Using Fungi to Clean up Toxins in the Environment with Mycoremediation
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!
Since the beginning of homo sapiens, we have held a very strong sacred relationship with fungi, even making them a head part in some of our religions throughout the world. The oldest human being ever found, Otzi the Iceman, was found carrying two kinds of mushrooms on his body, indicating that there is profound potential in forming a stronger relationship with this resilient, ancient, wise, organisms that not only have the ability to give us food, shelter, fuel, religious experiences, medicine, but also a means of mycoremediation to clean up the over abundance of toxic waste humans have been creating on planet Earth.
Mycoremediation can help make a difference in our world
“If Earth’s history is compared to a calendar year, modern human life has existed for 23 minutes and we have used one third of Earth’s natural resources in the last .2 seconds… as a result of using these resources more than 400 millions tons of hazardous waste is produced every year, and 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months.” (1)
Unfortunately traditional industrial methods of recycling this waste and cleaning/remediating this waste isn’t up to speed with the rapid rate in which humans are creating this toxic waste. Traditional methods being used today are missing the connection of using the most resilient natural organisms on this planet that have been evolving for thousands of millions years to decompose the most complex molecules and organic matter on planet Earth. With all the pollution, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, etc… It’s time to ally with fungi and use mycoremediation to make a difference in our world!
The types of pollutants mycoremediation can help with
There are three main types of physical pollutants that fungi can help clean up from our Earth using mycoremediation: microbes, heavy metals, and chemicals.
Mycelia/mycelium (the “roots” of fungi) have antimicrobial properties and form a thick dense web like filter that can be easily employed in water systems (generally ones where fecal matter washes into the waterways) to trap, neutralize, and/or kill any pathogenic microbes that may be present in the water. Heavy Metals cannot be broken down but they can be sequestered into or around the fungi in order to render them immobile or prevent further reading. Fungi presses very powerful extracellular lignolytic oxidative enzymes, which are able to break down very complex anthropogenic toxic chemicals completely into simple hydrogen, carbon and oxygen molecules, or cleave the complex molecules into smaller ones so other microbes can come in and further break them down. The way fungi break down complex chemicals can be seen on the forest floor with decomposing trees and logs. By looking at the different states of decay, the ways different fungi excrete various enzymes to break down specific parts of molecules is clear.
How to go further with mycoremediation
Mycoremediation is a powerful opportunity for us to heal the Earth from the pollution humans have inflicted on it. Fungi have been proven successful in remediating damage from bacteria, heavy metals, and chemical pollutants in our environment. Mycoremediation can be used and learned by anyone and successfully applied by anyone in their own backyard or on a larger commercial scale. Its accessibility, lack of cost, and scalability means it is one of the most promising tools we have to fight and tackle pollution on our Earth. Not to mention the power of medicinal mushrooms to tackle the pollution in our bodies as well!
Fungi Ally is Dedicated to Creating a World of Connection and Balance by Revealing the Power of Mushrooms. We have everything you need to know about mushrooms, including a Mycoremediation Handbook in physical form or digital form available now worldwide.
We also have dried medicinal mushrooms, and tinctures available to protect your bodies from toxins and create a powerful healthy environment in your body with the healing benefits of our medicinal mushroom products.
Sawdust Spawn, Grain Spawn, cultures, tools and grow kits are available for mycoremediation projects. Consulting for potential mycoremediation projects is available upon request. Also booking educational events (workshops, lectures) on this topic is available as well! Upcoming 6-week online course on Mycoremediation coming soon!
Become a powerful steward of this Earth today! Help us co-create a world of connection and balance by revealing the power of mushrooms. Ally with Fungi Today!
(1) “The World Counts.” The World Counts, www.theworldcounts.com/.
(3) “National Geographic.” National Geographic, www.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/science/photos/000/009/940.jpg.