– You know what I love most about survival? We get to explore all sorts of different biomes. Look at this luscious forest, and a lava pit. Hey, watch this. (water splashes) (fire sizzles) I don’t know how to do this. – Hey, check out that island. – [Stan] What the heck? – [Chick] It’s an island of crap. – There’s no trees, just mushrooms. – Not a problem. I brought some oak saplings. – Those are just seeds. – Gimme those. – This is our wood now. Help me craft some fungus sticks. – What are we supposed to eat? There’s no animals in this biome. – It’s time to toss Porkchop in the furnace. (cow moos) – Sounds like there’s a cow behind us. Hello, Mr, oh my God. – [Porkchop] It’s a mushroom cow! – Oh my gosh. There’s a ton of them. – They’re actually kind of cute. Hello, My little mooshroom. – Okay. We came, we saw the freaks. Let’s dip. – Wait a second. This is an island free of mobs. We’re living here now. – What? What are we gonna make our house out of? Oh, great. A dirt shack. – We can live off the milk from these cows. Come on, moosh. Time for some milkin’. (cow moos) – [Stan] Oh, it’s mushroom stew. – Oh, I think I’m gonna be sick. – Oh, it’s actually pretty good. – Yeah, it’s good, but will it be enough to sustain us? And we get hungry like every five minutes. What if we use these sheers to clip some of the mushrooms off? – Stand still mushroom moo cow. Just gonna give you a little snip! – [Porkchop] Oh wow. We cured him! – So you’re telling me all these cows just have severe fungal infections. – Hmm. I guess so. – Let’s cure all of them! (upbeat music) – Well, three full days with no sleep. We cured every cow on the island. – There were only 12. – Honestly, I don’t think we could have survived all those nights in a regular biome. Luckily, no mobs can spawn here. – Yep. On our stinky fungus island, we are the rulers of the night. (creature growls) Oh God. Get under the mushrooms. (upbeat music)
Month: March 2022
Today on The Stay At Home Chef I’m showing you how to make an Easy Green Bean Casserole with no cream of mushroom. That’s right there’s no cream of anything in this recipe. I’m trying to keep everything as simple as possible while still giving you the best homemade flavor. I’m going to use three cans of green beans today because there’s nothing wrong with preserved foods, but you can also use frozen or fresh. But you will need to steam them until they’re softened first. Then we’re gonna place 1/2 pound of diced bacon into a cold skillet and turn on the heat and get that cooking. We’re going to cook it until it’s crispy which will take somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes. Now once the bacon is crispy I leave all the grease in and add in 2 tablespoons of flour and stir this in with our grease to form a roux. I mean you could drain off some of the bacon grease if you’d like. You do need to have at least 2 tablespoons so that there’s equal parts fat to flour, but I like to have the additional flavor from all that extra grease. After a couple minutes add in a couple cloves of minced garlic and let this cook for about 60 seconds. Then we’ll pour in 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 cup of half-and-half, and bring this to a simmer. Now once it comes to a simmer you’ll want to let it cook for maybe 1 or 2 more minutes until the mixture thickens up. It doesn’t need to be super thick as it will continue to thicken in the oven. We’re gonna remove this from the heat, bring this over here, save ourselves some dishes and just mix everything in here. So we’ll add in all of our green beans as well as 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and I like to add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, then we’ll stir this all together so that the green beans are coated. Then we’ll go ahead and transfer this all to a little casserole dish. It wouldn’t be green bean casserole without some french fried onions, but we’re gonna add those on during the last 5 minutes of baking. So we’re gonna grab our casserole so far and place it in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes pull it out of the oven real quick. We’ll start adding on these crispy french fried onions. I just want a nice even layer over the top. Then we’ll return this to the oven for 5 minutes to finish up. And that’s it! After 5 minutes the onions on top will be heated through and crispy and you are ready to eat! Thanks for watching! You can find the full written recipe in the video description. Be sure to subscribe, like, and follow, and check out the rest of my videos, where you can find hundreds of restaurant quality recipes you can easily make at home. See you later!
