Finding Out the Benefits of Mushrooms

During the last few years, mushrooms have been a hot topic of research and discussion. The medicinal and edible properties of mushrooms and other fungi have always intrigued humans. Whether it is just simply because they taste good or look pretty, fungi are a vital part of the Earth’s ecosystem. Without them, the planet would be covered in organic waste such as leaves, wood and other detritus. Beyond that, they play a vital role in the symbiotic relationships that plants develop in order to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. On the other side of the coin, there are certain fungi that cause great economic losses and have even been the catalyst for many a revolution, migration and famines.

My colleagues and I have been trying to utilize fungi for a variety of tasks including bioremediation, composting and simple cooking. Some of these endeavors are a little tricky considering the finicky nature of some fungi when they are extracted from their natural environment.

We have had great success in cultivating and fruiting several different species of mushrooms for culinary use. By utilizing different mixtures of straw, sawdust, soil, and compost, some of my students and I have met with great success.

By Dr. Edward Grand