
Reishi mushrooms are used to treat viral infections such as the flu (influenza), swine flu, and avian flu; lung conditions including asthma and bronchitis; heart disease; kidney disease; liver disease, and even cancer, according to WebMD.
It is also used for HIV/AIDS, altitude sickness, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), trouble sleeping (insomnia), stomach ulcers, poisoning, and herpes pain. Other uses include reducing stress and preventing fatigue, WebMD said.
The key to any health routine is diet. You have to eat right to feel right. It doesn’t take any work to be able to add healthy foods into your diet, it only takes discipline and consistency.
Most people who begin to add healthy foods into their diet begin to slowly fade away from the process and therefore the results never fully develop.
Why do people start to back track? Maybe they don’t have time to go shopping. Maybe they find it inconvenient to go away from the norm and eat healthy every day. Perhaps they just don’t have the knowledge of what foods are the most important to get into their diet on an everyday basis.
There should never be an excuse as to why you can’t treat your body the way it deserves; the way YOU deserve. Make it a habit, not just an isolated action, to add these foods to your health regime and watch as you feel lightyears better both physically and mentally.
Take a look at 12 nutritions facts about foods that fit into any healthy, active lifestyle.
- Asparagus is high in glutathione, which has cancer-fighting benefits.
- Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is vital for energy.
- Green-tipped bananas are actually better for you than yellow bananas.
- Celery is the best vegetable source of naturally occurring sodium.
- Broccoli contains two times the amount the vitamin C than an orange.
- Cilantro has been shown to be useful in treating urinary tract infections.
- Chicory can help diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels because it contains insulin.
- Chinese cabbage is an effective anti-inflammatory aid.
- Dandelion has digestion benefits and is an antiviral that may be helpful useful in the treatment of AIDS and herpes.
- Fennel contains the antioxidant flavonoid quercetin.
- Fresh beans contain vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, calcium and potassium.
- Kale has been shown to ease lung congestion and is beneficial to the liver, stomach and immune system.
Calorie for calorie, it is very difficult to find foods with better nutritional benefits than the ones listed above. They provide a highly concentrated way to fuel your body and keep you at peak performance, both physically and mentally, all day long.
In addition to the many benefits listed above, these foods are also a terrific source of vitamins and minerals — including, but not limited to, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins K, C, E, and B.
Lastly, greens contain very low amounts of carbohydrates, and the carbs that are in there are compiled with layers of fiber, making them easy to digest.
Now that you got some facts, go out and eat some greens!
Does cooking meals at home lead to improved health outcomes? And how do TV dinners compare nutritionally to TV chef recipes?
Based on studies linking coffee consumption with lower liver cancer risk, coffee is put to the test to see if it can help reduce liver damage in those with hepatitis C.
How often do we see overweight people drinking diet soft drinks? It’s a common phenomenon that’s been driven both by medical advice and persuasive advertising campaigns. But, for many, the question of whether the diet drinks are a contributing factor, or simply a response to, overweight or type 2 diabetes has been elusive. Until now.
A study led by Dr Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, published last month in the journal Nature, provided a remarkable new insight: artificial sweeteners trigger glucose intolerance by disturbing the physiology of the bacteria in the gut. This is especially interesting following research published in Science last year that obese and lean individuals have a markedly different composition of their microbial communities in their guts.
Because glucose intolerance is the precursor to metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes, the Israeli study provides the first evidence suggesting that artificial sweeteners are likely causative or contributory factors in our current metabolic epidemic. The three sweeteners investigated were saccharin, sucralose and aspartame and the research was performed both on mice and on human subjects.
Senior European Correspondent for Nature, Alison Abbott, provides a useful summary of the research. The piece also indicates that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will make a decision in due course as to whether to ask its panel on additives to look into the relationship between artificial sweeteners and metabolic disturbances. Given the repeated green lights given by EFSA on aspartame, despite evidence indicating serious health concerns, we suggest your don’t hold your breath. EFSA has a much publicised revolving door with Big Food.
