2011-05-18

TED Talk | Mushrooms Can Save The World

I ran across this TED talk today, and I am blown away.

I’ve always been intrigued by mushrooms, but never enough to really get into them. And I think that’s the atitude of most people. We have some sort of visceral repulsion to them; maybe it’s because we always see them on rotting plants, or in wet, dank forests, and so we associate some sort of uneasiness with them. Maybe it’s because they are a strange other,” not really a plant but not an animal either. Maybe it’s because they’re not green. Maybe it’s because they look so weird. Whatever it is, watch this talk and get over it.

Stamets goes through several projects he is working on that could have huge implications in the real world. From fungal remediation of petrochemically-contaminated soils to natural pesticides that inoculate your house, these are really impressive and practical potential uses. He also goes into water purification with fungal mats and using fungal extracts to protect against diseases. He’s not the best public speaker, but he gets enough across for you to realize how important this could be.

It’s very, very interesting, and it will change your mind about mushrooms. I want to grow some now!

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