Mushrooms Could Save The World

Mycoremediation is a form of bioremediation in which fungi is used to decontaminate the environment.

6 ways mushrooms can save the world | Paul Stamets

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“Fungi are powerful planetary healers and disaster responders.

They are Nature’s decomposers, responsible for breaking down most of the Earth’s plant and woody material into life giving soil. Just like they break down complex carbon based plant cell structures, like cellulose and  lignin, saprophytic fungi use their digestive enzymes to break down chemicals like hydrocarbons and pesticides. Fungi can break down larger hydrocarbon chains into smaller pieces, allowing for microorganisms and plants to get to work. Fungi can also extract and hyperaccumulate heavy metals, concentrating them in the fruiting body of the fungi (what we know as the visible mushroom).”


Did you know that mushrooms have the ability to break down toxic things in our environment like dirty oil, plastic, and chemicals? This process is called mycoremediation.

Fungi is one of the earliest organisms to occupy land on this planet and it is the largest organism on this planet occupying over 2,384 acres of soil in Oregon’s Blue Mountains. They have been evolving and developing powerful adaptations over 1,430 million years and are one of the most resilient organisms on this planet. Not only can they eat oil, but spores of mushrooms have survived in sea vents deep in the Earth below the ocean only to be discovered 60 million years later and germinated to produce mushroom fruiting bodies! It is about time that humans began recognizing the power of fungi and mycoremediation.
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Ocean Blue Project
The benefits of mycoremediation to help further degrade land based ocean and beach plastic are a key role in beach cleanups by Ocean Blue Project. Lowering plastic fragments and micro fragments from being placed in landfills is our main goal with researching fungi as our main strategy during the National Beach Cleanup Initiative cleanups on the West Coast. Plastic do not degrade easy, and end up hanging around in landfills for many years and without the sun beating down on plastic it almost never degrades. Plastic floating in our ocean blocks sun light affecting plant life and fish that are consuming plastic, which means less oxygen for everyone. 

The fungi will actually use the plastic without being harmed, which is why it is the best solution at hand. READ MORE


Bioremediation Efforts Mushroom in the Aftermath of California’s Fires
Ecologists deploy fungi in Sonoma to try to address toxic run-off from ash. READ MORE

Using Fungi To Clean Up Pollutants
Mycore mediation – using fungi to clean pollutants – is being used to clean waterways, soil and in some areas, even radioactive waste. READ Article

How Mushrooms Can Clean Up Radioactive Contamination – An 8 Step Plan


Researchers Find Fungus Can Break Down Plastic
The fungus could be used to help address the problem of plastic particles swimming around in our water supply by being put to work in a waste treatment plant, or in soil contaminated with the material. The benefits of mycoremediation — the practice of using fungi to degrade unwanted substances — are becoming more and more apparent as we find species that can degrade more varieties of material.

VIDEO: How We Can Keep Plastics Out Of The Ocean

Mushroom image: Public Domain