Weight of evidence
When you piece this new information together with what is already known from previous studies highlighting the relationship between increased diet soda consumption and being overweight, it’s no longer possible, in our view, to uphold that the jury is out on the issue. Simply put: artificial sweeteners are not safe and diet drinks contribute directly to obesity, metabolic syndrome and eventual type 2 diabetes.
Among previous findings of note are:
- The more diet drinks a person consumes, the more likely they are to become obese
- People who consume diet drinks are more likely to be overweight and consume more calories from food
- Artificial sweeteners trigger reward centres in the brain and disrupts appetite control
- Consumption of two or more diet drinks a day increases heart attack and stroke rates among older women
And it’s a despicable situation that doctors, dieticians and other health professionals, let alone pushy advertising by soft drink manufacturers, continue to direct diet drinks towards the very people who need them least.
All this doesn’t bode well for kids who drink fizzy beverages or sodas. And it seems most do. The take-home here is that kids who are overweight may be worse off drinking diet versions than the ‘full fat’ versions. Couple this with physical inactivity and it’s a health time bomb in the making.
But as we discovered in this audio recording of an 8-year-old in the UK, some young kids are already shunning fizzy soft drinks. How long is it going to be before, as a society, we regard fizzy drinks, whether sugar-filled or sugar-free, in much the same light as cigarette smoking.
Has the revolution begun?
- Don’t consume artificial sweeteners in any form, especially if you are already overweight
- Follow dietary, physical activity and rest/relaxation advice given on our sister site, Bite the Sun. Find your own ‘pathway to the sun’ (yes, that equates to a vital life!) using food, activity and rest
As the current Ebola epidemic sweeps across West Africa, wiping out over 50-90% of people in its path, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the US opens the door to “unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention”.
The kinds of interventions the CDC has in mind are experimental drugs that have yet to undergo clinical testing for safety or efficacy, or ones that are already available on the market but licensed for other purposes. This latter group are rarely free from a list of serious and sometimes lethal side effects.
Firmly on the table is also a vaccine, being developed jointly by the US National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and the world’s second largest drug company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The company has committed £300,000 to develop the front-line healthcare worker infrastructure in the three affected West African countries; Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. While this is badly needed, it will also mean that GSK has an army of suitable personnel to despatch its vaccine come its planned release in early 2015.
The ebola virus
This all sounds like good planning. Actually, it is. But very large questions hang over how well any vaccine might work, what its side effects might be, how many people will be lost prior to its release, and how effective, or otherwise, other interventions will be in the meantime.
Ebolavirus disables the innate immune response, but also the acquired humoral and cellular responses that lead to uncontrolled viral replication and dissemination. This then leads to a hyper-response from the immune system known as ‘cytokine storm’. The hijacking of part of the immune system and over-activity of other parts, contributes to the break down of the vascular system, then, commonly, haemorrhaging and death. Having interacted with medics on the frontlines in recent weeks, a picture is beginning to emerge about the differences in immune status and response between those who are most susceptible, as compared with those able to survive. Many of those who die, put simply, have a more compromised immune system before they are even infected. This may be because they are already malnourished or dehydrated, or both.
An illustration of immune response, involving a chain of defensive white blood cells, triggered by microbes
Previous studies in Gabon have shown that a high prevalence (up to about 20% of the population) of ebolavirus antibodies in healthy populations. This immunity is likely the result of previous epidemics or, more likely, the regular exposure of local populations to the virus, probably via natural reservoir or spillover sources of the virus, such as the hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) and the little collared bat (Myonycteris torquata). This is thought to be the result of people eating fruit contaminated with bat saliva. This work demonstrates that humans can develop immunity, this of course being one of the justifications for developing vaccines in the first place. But the level of cross-immunity to evolving strains remains somewhat of an open book.
Immune status prior to infection is key
The bottom line is that a person’s health and immune status before becoming infected with Ebola is one of the most crucial elements to their prognosis once infected. Writing in The Lancet, a team of French researchers in Gabon, headed by Dr Eric Leroy stated:
“We have found that immunological events very early in an Ebola-virus infection determine the control of viral replication and recovery or catastrophic illness and death. Recovery from infection is related to orderly and well-regulated humoral and cellular immune responses, characterised by the early appearance of IgM and IgG, followed by activation of cytotoxic cells at the time of antigen clearance from blood. By contrast, fatal outcome is associated with impaired humoral responses and an early activation of T cells unable to control virus replication, followed by considerable intravascular apoptosis.”