This mushroom soup tells the story of my journey from being mushroom averse to a mushroom lover. Rich and creamy, it’s earthy, elegant, and a love song to fellow mushroom lovers. I’m Erin from wellplated.com, come hang with me while we make this luscious cream of mushroom soup. (upbeat music) I called it a mushroom journey, but it was actually a mushroom crash course. Let me take you back to 2006. I was studying abroad in France, in a town about three hours west of Paris, and living with a French couple. Just for fun, please enjoy some photos of me visiting them a few years later. Their names are Marcelle and Raymond and they are just the most adorable, wonderfully exuberant French couple. Now, before we get to the mushrooms in the story, though, I’m gonna tell you about these mushrooms right here. Total for the soup, you need two and a half pounds of mushrooms. I am using a plain old cremini, aka baby bella mushrooms. I buy them already sliced from the grocery store ’cause it’s super quick and easy. If you want to take this mushroom soup to the next level, you can use a mix of mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms and shiitake, but really baby bella works great in this recipe. Whatever you do, just stay away from the white button mushrooms, those lack flavor and they’ll make your soup bland. I’m sauteing about a quarter of the mushrooms, maybe a third, for the moment, and then once they are softened and brown and give up their liquid, I’m going to move them to a plate and I’ll show you what we are doing with those here in a little bit. It’s been about eight minutes. Our mushrooms are nice and brown and soft, so I’m gonna remove them to a plate. These we are going to use to garnish our finished soup, make it look really pretty. (gentle upbeat music) Now that we have our garnish done, I’m going to move on to cooking the mushrooms for the main part of our soup, using two tablespoons of butter and a little bit of olive oil. I like this combination because the butter has great flavor but the olive oil is better for sauteing because it has a higher burning point. Now the rest of our mushrooms are going in. I know this looks like an absolute ton of mushrooms, but they’re really going to cook down. And I also think that having more mushrooms in the soup gives it a more robust flavor and it is what makes this the best cream of mushroom soup you will ever try. Next. I’m adding one diced yellow onion, a teaspoon of salt, some dried thyme, thyme and mushrooms are a fantastic pairing, and a half teaspoon of black pepper. We’re gonna let this cook for about eight to 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until these mushrooms turn nice and dark brown and the onions are softened. It’s really tempting to shortcut this step, but don’t do it. This is a really easy soup recipe and the sauteing is what builds the base of flavor. Just look how much these mushrooms have cooked down. It’s kind of crazy and they are looking so beautiful and smelling delicious too. So back to 2006, this was my first night and my very first dinner with Marcelle and Raymond. I spoke decent French, all my classes were in French back then, but I was still really, really nervous. And those nerves were further exacerbated when Raymond sets a giant plate heaped with citrus mushrooms down in front of me, for our dinner, like a dinner of only mushrooms, and 2006 Erin did not like mushrooms at all. I have added some garlic to our mushrooms. I like to wait to add it because if you put the garlic in too early, it can burn and it will give an off taste to your soup. I sprinkled some flour over the top, this is white whole wheat flour, and I want to cook it with the mushrooms until it starts to smell nutty and all of those white bits disappear. If you shortcut this step, you’ll get a raw flour taste in your soup. It’s really unpleasant. Next, I’m going to splash in about three fourths cup of dry white wine, (gentle upbeat music) give or take a little. The wine deglazes the pan and we want to rub along the bottom to get all those stuck on bits off. That is full of flavor. Let the wine cook down for about a minute. Now I’m going to slowly splash in about three cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth, as you prefer. You want to do this gradually to make sure that you don’t end up with any lumps. (gentle upbeat music) In addition to the vegetable broth, I am using a can of evaporated milk. This is a little bit of an unusual ingredient. Most of the time cream of mushroom soup calls for heavy cream. I find that evaporated milk does just as good of a job, the soup will taste super decadent still, but it makes it more of a healthy mushroom soup. We’re going to bring this to a simmer and then let it reduce for about 10 minutes. 15 years ago, I did not eat mushrooms. I avoided them at all costs, yet here I was with this family that I was going to be living with for four months, I really wanted them to like me and I could not make a bad impression our first night by refusing this dish. So I buckled up, I took a bite, and oh my goodness, the mushrooms were absolutely delicious. I have loved them, loved them ever since. And in the cooler months, there is no better way to cook mushrooms than this hearty, comforting cream of mushroom soup. It’s been about 10 minutes and I can see our soup is reduced and is looking nice and creamy. So now to make it smooth, I’m going to puree it with an immersion blender. This is my favorite way to blend soup because I don’t have to get any other pots dirty. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can just ladle the soup into a regular blender. Be careful not to overfill it. Hot soup loves to splatter. You can make the soup as smooth or as chunky as you like. We like ours with a little bit of texture, so I think it is perfect just like this. Now for the fun part, the finishing ingredients that make this soup something truly special. First up is Greek yogurt. Again, this is a healthy mushroom soup, it does not call for heavy cream, but it still tastes super decadent, and one of the reasons is this ingredient right here, full-fat Greek yogurt. Do not use non-fat Greek yogurt. It can curdle when mixed into hot liquids and it just won’t taste as good. And to finish things off, I have it to stealth ingredients. You can’t taste them separately, but they work quietly in the background to make this mushroom soup taste like something restaurant-worthy. The first is balsamic vinegar, that really makes the soup pop. (gentle upbeat music) My second sneak ingredient is a little bit of soy sauce. I know that sounds strange, but soy sauce has a major savoriness and umami factor that makes this soup taste truly rich and complex. (gentle upbeat music) The smell of the mushrooms and the garlic is absolutely mouthwatering. I love how creamy this soup is too. I like to serve it topped with the sauteed mushrooms, gives a little texture and a nice presentation, plus a sprinkle of fresh herbs. A very special thank you to Marcelle and Raymond. If it weren’t for them, I would have been missing out on just how delicious mushrooms can be. I’m so glad that I got out of my comfort zone that night in France. If you are looking for another hardy vegetable soup, don’t miss my cozy roasted carrot soup video. (gentle upbeat music) Perfect. Now that is well plated.
