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Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World Paperback – October 1, 2005


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Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World + Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms + The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580085792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580085793
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the emerging science of how to use nature’s wisdom and fecundity to rescue the earth and ourselves from the unwelcome consequences of human cleverness.“
--Amory B. Lovins, chief executive officer of Rocky Mountain Institute
 
“This gospel of fungi contains crucial pragmatic solutions showing us how to work with nature in order to heal nature.” 
--Kenny Ausubel, founder and co-executive director of Bioneers
 
“In his respectful and casual way, Paul brings depth and clarity to the complexity of fungi and its place in the natural order, all the while engaging us in fungi knowledge for healing our planet.”
--Guujaaw, president of the Haida Council, Haida Nation
 
“Stamets’s best work to date, Mycelium Running provides a wealth of information showing how fungal mycelia and mushrooms can profoundly improve the quality of human life. Should be mandatory reading for government policy makers.”
--S. T. Chang, professor emeritus, Chinese University of Hong Kong

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.


Important Information

Ingredients
Softcover, 356 pages, with over 360 color photographs.

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."

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Will open your eyes to a whole new world.
M. Verber
This book is a good intro / survey of what mushrooms can do, and how you can get started using them.
Benjamin Turner
The book is really well made, lots of good quality photos and easy reading.
N.Fred

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

272 of 281 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Gee on 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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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Parfitt on 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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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Michael Afentoulis on 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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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Lichen on December 5, 2009
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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