Leroy’s team also claims the possibility of asymptomatic human-to-human transmission. This means the virus is present in some people with no evidence of symptoms, being perfectly well managed by the immune system – and then can be transmitted to others in the usual ways, via body secretions. With this in mind, imagine how healthcare workers could become as much part of the problem as part of the solution…
Chris Dye from the World Health Organization is appealing for $1billion to support the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Huge amounts of this needs to be spent on frontline medical staff and nurses, hospital beds, protective clothing and all the other paraphernalia associated with trying to halt the transmission of what is considered to be an untreatable infectious disease while providing palliative care for those infected – and rightly so.
Multi-target therapeutics, naturally
But it beggars belief, given the knowledge of the virus’ workings, that there’s so little effort going towards priming the immune systems of West Africans, in advance of their exposure. Basic vitamins like vitamins A, C and various B vitamins, as well as minerals like zinc and selenium, are cheap and strongly correlated with enhanced immune response and modulation in the event of challenge by life-threatening viruses. Some of these are even more effective when delivered intravenously at extremely high doses, short-term.
Beyond this, functional and integrative medicine has decades of experience with dozens of other naturally-occurring compounds, some produced within the body, others from our diets and environment, that have profound immune-modulating effects. Many of these natural agents are astonishingly relevant to the current crisis, precisely because these molecules are so often multi-target in their function. More to the point, brought together in an integrated treatment and prevention program, their net effect just could be all that is required, helping to turn the most susceptible individuals into more resilient ones. This multi-target function of natural molecules is of course, typically, the diametric opposite of the way in which most patented drugs work, including the latest crop of experimental drugs such as ZMapp.
Vitamins and minerals are strongly correlated with enhanced immune response
The best news we can relay to you at present is that there are efforts being put in place, at the behest of West African governments – not the consortium of international agencies and corporations centrally involved in the current main effort – to trial various therapies of this kind. The bad news is that these trials are all covert, because for them to fly above the parapet would cause them to be attacked and challenged by the international agencies that continue to be deeply in bed with pharma. Such efforts are also often compromised through lack of adequate funding and infrastructure. They are further hampered by their need to be covert.
It’s a tough ask to suggest that vaccination development, trials and roll-out should be put on hold because of concerns it either won’t work or might cause serious side effects. That’s not what we’re suggesting. What we are suggesting however, is that far more effort be placed on ways of enhancing the human immune system among populations that are at risk of exposure. That includes most people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It also includes all frontline health workers.
In light of the available scientific evidence, it would be a travesty to ignore work of this kind when there is so much research and clinical evidence suggesting that the state of a person’s immune system prior to exposure to the virus is one of the key factor’s determining whether someone will live or die.
How have we strayed so far off course? A few factors have worked together. These include: too much focus on the dead, rather than the survivors; too much effort generating fear for something we think needs a high-tech, patented solution, and; too much control by corporations, including the CDC and their colleagues at NIH, which are set to gain financially by the release of viruses or anti-viral drugs.
Thankfully there are people in West Africa who see through all of this and are doing something about it. It’s just a pity that a small fraction of the huge amount of aid pouring in on the back of the Ebola epidemic can’t yet be diverted to immune support for the masses. We can hope that this will change – in time, and the sooner the better given the continuing and potentially unnecessary death toll.
I have been studying mushrooms, inside and out, macroscopically and microscopically, for the past 22 years. At times I imagine myself deep into their chemical consciousness to figure out what they are thinking and what they are experiencing. Why? To gain a higher understanding of their individual needs on a species by species basis. I know this sounds strange, and, trust me, on occasion I look in the mirror for signs of gills emerging from my neck or a Cordyceps mushroom sprouting from the back of my head like a possessed ant, as I near the final stages of my personalized mushroom infection.
Now, you don’t need to go to these extremes to be a good mushroom grower. But, who wants to be good? Greatness is committing one step higher and at a level that can make the impossible a reality. That’s what I attempt to teach folks in my new book, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation.