-All this talk about mushrooms is really tripping me out, man. Whoa. Let’s make some cream of mushroom soup. And we’re gonna take that homemade cream of mushroom soup and we’re gonna make a really delicious chicken and rice casserole. ♪♪ We’re gonna play some mushrooms today. These are dried shiitake mushrooms. Damn, they got a lot of flavor. So, I’m gonna take a veggie stock and I’m gonna heat it up with these shiitake mushrooms. It’s so crazy how dark this veggie stock is, but that’s what we’re doing. Heat this up. Bring it to a boil, and then I’m gonna add my mushrooms. One thing about dried mushrooms is that they add a lot of umami, so we’re gonna add some umami to this stock. Ooh-mami. [ Laughs ] Our stock’s boiling. I’m gonna add the mushrooms, and then I’m just gonna to turn this off, put the lid back on, and let it infuse for 30 minutes. We’re working today with crimini mushrooms and button mushrooms. We’re gonna cut them not too thick and not too thin. You could use other varieties of mushrooms if you wanted to. There’s over 50,000 different species of mushrooms, so use makes you happy. I grew some mushrooms. I grew, like, lion’s mane and something else, cause I was gonna try to save them for this video, but I didn’t. ♪♪ Alright, that is done. We’ll cut up some onion. [ Sniffs ] Whew. Who was taking bets on me crying while cutting an onion? And did you know that one portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a banana? I know. Now we’re gonna put some thyme in there, some garlic, some butter, some white wine — Sicily. Got all of our stuff ready to make our cream of mushroom soup right now. You can smell the mushroom. So, we’re gonna strain it… …right back on in. And you can use these mushrooms, like, we can mince these up and add them into the soup as well. I’m not gonna add them the soup right now, but you can. Like, don’t throw these mushrooms away ’cause now they’re hydrated. They’re delicious. Maybe I should just add them to the soup. Should I add them to the soup? I will. Phew. They’re hot. Little tray of mise-en-place. Okay, melted our butter. We’re gonna add in the onion and just soften our onion in here. This is gonna, like, let so much liquid out, and I want that liquid, ’cause part of liquid that comes from the mushrooms is gonna be part of the soup base, you know what I mean? [ Sizzles ] Alright. Season them a little bit. When I was a kid, mushroom were my favorite topping on pizza. Less is more on pizza. You need, like, not too many toppings, Like, a supreme pizza? Go fuck yourself. I’m cooking half of them, letting the moisture draw out, and then I’m gonna cook the rest of them in there, too. Oops. It’s crazy how much mushrooms are like sponges, like, they literally absorb everything. When you put, like, butter or oil in the pan when you have mushrooms, it absorbs everything, and then they cook, it kind of just like leeches it all out. Mushrooms, man. Let’s get deep on mushrooms right now. We’re gonna let it keep on cooking, let the moisture kind of come out. It’s all good, like, brothy stockiness. I’m gonna add the dried mushrooms back on in as well. We’re gonna add in our thyme and our garlic. Getting a mushroom facial while I’m at it. We’re gonna add our white wine. White wine and mushrooms go together like peas and carrots. Like peanut butter and jelly, or like me and Pete Davidson. That’s what white wine and mushrooms go together like. Let the alcohol kind of cook out a little bit. ♪♪ That’s my Pete Davidson dance. I’m gonna sprinkle the flour over the top, let it cook. I’m gonna slowly add in my stock. If you add it all at once, it kind of gets too clumpy. Now we’re gonna let this simmer for about ten minutes and then we’re gonna start on our cream and parsley, and it’s done. The mushrooms have been simmering. I’m gonna add this cream. Hence the “cream of mushroom” soup. Look at that. Season it with some salt and pepper. ♪♪ There’s a new can of soup in town. Or freezer soup, whatever. New cream of mushroom soup in town. That’s good to go. Eat it just as is. But now, we’re gonna make a casserole with this. My great Aunt Lorraine is gonna be 94 in November. Still kicking it out there in Portland, Oregon. And she’s just the best, and I’ve talked to her on the phone all the time, and I’m like, “What do you like to cook?” And this is what she cooks. So she usually takes white rice, I’m gonna use this, like, mixed-grain wild rice, We’re using two cups of chicken stock, right on in there, and two cups of the cream of mushroom soup. Okay. She has canned cream of mushroom soup in there. 