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Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World [Paperback]

Paul Stamets
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2005
Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.
The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.

Frequently Bought Together

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World + Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms + Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide
Price For All Three: CDN$ 86.48

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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

About the Author

PAUL STAMETS, founder of Fungi Perfecti (, has been a dedicated mycologist for more than thirty years. He is 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. Stamets has written five books on mushroom cultivation, use, and identification and numerous articles and scholarly papers on medicinal, culinary, and psycho-active mushrooms. His books Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator (co-author) have long been hailed as the definitive texts on mushroom cultivation.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There are more species of fungi, bacteria, and protozoa in a single scoop of soil than there are plants and vertebrate animals in all of North America. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book March 7 2009
This is truly an inspirational book. Being an avid gardener but not knowing much about mushrooms, I was mesmerized by this new world which was opened to me by Paul Stamets. What I found particularly fascinating is the incredible usefulness of mushrooms beyond their gourmet aspect, or even their medicinal worth, as possible saviours of the mess we've gotten ourselves into when it comes to environmental degredation. This book (and I'm not even finished reading it yet - I can't seem to put it down) has inspired me to try my own experiments with growing mushrooms. It's filled with great photos and useful step-by-step instructions. The presentation of the material and quality of the book are exemplary. I'm looking forward to spring to look for mycellium and attempt identifying mushrooms and growing them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to buy for your local publlic library June 8 2010
This is the book I wish I had the money to buy multiple copies of to send to friends and give to our local library and schools.
A well researched and thoroughly readable scientific book with great respect for the wonders of the earth. I didn't know how little I understood about the relationships between mycellium, plants and animals until I read Paul Stamets wonderful and spiritual book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window into the future. Feb. 11 2011
Stamets conveys his passion and vast understanding of the world of mushrooms, mycelium, and the symbiotic relations we live and are capable of developing in this fantastic resourse. Mycelium Running branches into areas of fungal restoration, cultivation, mushroom basics, advanced techniques and fungal mechanisms, etc. The epic content of knowledge therein, coupled with Stamets higher understanding of our coexistance with all things natural make Mycelium Running a must have for anyone interested in the incredible possibilties we have as a species; if we fuse our living and understanding with this most powerful of organisms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very inspiring book Aug. 5 2013
By tracy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book as one of the sources for the research phrase of my thesis paper. I did not need to read the entire book but I ended up did. It is very well written, easy to understand and changed my perspective towards sustainability. Should also check out Paul Stamets' Ted talk online as well!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Inspirational March 14 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.

Richard Nelson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book Jan. 29 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this really opened my mind to the role of our Eukaryote cousins - Paul is great and he has good passion for fungi
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5.0 out of 5 stars What Information June 24 2013
By Helen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is chalk full of amazing information. Who would have thought mushrooms could be so complicated and necessary for life!!!
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