Fungi, with their branching fungal filaments called hyphae (collectively called mycelium), are constantly sampling their environment’s chemical properties, using specialized cell tips that can read the composition of a substance like a laboratory liquid chromatographer. These rapid tests signals the mycelium to adjust its internal assembly lines, shifting genetic expression, to manufacture whatever it needs to overcome, or succeed in this newly sampled environment, or in many instances, when it encounters a competitor or pathogen competing with its territory. This interface environment is where the magic happens, and this is where I try to place myself—deep into the matrix to gain a better understanding of these interactions between fungi and their immediate environments.
You are probably right in guessing that I don’t watch TV much, or pay for cable, as these mushroom cultures are my preferred entertainment, setting up bacterial and fungal galleries on petri plates, constructing microbial gladiator matches to watch, learn, and gain a deeper understanding of how these organisms react so quickly, and most importantly efficiently, to changes in their environment. This has to be the lesson that resonates with my personality the most, the will or need to foresee my path and pave my way safely through life the best I can, with minimal injury and creating opportunities.
Meet Your New Mentor – Mushrooms
The availability of online information has helped make for easy searching, however much of the online sources for cultivation and mushroom identification are inaccurate, and anyone can post or blog about their projects.
Scanning through a few popular sites I see the struggles and mistakes, the misleading information perpetuated amongst the public body of knowledge thirsty for solutions. I admit that I started in the same place, except with little to no Internet content in the early 1990s and with the only access to good mushroom cultivation information being in the back of a High Times magazine. For $3 you received a few Xerox copies and hand drawings of spore isolations. Even though books were available on cultivation, they weren’t enough to feed my need to succeed. Failure after failure, contamination winning the race, I saw that I had a great future in growing molds and no mushrooms, until one day I spotted a tiny mushroom growing in one of my jars, and everything changed forever. That little mushroom must have known I was on the edge of giving up, maybe it felt sorry for me, as if to wave a flag telling me to not leave a friend behind, and focus on this one little mushroom. I finally failed forward, and loved it.
Nothing has changed in 22 years except I know where to start approximately with every mushroom I find to minimize failure, but often the rules are not the same for every species, so again I have to deal with plate after plate, or jars of small adjustments to find the correct combination to unlock the growing parameters of each species. And, it takes a long time. My degree of error is now extremely low, as I have progressed to a new clean room and high tech lab gear, but I have also learned how to calculate risk when trying something new, strategizing a winning outcome rather than rolling the dice blindly. Though, on occasion, I’ll surrender to the serendipitous forces of the universe and just lob a “Hail Mary” into the end zone with extra cultures, bags, or plates lying around just to see what happens. This to me is an interesting way to pick up some accidental and also innovative solutions or discoveries without spending too much formal planning or thought on the projects, and gleaning the rewards of accidental invention in process. A lesson learned here? Patience and empathy, something the world could use a little more of, so start thinking like a mushroom, become opportunistic and seize this moment. Create something that can change the world, one mushroom at a time.
Mushrooms and Man: Soul Mates for Life
The balance of nature is offset by human intervention that has not yet learned consequence, despite repeated warnings, and each mode of environmental damage compounds and overlaps into new problems.
Pollution can create illnesses and starvation, which creates dynamics in world power; regions of starvation and illness are breeding grounds for viruses and other pathogens to mutate and host jump—a vicious circle that needs to be stopped. However, as I point out in my book Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, there are solutions that anyone can put into motion, regardless of academic or physical skill, making it a valuable tool in reversing global issues. These powerful forces, many natural and several man-made, challenge our survival as a civilization and species. I feel a systemic connection to the planet, one that keeps me up at night wondering how to fix it, one problem at a time, but it is impossible to do alone. I have tried to compile this book to help create conversation, collaboration, and creativity to evolve collectively. When an ecosystem is sick, the organisms that inhabit that ecosystem are also sick, fall ill, and perish. A small pond is no different than the planet as a whole, just a small model that we can watch and observe all of the inputs and outputs. But where do we get the strength and power, or skillsets to reverse the flow of negativity on the planet? To put these problems back where they belong and create definitive solutions and not “quick-fix” ideas that merely patch the holes.