100 percent, you can do that. We have now this beautiful cream of mushroom soup, so we’re using homemade cream of mushroom soup in here. We got the rice. We’ve got the chicken stock. She puts chicken on top, so we’re gonna do that also. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. We’re gonna put the chicken on top. I use six pieces. It’s about two pounds of chicken. We got paprika right on the top of that. And we’re gonna dot it with some butter as well. And my Aunt Lorraine cooks this at 350 degrees, for like two hours, uncovered. I thought that was a little bit insane, so we’re gonna cook at 350, covered, for about an hour, and then we’re gonna uncover it and let the chicken kind of brown up and stuff. ♪♪ Lid on. Okay. Okay. Ooh, it’s looking good. Alrighty. Whew. We put some parsley on top, ’cause it looks kind of ugly right now. We got our cream of mushroom soup, homemade, made this beautiful rice and chicken casserole that my Aunt Lorraine, 94 years old, God bless her, will be so proud of. Let’s dig in and see how it is. Oh, my gosh. Look at this. Yum. Onto the plate. Okay, the paprika, I think, really goes a long way on this, too. ♪♪ Mm. ♪♪ It’s just delicious. It’s falling out of my mouth. The wild rice is so nice, taste that cream of mushroom. Cream of mushroom, it’s like a secret ingredient that our mothers always used to make things a little bit better, and I think that this does make it a little better. Please, for the recipe, click below. Goodbye. ♪♪ -Today, I’m gonna be making… [ Laughs ] I’m gonna make me a chicken and mushroom casserole, but not just any — [ Laughs ] ♪♪ Mm. It’s just delicious. It’s falling out of my mouth. The wild rice is so nice. Taste that cream of mushroom Cream of mushroom, it’s, like, a secret ingredient that our mothers always used to make things a little bit better, and I think that this does make it a little bit better. Please, for the recipe, click below. Goodbye. ♪♪
(gentle music) – I have become obsessed with mushrooms. They’re so cool. Here’s why. Did you know that we’re more closely related to mushrooms than mushrooms are related to plants? Did you know that thing you see on the forest floor like this, is a small percentage of the mushroom itself? And did you know that this mushroom mycelium ties the whole underground world together? The trees can communicate with each other. It’s like a giant tree internet. Before this, all I knew about mushrooms is that some look cool. Some can make you crazy, and some can make you dead. But we came across an interesting opportunity to learn more in a far away forest in Romania. But before venturing off to remote parts of Romania to meet the locals, we got PCR tests done in Cluj. And that’s because as travelers, I think it’s very important we don’t drag our dirty feet around the world, especially in the places where the locals could be quite sensitive. The coronavirus pandemic has killed over a million people and has infected over 38 million. So when we travel, we wear a mask, we follow local regulations and make sure we’re being safe so others can stay safe too. So have a bigger perspective, a global perspective, knowing your actions affect others. People you might never actually meet. But if you’re a traveler, you probably think that way already. Anyway, on with the show. This is Valeriu and Liliana Bargan. They’re part of what’s called the Roma people. Over the next 24 hours, these two kindly invited myself, Ewa, and two of our friends out to forage mushrooms and to stay in their home. Let’s meet them. (speaking Romanian) – Great then, it seems like fitness is just as important as the food. So let’s start the adventure. Whoa! It’s as big as my hand! (speaking Romanian) (Mike laughing) To make schnitzels. (gentle upbeat music) Look at this thing. That’s incredible. I didn’t know mushrooms could get this big. I’ve got one! (cheering) (speaking Romanian) Wow. – [Liliana] Super! (gentle upbeat music) – Hey, Lili, these ones? – [Liliana] No. – No. Also no. I can find them. I just can’t find the good ones. Forest floor, it’s like an I-Spy game. Oops. You grab it, you twist the top off and then bring it back to the basket. Let’s go. Look at