My Pestalotiopsis Microspora
If you would have told me that a world drowning in plastic could be saved, I would have my doubts, but if you then told me it was a mushroom doing the saving, I would say you’d gone totally ’round the bend.
A 2012 study by Yale students demonstrates this very real possibility. Turns out that Pestalotiopsis Microspora, a rare species of mushroom found in the Amazon forest eats polyurethane for breakfast and lunch and dinner, too, and by the time it’s pushing the chair away from the table, all that’s left of the plastic waste is organic matter. And this stout and sturdy little mushroom can do it all without oxygen giving mankind great hope for the reduction of landfills worldwide. Let’s set those babies loose on the Pacific Garbage Patch, why don’t we? More research is necessary, but odds are that once this mighty mushroom has done its work, you can cook it up and eat it.
But wait, there’s more. According to the State of the World Fungi Report, mushrooms can remove pollutants from soils, help the conversion of waste, and the byproduct of their plastics consumption can be used to create building materials. So it gets rid of waste, provides a source of nutrition, and provides fodder for building materials, truly a Renaissance fungi.
In his most recent book, How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan talks about how another mushroom, psilocybin, in the right setting, can fuel the spiritual and emotional transformation and maybe even the ultimate liberation of the world. A lofty goal for a little mushroom!
By taking out the trash and helping us transcend the constraints of our very existence, mushrooms could very well be capable of saving the world.
Today is Day 13 of the #AtoZ blog challenge. “Oooooh, we’re halfway there…”