If we aren’t afraid to take the first step and learn something new, such as cloning mushrooms with cardboard, or cultivating mushrooms on some organic matter collected during a cleanup effort, then we can demonstrate a proof of concept that empowers everyone to expand this skill to a higher level.
The Open Source for Fungal Solutions is Finally Here
A feeling of true empowerment doesn’t come along very often, and the world seems to limit the power to a select few. To make matters even more unbalanced, the leaders of particular industries often keep their industry and trade secrets close to home, which limits the spread of knowledge to the general public. The mushroom industry is no different, with the massive mega farms in Pennsylvania, California, and Tennessee dominating the playing field, and thus driving the prices as low into the ground as possible to make competition difficult. These few farms account for more than 80 percent of all cultivated mushrooms in the United States. However, most of them employ expensive composting technology that most growers cannot afford to become competitive, and many rely on conventional pesticides to ensure that their yields are consistent and appear flawless to the consumers. Some even use banned fungicides with a “special needs” permit through the EPA, claiming that they would not be able to grow mushrooms without it.
When you see, or tour, a farm of this design and magnitude it can seem daunting, and understandably overwhelming when you start to think about setting up a farm to compete with this type of efficiency and volume. But that is your advantage, not to compete as a conventional farm, rather to compete at a localized level producing high quality, organic mushrooms which are grown naturally and command a much higher market price than high volume farms. There is no comparison to the mushrooms you are able to cultivate and mushrooms shipped in from 1000 miles away, and consumers know it.
In my book Organic Mushroom and Mycoremediation I provide readers with as much information as possible, distilling it into a language that is easy to follow and, more importantly, enable you to act upon it. Removing the feel and fear of academic or complicated guides, the reader should be able to convince themselves to grow mushrooms successfully without the use of complicated machines or making large investments to get started, and learning how to add layers to their experience and skill level as they progress. Once the reader understands how mushrooms feed and fruit, the book offers a buffet of do-it-yourself projects and ideas that I hope will fuel a pattern of citizen science that can contribute back to the good of everyone. I encourage anyone reading the book to share their discoveries, protect them if need be, but share the concepts with the world so that all may benefit from using them at home or on a small scale. In turn, these concepts will pay forward and return our intellectual property investments by way of public domain solutions—ones that should never be owned or shelved. If everyone knew how to cultivate mushrooms on paper and cardboard, especially in remote or devastated locations, the solutions to suffering from global starvation would go from a pipedream to a reality. It just needs ground troops like you to carry this mission forward.
The “Hidden Power” of Fungi and Medicinal Mushrooms of the Future
What happens when you raise a wild animal in captivity for several years, pet and spoon feed it, then return it back to the African savannah? Probably not a happy ending for a zebra or gazelle trying to make friends with the lions! So what lesson can be learned here in regards to cultivating mushrooms?
I am a huge supporter of cultivating native mushrooms for many reasons. The most important reason is the genetic quality of the mycelium specific to your region matches much of your available raw materials and it has adapted to the climate, just like you.
The difference between large, factory produced mushrooms and those cultured and grown at home are very different. There is a higher degree of quality when one is able to control the precise growing conditions and environment when cultivating on a small scale, ensuring that a mushroom is properly cared for as it manufactures all of the goodness you will harvest later. As mushrooms grow, the mycelium divides as it colonizes, and every cell is making a replicate over and over again. When you photocopy an original document, then make a copy of the copy, and so forth, the quality begins to show. It is no different with mushroom mycelium, where the dividing cells are consuming the same growing substrate and “become bored” or accustomed to the media and start to lose genetic variability or expression, to make certain compounds that they don’t need. It is possible that when you over divide the mycelium at some point it may show no interest in fruiting at all! I am convinced fungi have ADD (attention deficit disorder) for a very good reason, and it is an evolutionary advantage, so maybe we should let the kids daydream a little and put the Prozac away.