this. We’ve only been out here for 10 minutes. And we’ve already got this basket that’s pretty much full! This one not good either. Just realized, I haven’t introduced the crew yet. Leading the pack, Valeriu. – Da! – [Mike] Da. With Max and… – [Valeriu] Betty. – Max and Betty. Also, we have the lovely Ewa Zubek. – Hello there. (Ewa laughs) – And we can’t forget Lili. – Okay! – Okay. All right, as we trek through the forest, we’ve kind of broken up into two teams. I was in the back with Lili, picking those giant umbrellas. And Valeriu, Valeriu has been in the front with the two canine companions sniffing for truffles. I don’t know if he’s been successful or not. (speaking Romanian) (foliage breaking underfoot) From what I understand, cautare means search. And since the dogs are here, they’re sniffing for truffles. We saw the big ones, the big mushrooms that are above ground, truffles are underground. Part of the mycelium, the mushroom root network, and so dogs are necessary to find them because the human eye, we don’t have x-ray vision. Dogs have their noses, almost as good. (speaking Romanian) They’re not good. (speaking Romanian) He doesn’t know it. And therefore we do not take it. (foliage crunching) There’s so many here in the forest. We’re only picking a specific few that they know. Obviously if you’re eating mushrooms, you gotta be extra careful. So our two hosts are only picking the ones they know really well, but look, there are these stumps with these beautiful red ones. Almost as hard as wood. And so many other ones. It’s incredible. – No! – Why? Because crazy. (laughing) (speaking Romanian) If you eat these ones, you go crazy. Which is interesting, but not for us today. Take one? I can take one. No, don’t take one. (laughing) Find any truffles? Not yet? All right. (speaking Romanian) (crackling) – [Ewa] Lili just collected this entire big basket of mushrooms. – I say super! (speaking Romanian) (laughing) – [Mike] There we go, the mushroom queen. – [Ewa] What about me? – How do I say mushroom queen? (speaking Romanian) (laughing) When you stop for a second and just look around, there’s mushrooms everywhere. Look at this stump, for example. There’s one, two, three, four, five different mushrooms there, and maybe two or three other species, just around in the next few meters. It’s crazy, and just to think that that’s a small percentage of the actual fungus itself, most of it’s underground or in the stump. And that’s a small little, basically the berry of the fruit plant, if you want to think of it that way. It’s crazy, it’s a small little piece of a massive thing. I can’t even see it. It’s everywhere. There’s fungus among us. Fungus among us. Everywhere. (happy instrumental music) (laughing) So this is how it works. The dogs run around. They started digging in one spot and then we dig in that spot to find the truffle. We’re using our fingers. Lili and Valer have the truffle shovels. Oh, wow. Look at this. (speaking Romanian) Pig truffle. Dog finds a truffle, dog gets a treat. Look at that haul. And the dog’s like, “I found some!” (laughing) Amazing. A whole pocket full of black truffle. And depending on the season, that can be about 150 euro to about 400 euro a kilo. That’s gold. We’ve found… Well, we’ve not found. I have not found anything. – The dogs have found. – The dogs have found a larger truffle. And this smells insanely good. – Amazing. – It smells like the most decadent pasta you could ever have in your life. We get back in the car and head home to cook them. (gentle music) Right, we are back in the village to meet the whole family and we’ll actually be sleeping here tonight. And Lili’s going to prepare us a mushroom feast, which I’m very excited about. (speaking Romanian) Look at this. So it your famous schnitzel! (speaking Romanian) – [Mike] Super. – [Liliana] Super. – One, mushrooms come out of the basket. Step two, we have salt. (speaking Romanian) Now these parasol mushrooms we got today are literally as big as the pan itself. It’s as big as a pizza. It’s crazy. Before dinner, Lili’s daughter wants to take us for a walk around town. (speaking Romanian) (laughing) Hello! (speaking Romanian) There was a purpose for this journey. It was to get alfalfa for the rabbits. (gentle music) (speaking Romanian) Wow. (gentle music) What is that? What’s this? What’s this? (laughing and speaking Romanian) Look at