Mushroom Magic: Fungi Clean Up Toxic Wastes
For waterways, soil or even radioactively contaminated areas, the powerful use of mycelium to sequester contaminants is receiving significant attention. Leading American mycologist Paul Stamets, the pioneering founder of Fungi Perfecti, has been working for years with mycore mediation, using mycelium to clean up waste sites. He holds nine patents on the antiviral, pesticidal and remediative properties of mushroom mycelia. Stamets even has an eight-step plan for cleaning up radioactive poisoning and thinks fungi could remediate radiation at the melted reactor sites in Fukushima, Japan.
The Ocean Blue Project (OceanBlueProject.org), based in Corvallis, Texas, uses locally grown oyster mushroom spores lodged in a coffee grounds mixture. Then they create a “bunker spawn” that’s put into a river to restore polluted aquatic habitat. As the mushrooms grow, they break down toxins and remove pollutants from the river. Mycore mediation also helps with weed control.