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Explore (NY). 2006 Mar;2(2):152-61.

Can mushrooms help save the world? Interview by Bonnie J. Horrigan.


Paul Stamets, founder and director of Fungi Perfecti, LLC., and director of the Fungi Perfecti Research Laboratories (, has been a mycologist and mushroom enthusiast for more than 30 years. A pioneer in the cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms, he is credited with the discovery of four new mushroom species. Stamets is the author of five books on mushroom cultivation, use, and identification, including MycoMedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms; Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World; Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms; Mushroom Cultivator; Psilocybe Mushrooms & Their Allies; and his most recent one Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Stamets holds a vision of a deeply interconnected world environment and firmly believes that a greater knowledge of fungi can solve many of the world's pollution problems as well as some of the world's health problems. He has a strong interest in saving the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest where many ancient species of mushrooms can be found. A dedicated explorer with a passion to preserve, protect, and clone as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible, he was the 1998 recipient of the Collective Heritage Institute's Bioneers Award and the 1999 recipient of the Founder of a New Northwest Award from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. EXPLORE interviewed Stamets at his home and mushroom farms near Seattle, Washington, in the summer of 2005.

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