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Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World [Kindle Edition]

Paul Stamets
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $35.00
Kindle Price: $23.71
You Save: $11.29 (32%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.
 
The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
 
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

As a physician and practitioner of integrative medicine, I find this book exciting and optimistic because it suggests new, nonharmful possibilities for solving serious problems that affect our health and the health of our environment. Paul Stamets has come up with those possibilities by observing an area of the natural world most of us have ignored. He has directed his attention to mushrooms and mycelium and has used his unique intelligence and intuition to make discoveries of great practical import. I think you will find it hard not to share the enthusiasm and passion he brings to these pages.
--From the foreword by Andrew Weil, MD, author of Eating Well for Optimum Health
 
“Stamets is a visionary emissary from the fungus kingdom to our world, and the message he’s brought back in this book, about the possibilities fungi hold for healing the environment, will fill you with wonder and hope.“
 --Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire
 
“This is the kind of book I love: highly factual and practical and mixed with the spiritual content that sets the great writers apart from all the rest.“
--John Norris, former deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and founder of the Bioterrorism Institute
 
“This is the first book to give the Kingdom of the Fungi its proper place in the scheme of things. It is the most important book on nature that I’ve seen in years.” 
--Gary Lincoff, author of National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
 
“A paradigm-changing book. Stamets’s visionary insights are leading to a whole new understanding of how mushrooms, scarcely seen and rarely appreciated, regulate the earth’s ecosystems.“ 
--John Todd, founder and president of Ocean Arks International
 
“This visionary and practical book should be an instant classic in...

From the Publisher

A manual for healing the earth and creating sustainable forests through mushroom cultivation, featuring mycelial solutions to water pollution, toxic spills, and other ecological challenges.

Mycotechnology is part of a larger trend toward using living systems to solve environmental problems and to restore ecosystems.

Covers mycorestoration (biotransforming stripped land), mycofiltration (creating habitat buffers), mycoremediation (healing chemically harmed environments), and mycoforestry (creating truly sustainable forests).

More than 300 full-color photographs.


Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
266 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Valuable Information December 1, 2005
Format:Paperback
Last summer I attended one of Paul's seminars at Fungi Perfecti. Living near by it was easy to attend however I had absolutely no knowledge of mushrooms other than eating Portobellos et al., and reading a little about the possibility of plugging stumps and logs. In fact, at the seminar I felt a bit out of place amongst all of the others who had particular goals and agendas for being there. I figured a bit of education could help me understand this whole mushroom thing. When I left I was completely blown away by all of the possibilities that mycelium offer and by Fungi Perfecti's excellent presentation of this data. Most all of what Paul and his staff taught in this seminar is in this book.

This fascinating book is a treasure trove of effective low tech methods for 'running mycelium'. Paul describes everything from gardening techniques to soil restoration to health care application using typical gourmet mushrooms (oh what Oyster mushrooms can do) and many other species. As a scientist, he backs his data with reputable references. He also uses language that may be challenging to those not educated in the biological/medical sciences. However, not unlike Dr. Andrew Weil's publications, it is nearly impossible to simplify this type of information without giving all audiences from foresters to backyard gardeners to medical practitioners enough information to help everyone understand how powerful this natural filter in soil is regardless of their educational background.