In my experience and opinion, keeping mushroom cultures closest to their wild isolates is the best way of preserving these unique characteristics, such as mushrooms high in protein or vitamin D, to keep manufacturing these compounds and teaching them not to degenerate as they grow. Our farm uses just five transfers from the original isolate, while at industrial farms it is not uncommon to be using the 20th generation of transfers for the final expansion onto growing substrate, which is a long way from home for the mycelium. Most colleges, universities, and businesses cultivating organisms for research and for industry, such as producing Penicillin for example, use stock cultures of known potency and must maintain finite numbers of backups in preservation for expansion. The cultures, much like plants, are grown in monoculture, large bioreactors or fermenters on a nutrient source and harvested when the cells are ready. The organism is grown with one end product in sight. The way my lab works is much different, treating cultures more like a workout gym or Olympic center to train and challenge the organism into making new compounds never before created, without genetically modifying them. This tactic has been proven effective in practice, and now on its way to unlocking the “hidden power” of fungi. How does understanding this phenomenon benefit humanity? By creating a paradigm shift in treating disease with personalized medicinal solutions.
For example, anyone contracting strep throat typically receives a throat culture, swabbed and its identity verified on selective media to determine which of the few antibiotics are in circulation or available on the market that are effective. The problem is that all bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant, at the rapid tune of three to five years after a product arrives on the market (after a twenty-year FDA approval and experimental process that could cost $200 million per drug). It’s easy to who is winning the race—the microbes. The only way to get around the broad, herd-based antibiotics is to stop treating humans and animals like heads of cattle, and use specialized, or individual supplements produced by fungi capable of manufacturing the compounds exclusively for that very host organism, be it a goat, dog, or human. This type of shift is also called a disruptive technology.
In the future I see a new breed of medical facilities, where a throat culture is dosed into fungal modules that sweat the metabolites into a powdering or liquid gelling process, and in 24 hours you’d have personalized medicine in a form that is not regulated by the FDA or, alternately, pharmaceutical companies, which purify or genetically alter their organisms. Not only can these compounds synthesized by fungi naturally on a case-by-case basis vary in their molecular chemistry, they are extremely complex and naturally calibrated levels of antibiotic cocktails, tailored exclusively for this particular infection, and even better, compatible to your specific ecotype. A DNA matched antibiotic cocktail? Why not, I dream a little right? I don’t think anything is impossible if you ask nature for solutions. If there is one thing I know, it’s that the bacteria and viruses are gaining ground, and we need other options and solutions to survive and heal this planet.
The planet needs a Spring Cleaning, NOW, using Mushrooms
As dynamic as the planet seems, with her self-balancing mechanisms to offset disruptions, we are just too damaging as a species for the Earth to keep cleaning up after us.
Getting closer to a tipping point is not my idea of a sustainable civilization. Lucky for us, recent discoveries have found that mushrooms are well suited for this challenge to help us, but we must be able to understand how they help us to apply them in a way that makes them succeed. These solutions range in difficulty from a small puddle of herbicides spilled at home to an EPA superfund site, yet the basic principles are no different and can be learned and applied by anyone immediately.
The limiting factor in cleaning pollution with fungi, or mycoremediation, is the availability of the biomass, or volume of mycelium from a particular mushroom, that is typically created by cultivation. Farmers and small-scale growers now have the ability to expand mycelium and use it with the intention of using the waste to solve an environmental problem in their region. What is missing is the identification of these localized problems and connecting the administrations that oversee the pilot programs with groups that can collect data from specific sites and create small models that can then be scaled up to larger projects. Homeowners and farmers should not preclude themselves from becoming involved, as this participation collectively can generate a considerable amount of biomass needed for these larger projects. Creating a mycological task force in your area can create the momentum needed to fix many environmental projects sitting and waiting for someone to take action. The grant money is there, in most areas of the United States, to fund projects just like these. They just need leadership to educate the committees, file a plan of action, and to release the funds to fuel a small wave of mycelium in your area. This is why open source mushroom cultivation and experimentation is so important to the future of mankind on the planet. Every so often in history there is a paradigm shift from a normal theater of thinking, and if we can shift a population in a classroom, into a small town, into a city, and connect the areas in between, we will see how the power of the individual’s effort coalesces into a collaborative and unstoppable, positive force. Become an inspirational leader and take this information to the next level and show the world how amazing mushrooms are!