you, man! (speaking Romanian) Look at you! (gentle music) And we’re back. The party’s just getting started behind me, and as you can imagine, dinner is going to be mostly mushrooms, but it’s also going to be chicken. And if you live in a place like this, you don’t get chicken from the grocery store, you get it from your yard, which means someone’s got to kill a chicken. And tonight, that’s person’s going to be me. Now I understand this is a sensitive topic. So let’s talk about it rationally for just a second. One of the greatest sins of our world, in my opinion, is us not respecting the meat we eat. Let me paint a picture for you, just briefly. We go to the grocery store. We buy potatoes, we buy cheese and we buy chicken. We check out, we go home, we cook it all for dinner, and it’s delicious. We don’t think about where that chicken came from. We treat it like as another vegetable we threw in our cart. Reality is, though, it was a life. And while we didn’t take it, the life with our hands, we still paid for that to happen. Whether it’s the blood on our own hands or somebody else’s, it doesn’t matter. In my opinion, to be a card carrying meat eater, you need to be comfortable with the reality of what meat is. It’s a life. And a life that comes from a place like this where they get to live a free one and they get to peck at the worms in the ground and flap around, that’s a great one. The people here respect the life. The chicken gets a good life and then they use everything. Because again, it is a life. You buy something at the grocery store, it comes from a shitty factory farm. We eat like one fine cut of it. The rest goes in the garbage. It’s disrespected. For me, what’s happening here tonight for our dinner to feed this family, to feed this party, is the best way to do it. I don’t like killing anything. I don’t like watching things get killed, but the reality is I’ve chosen eat meat and I’ve chosen to face the reality of what’s happening. That’s something I feel everyone should do. Anyway, on that note, let’s get the dinner started. (chicks peeping) (chicken clucking) This is Mario. – Mario. – [Mike] Mario is going to be our chicken catcher. (speaking Romanian) (laughing) All right, man. How’s that feel, good? – [Mario] Yeah. – [Mike] Yeah, good. – [Ewa] Good? – Good. All right. (Ewa laughing) (speaking Romanian) Go for it. (laughing) (speaking Romanian) (dogs barking) (speaking Romanian) (duck quacking) (speaking Romanian) (duck quacking) – [Ewa] Oh, and another duck! (speaking Romanian) – Good job. Good job, though! (speaking Romanian) (dog barking) (speaking Romanian) (chickens clucking) (intense music) (chicken clucking) (speaking Romanian) – And that is a chicken. – [Mario] Yeah. – Thank you. (speaking Romanian) (laughing) (Mike exhaling deeply) (dogs barking) (Mike breathing deeply) (chicken squawks) – [Male Voice] Yep, got it. (speaking Romanian) That was hard. My hand was shaking And the last thing I wanted to do was miss or only, you know, half. Ugh. And it was also weird with everybody watching. We’re all going to eat this animal together. And I just want to make it very clear again that I don’t enjoy doing this, but that’s why I do it. The channel’s about making yourself uncomfortable, making myself uncomfortable. And this is a ugly truth of what meat eating is. I think it’s important to do it, or at least witness it. If you do choose to eat meat. Now we’ll all enjoy the animal together, which is a beautiful thing. I’m just so happy I’m here with this family and they’ve invited us into the house and we get to celebrate, and, you know, exchange cultures. It’s why I travel. It still feels heavy. I don’t feel good about it, but it’s important. I’m happy I did it, even though it feels pretty shitty. Anyway, there’s more to it than just what we saw. Got to prepare it and now everybody’s inside waiting for me. So let’s go, let’s go join them. We pluck the chicken together, then Lili covers it in hand sanitizer and lights it on fire. (speaking Romanian) I was confused. She was joking about Corona, but it was actually to remove the last few feathers on the chicken. I think she’s quite excited that we’re enjoying her food. (conversation in Romanian) The chicken that was from the farm, the polenta, the mamaliga, the corn, ground corn meal, the mushrooms we caught today. Everything very local within just a few kilometers of here. Some