Saving The World, One Mushroom At A Time with Paul Stamets

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Mushrooms are our ancestors. Mycelium fields have a consciousness. Most importantly, they create the soil on which all of life on earth depends. And yet, we have identified less than ten percent of all species of mushrooms, and we’re rapidly destroying the habitat they—and we—need to survive. As Paul Stamets says, “We are Neanderthals with nuclear weapons. I sense that our descendents are screaming back from the future saying, ‘Wake up. Don’t you see?’ We have all this ability with Google, and the internet, and the ability to do DNA coding, and yet we don’t have the most elementary understanding of the very organisms that generate the soil that gives us life.” Mr. Stamets has made it his life’s work to change that, and with this interview you can join him in that endeavor. You’ll hear fascinating stories of the healing power of mushrooms, and how they may play a key role in reversing the destructive impact our modern technology and industry have had on our planet. His passion for his work is clear, and he’s likely to inoculate you with a fascination for these organisms, which have so very much to teach us. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for more than thirty years, and is sought after the world over for his expertise. He has discovered four new species, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He has received numerous awards, including the 1998 Bioneers Award from the Collective Heritage Institute, named as one of the 50 visionaries changing the world in Utne Reader 2008 , and recipient of National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s 2008 Green-Novator award.

He is the author of numerous articles and scholarly papers, as well as six books, including:

To learn more about the work of Paul Stamets go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How we can make our forests less flammable
  • How mushrooms can turn our most toxic pollutants into food
  • Why mushrooms may provide a cure for AIDS and tuberculosis
  • How you can use mushrooms to power your car
  • Why mushrooms may hold a key to spiritual awareness

Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 8/16/2008      Program Number: 3274

Music Playlist

Album: Rhythm of the Ancients
Artist: Medwyn Goodall
2002 New World Music NWCD 526

Opening Essay: Track 02 Hall of Symbols
Music Break 1: Track 01 Trail of Vines
Music Break 2: Track 03 Book of Secrets
Music Break 3: Track 05 Prophecy