About the Author
Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than twenty-two years. In 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries. His most recent book is Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation (Chelsea Green Publishing).
Article From Boingboing.net
Mushrooms, mushrooms everywhere! Mushrooms have been used as food and medicines for thousands of years. Many people enjoy eating various types of mushrooms, in both raw and cooked forms. Most are grown in Chester County, in the town of Kennett Square and its surrounding area, which is also known as “The Mushroom Capital of the World.” With lots of health benefits and a variety of ways to prepare them, it is easy to understand why so many chefs like to incorporate them into their tasty dishes.
Mushrooms contain between 80 and 90 percent water, are low in sodium, fat and calories, are extremely nutrient dense, and are an excellent addition for people who are weight conscious. In addition, they contain no gluten, fat nor cholesterol. They are chock-full of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure and incidence of stroke. In fact, one medium sized portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a regular sized banana. They are also full of Vitamin B (great for the nervous and digestive systems), iron (good for Anemia and red blood cells), copper (helps makes red blood cells) and selenium (good for prostate gland function and helps reduce prostate cancer).
Mushrooms are the only grown food that contains natural vitamin D, which aids in bone strengthening. Combined with calcium that is also found in mushrooms, they can help with joint pain and Osteoporosis. They also contain Beta-glucans, which help to stimulate the immune system and increase allergy resistance, and are found in many Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms. Mushrooms are also well known for containing Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system. Ergothioneine is an amino acid that contains sulfur, which many people lack in their diet. Diabetics have shown improvement eating various types of mushrooms, because of the natural insulin and enzymes that they contain. Many species of mushrooms also help diabetics from infections to their limbs, as they are a natural antibiotic.
Below is a summary of some of the more common mushrooms:
• White Buttons: The most common of mushrooms in the U.S., research shows that they help with breast and prostate cancer, while consuming approximately 3.5 ounces per day. Good for weight loss.
• Crimini (precursor to Portabella): These brown mushrooms are similar in size to white buttons, and are firmer and possess an earthier flavor. They also help with breast and prostate cancers. Great for weight loss.
• Portabella: These large, brown, umbrella shaped mushrooms (the adult version of Crimini mushrooms) have a meatier flavor. Great for grilling and stuffing with artichoke, spinach, crab meat and an “Italian” recipe of ground meat, tomato sauce, onions, peppers and herbs. Also helps with weight loss.
• Shiitake: Have been used by many Asian cultures to care for colds and flu. Research shows that the extracts of this mushroom helps to fight infections, enhance the immune system, and help fight tumor growth and breast cancer. Eat 4 to 5 ounces per day. Excellent source of Vitamin D.
• Reishi: Looks like a wooden brown and white flower: Good for fighting bacterial and viral infections, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
• Maitake: Helps cleanse the body and stimulates the immune system.
• Oyster: Ongoing research shows promise of helping to defend against HIV. High in antioxidants
• Porcini: A meaty mushroom that looks similar to a portabella mushroom, it also has anti-inflammatory properties
Mushrooms are a versatile food that can be used in many soups, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, stews, nutraceuticals, supplements and yes, even added to sports drinks! Only buy mushrooms from reputable vendors, as many mushrooms grown in the wild can be poisonous and contain toxic heavy metals.
Mushrooms are a delicious addition to people’s diets, and have many surprising health benefits. Research has shown they can help lower cholesterol levels, protect diabetics from infections, help prevent against breast and prostate cancer, help with weight loss, improve bone health, stimulate the immune system, reduce blood pressure, increase iron absorption and are great suppliers of potassium, calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamin D and selenium. Try using them in a variety of recipes today!
Article From southernchestercountyweeklies.com
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are joined in the first half by Russell Brand to talk about the austerity headlines. They chat about the UK government’s expanding debt and growing deficit, despite the alleged austerity and GDP expanding thanks to heroin addiction and prostitution. Russell learns about the water cannons bought for use against anti-austerity protests which the government itself will stoke. Finally, they talk about the people revolting as they must do when the social contract has been broken: and crypto currencies are one of the most visible revolts. In the second half, Max interviews Russell Brand further about his independent media outlet – The Trews; they discuss revolution and spiritual journeys.