Mycelium Running has very high quality color photos, detailed 'how tos' anyone can follow and specifics describing the chemistry of this powerful ally in its myriad of uses.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! December 9, 2006
Format:Paperback
One of my students recommended this book and I had no idea what I was getting into. A book on fungi that I can't tear myself away from? Yes, it's true. Stamets has made mushrooms his life's work. He knows them like no one else. He presents information based on real science, yet he writes in an easy-to-follow conversational tone. And anyone with a bit of patience can grow fungi using the methods Stamets describes. The things he and his colleagues are doing with mushrooms and tree fungi will astound you. A common mushroom that eliminates diesel fuel from contaminated soil! A tree fungus that out-competes (controls)American Chestnut blight! Erosion control, sewage treatment, enhancing forest health and human health... the list is long and truly inspiring. I am eager for warmer weather so I can get outside and start my own experiments with fungi. And perhaps best of all is the fact that most of these incredibly useful organisms are also edible gourmet delights! This is my first book by Paul Stamets. I am now ready to buy his earlier works (as well as a good field guide to mushrooms and other fungi).
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive mushroom/fungi book out there February 21, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Paul Stamets truly knows the material and has some great insights into the world of growing mushrooms. He succinctly describes how the science of the relatively unknown 5th kingdom (fungi) can be applied to mycoremediation to help unpollute the planet. Even though this sounds like a heavy subject, the material is understandable for people with little scientific or fungal knowledge and helps anybody understand hwo they too can get closer to mushrooms.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mushrooms can be interesting. March 24, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I took my last science course about 40 years ago and had forgotten how interesting science can be. This book is not light reading and some people will probably not get past the first few pages but I really enjoyed it. I found tons of new information on mushrooms in spite of the fact that I studied mushrooms in college (until my father decided science was not for girls and convinced me to go to Law School. Yep, those were the good old days.) You will enjoy it as long as you take into account that it is a scientific book, perfect for geeks.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fungi Can Help Save the World December 5, 2009
By Lichen
Format:Paperback
When research biologist Paul Stamets suggests fungi can help save the world, he is absolutely serious. In fact, he contends they can rescue it in several different ways. There are the medicines to be derived from fungi, probably more than we can yet imagine. Fungi for insect pest control. Fungi can absorb and often digest toxics from their environments---toxics as diverse as heavy metals, PCB's, oil spills, and radioactivity. Fungal partnerships can revolutionize our farming methods. And we can heal the ecosystems of damaged forest lands by introducing selected fungal species into those environments. Paul Stamets is one of the visionaries of our time. He is revolutionizing the ways we look at fungi.

This book starts by teaching the basics of mycology. Mycelium are fungal threads that form a network, usually underground. Mushrooms are just their fruiting bodies. Mycelium are so tiny that one cubic inch of soil can contain enough to stretch for 8 miles. But mycelial networks can cover as much as thousands of acres, making certain varieties of fungi the largest organisms in the world, as well as some of the oldest. Fungi build soil by breaking down organic matter, and even cracking apart rocks. Besides that, fungal mycelium enter into symbiotic relationships with trees and other green plants, helping
them get water and nutrients from the wider environment by surrounding and even penetrating the roots.

Paul Stamets believes mycelium are information sharing membranes in their environments. He says they are aware, react to change, have the long term health of their host environment in mind, and devise diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to challenges. He cites research to back up these ideas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you
Published 4 days ago by Mohammad R
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book on everything you'd ever want to know about...
This is an excellent book on everything you'd ever want to know about mushrooms. It covers all aspects of mushroom production as well as the different species of mushrooms... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Kathleen E MacPherson
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative. Mycorestoration!, everywhere. Walks are different ...
Informative.

Mycorestoration!, everywhere.

Walks are different for me since reading Mycelium Running. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Ronda Ree
4.0 out of 5 stars A very passionate book about mushrooms
I've always appreciated people who have that one great calling in their life, and they give all they have to that one thing. Paul Stamets surely is passionate about his mushrooms. Read more
Published 24 days ago by N.Fred
5.0 out of 5 stars should be compulsory reading!
AMAZING! I ordered this book to integrate mycofiltration and mycoremediation techniques into our business' waste management. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lesandre Barley
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for everyone!
I became interested in medicinal mushrooms about 2 months ago and purchased this book. Little did I know- it opened my eyes on the whole world of fungi, which I was not aware of. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Victor Rakovich
5.0 out of 5 stars best book
this is one of my favorite books and the best on this topic i definitely recommend it but is really intense so be ready
Published 2 months ago by Ricky Liquet
4.0 out of 5 stars Great information and ideas
Stamets has a fascinating mind. Excellent discussion of ideas of where mushroom culture could lead and benefit self and society.
Published 2 months ago by Brad J Pryma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This is an amazing book! It has so much information about our world that I had no idea about. I am enjoying exploring this new world and finding ways to enrich the flora and fauna... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Terry2Fish
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and hopeful
Amazing that we (our species) know the things we know about fungi and have not been working with it to our great advantage. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kim Marchetti
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More About the Author

"Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over twenty years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He received the 1998 ""Bioneers Award"" from The Collective Heritage Institute, and the 1999 ""Founder of a New Northwest Award"" from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils.

He has written five books on mushroom cultivation, use and identification; his books Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator (coauthor) have long been hailed as the definitive texts of mushroom cultivation. Other works by Paul Stamets include Psilocybe Mushrooms and Their Allies (out of print), Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, MycoMedicinals: an Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, and many articles and scholarly papers."

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