of it, a few meters and it’s absolutely delicious. Here, I’ll prove it. (gentle music) See? Whoo! Delicious. Good morning and welcome to the master bedroom. Can you imagine having guests over and then you giving them your bedroom? The biggest bedroom in the house? Despite much resistance, it was inevitable. – They wouldn’t have it. – They wouldn’t have it. – Any other way. Oh! You okay? Whoo! Looks like the master bedroom is also a trampoline park. (speaking Romanian) Hi, good morning, good morning. (speaking Romanian) Oh, look at this! Coffee already. (speaking Romanian) Unfortunately I don’t speak Romanian, but you want some coffee? – Da. – [Mike] Da? Da means yes, you’re a kid. Do kids drink coffee? No. – No. – No. I didn’t think so. Hey! It’s coffee time. (eggs frying) (plate clinking against cups) (grating) (conversation in Romanian) And there they are, the black nuggets of yesterday. (deep inhaling) (gentle music) Okay, after a giant breakfast, we’re feeling full and getting ready for our next adventure. So we’re saying goodbye. And we’re going to get one big family photo together before we go. If we can wrangle them. There’s a lot of them. Let’s go. (speaking Romanian) – Okay! Three, two! – No, you too! Three, two, one, cheese! You are super! – Too super! – You, super like. Super like. (laughing) All right, good bye. See you later, okay. (laughing) Now it’s time for the surprise. It’s a volcano. Goodbye. – [Ewa] Bye! – It’s a volcano. Let’s go find it. This is called Racos Sleeping Volcano. It’s a volcanic plug, a tower of magma, that was then mined for resources. Cool, right? Super, Michael, schnitzel! – Schnitzel! – Lili and Valer were amazing hosts. It was so cool to meet the Roma people, go out and see them in their element, and get to taste some mushrooms as well. The adventures are not over. We’re camping tonight. Ewa solo-camped last night. Here, by herself in the forest. There’s a video about that. – It was crazy. – I’m solo-camping tomorrow night. – What do you mean? – In an abandoned castle. – Without me? – That I found. Without you, no girls allowed. Next video on Fearless and Far, solo-camping in an abandoned castle. Chase your fears, dragons. And I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t miss it. (soothing rhythmic music)
日本では光るキノコ、ヤコウタケの栽培キットが毎年春に発売されます。 今回はそのヤコウタケをフラスコで育ててみたいと思います。 種菌 スプーンで押し固めます 真ん中が高くなるようにします テラリウム用ソイル 周辺の低い部分に敷きます 水を含ませた腐葉土 真ん中にこんもりと置きます 軽く霧吹きをします キッチンペーパーで蓋をします お世話の方法 おおよそ1日1回スポイトで水を数滴たらします。 （量や頻度は部屋の乾燥具合によって調整して下さい。） ソイルが乾燥してきたり、フラスコ内が乾燥してきたら 霧吹きをします あとは温度を20～28℃を保つだけ 温度や湿度をうまく保つことができれば 2～4週間でキノコが生えてきます 幼菌が顔を出した！ 3～5日かけてゆっくりと育ちます。 ここからはとても早く成長し 一気に成菌へと成長します！ 傘が開くと光り始めます
GUESSED IT, MUSHROOMS, WHICH YOU PROBABLY HAVE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD. HERES MORE. THINK ABOUT THE WORLD OF HIGH FASHION, THE RUNWAYS OF NEW YORK, PARIS, AND MILAN. THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND PROBABLY ISNT MUSHROOMS. BUT THE HUMBLE FUNGI IS TAKING FASHION BY STORM. LULULEMON, EVEN FANCY FRENCH BRANDS LIKE HERMES ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH A NEW FORM OF VEGAN LEATHER MADE FROM MUSHROOMS. >> IF YOU THINK ABOUT LEATHER, ITS ABOUT A TWO TO THREE YEAR PROCESS FROM END-TO-END, FROM A COW BEING BORN TO A PRODUCT BEING MADE. WITH MILO, ITS ABOUT EIGHT WEEKS. >> Reporter: AT BOLT THREADS IN CALIFORNIA, THEYRE USING THE FIBROUS ROOT STRUCTURE OF MUSHROOMS TO CREATE ANIMAL-FREE LEATHER CALLED MILO. >> PUSHING 5,000 FAILED EXPERIMENTS AT THIS POINT, BUT WE EVENTUALLY FOUND A WAY TO MAKE SOMETHING THAT HAS THE SOFT, SUPPLE, DURABLE FEEL OF LEATHER, AND REALLY IS GOING TO DELIGHT CUSTOMERS AND DESIGNERS. >> Reporter: THE MUSHROOMS ARE GROWN IN THE DARK IN GIANT BAGS OF SAW DUST, AND GO FROM SPORES TO SHROOMS IN ABOUT A WEEK. THEN THEYRE TWRANSRANSFORMED IN FABRIC USING GREEN CHEMISTRY PRINCIPLES. THE RESULT, ENOUGH TO IMPRESS “VOGUES” SUSTAINABILITY EDITOR, EMILY CHAN. >> ITS THE CLOSEST MATERIAL WEVE SEEN TO LEPREPLICATE THE LUXURIOUS FEEL OF LEATHER. >> Reporter: THATS GOOD NEWS. MUSHROOMS, UNLIKE, SAY, COWS, ARE EASY TO GROW. THEYRE NATURES RECYCLERS, FEEDING OFF DECAY, AND NEED FEW RESOURCES TO THRIVE. MUSHROOMS ARE EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK IN NATURE. THEY THRIVE IN SOME OF THE MOST INHOSPITABLE PLACES. THE IDEA BEHIND SOMETHING LIKE MILO LEATHER IS TO TAKE THIS AND TURN IT INTO A PRODUCT THAT LOOK LIKE, FEELS, AND, FRANKLY, SMELLS A LOT LIKE REGULAR LEATHER. ADIDAS IS REMAKING THEIR ICONIC SNEAKER IN MILO LEATHER. >> IF IM BUYING USE, AM I GOING TO NOTICE, WHOA, THIS DOESNT FEEL RIGHT? >> THE MATERIAL IS REALLY SUPPLE TO TOUCH. ITS EXTREMELY DURABLE. ITS BEEN DEVELOPED IN A WAY THAT WILL HAVE SIMILAR LONGEVITY TO LEATHER. >> Reporter: THE MAKER OF THE BURKAN BAG IS MAKING A MILO OPTION. THE REVOLUTION ISNT LIMITED TO MUSHROOMS. COMPANIES AROUND THE GLOBE ARE USING ALGAE, PINEAPPLE, EVEN SPIDER WEBS TO CRAFT THE SUSTAINABLE THREADS OF THE FUTURE. >> AT THE MOMENT, YOU KNOW, AROUND 60% OF OUR TEXTILES ARE MADE OF POLYESTER. THEY ALSO RELEASE REALLY HARMFUL MICROPLASTICS WHEN WASHED INTO THE OCEAN. SO IT IS CRUCIAL WE LOOK AT A MORE SUSTAINABLE WAY OF MAKING OUR CLOTHING. >> Reporter: THAT SAID, BIO FABRICS, INCLUDING MILO, ARE NOT A SILVER BULLET FOR SUSTAINABILITY. WHILE MANY USE FEWER RESOURCES THAN SYNTHETICS, MOST ARENT 100% CARBON NEUTRAL. AND THEYRE JUST ONE PIECE OF A BIGGER PUZZLE. >> ITS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE TACKLE THE ROOT CAUSES OF THE PROBLEMS, FOR EXAMPLE, CUTTING CO2 EMISSIONS, TACKLING ISSUES LIKE OVERPRODUCTION, SO ITS NOT THE WHOLE SOLUTION, AND IT CANT BE SEEN AS THE WHOLE SOLUTION. >> Reporter: STILL, BIOFABRICS ARE HAVING A MOMENT, AND AS CONSUMER DEMAND FOR EARTH-FRIENDLY DESIGN INCREASES, MUSHROOMS JUST MIGHT BE THE FUTURE OF FASHION. GUYS, IT IS NOT JUST MUSHROOMS. THERES ACTUALLY A COMPANY THATS MAKING SHIRTS OUT OF ALGAE. THEYRE FULLY COMPOSTABLE AND BIODEGRADABLE BIODEGRADABLE. YOU NEVER HAVE TO THROW THEM AWAY. GUYS? >> OR YOU GET STUCK IN THE RAIN, AND THAT CAN LEAD TO OTHER ISSUES. WHEN WILL SOME OF THESE ITEMS ACTUALLY BE ON THE SHELVES? >> Reporter: SO I ASKED ADIDAS WHEN WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE THE MILO LEATHER SNEAKERS. THEY DIDNT HAVE AN EXACT DATE, BUT THEY SAID PROBABLY BY THE END OF THE YEAR. I ALSO ASKED THEM, IS THIS GOING TO BE A LIMITED RELEASE ITEM THAT HAS A MATCHING PRICE TAG? THEY REASSURED ME THEY WANT THESE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS TO BE ACCESSIBLE AND NOT LAUX RYUXURY. HOPEFULLY IT IS SOMETHING WE CAN ALL AFFORD. >> ASIDE FROM BUYING THIS MUSHROOM LEATHER, ANY OTHER TIPS FOR MAKING MORE SUSTAINABLE FASHION CHOICES IN GENERAL? >> Reporter: CRAIG, I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED THAT. WE WANT TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE IN OUR PRACTICES. THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS ACTUALLY BUY LESS. WEAR WHAT YOU HAVE A LITTLE BIT LONGER. WHEN YOURE DONE WITH IT, GIVE IT TO A FRIEND OR RECYCLE IT. BE REALLY CONSCIOUS IN YOUR CHOICES. BUYING A LITTLE LESS IS PROBABLY THE EASIEST THING THAT ALL OF US CAN DO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. GUYS? >> LESS CONSUMPTION. GOOD ADVICE. >> SARAH, THANK YOU SO MUCH. FASCINATING STORY. ITS LIKE THAT T-SHIRT BLANKET I HAD MADE. INSTEAD OF THROWING THEM OUT AND BUYING A BLANKET, MAKE IT A BLANKET. >> MUSHROOMS, I REMEMBER THOSE
Mushroom – 500g Onion – 1 large Tomato – 1 large Garlic – 10 large cloves Ginger – 1 big piece Curry leaves Green chilly – 4 small, or as per taste Coconut oil Mustard seeds – ½ tbsp Turmeric powder – ¾ tbsp Coriander powder – 1 tbsp Garam Masala – ½ tbsp Pepper powder – to taste Chilly powder – ½ tbsp Kashmiri red chilly powder – ½ tbsp Today, I’m gonna make an easy and tasty mushroom dish to wash the mushroom,pour water onto the mushroom and wash like shown in the video.. do not leave the mushroom in water for a long time if you leave the mushroom in water for a long time, the moisture content of the mushroom will be too high.. wash twice or thrice until all the dirt from the mushroom is gone 500g mushroom.. use fresh mushroom cut the mushroom for the curry, as you like 1 big onion, finely chopped, 10 big cloves of garlic and a big piece of ginger crushed, green chillies and curry leaves 1 big tomato For the spices, we need Turmeric powder, Chilly powder, Coriander powder, Garam masala and pepper powder heat a pan and add oil of your choice.. I’m using coconut oil add 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds and let it splutter add onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies and curry leaves and saute until soft Add ¾ tbsp turmeric powder and sauté until the raw smell goes away, on a medium flame Add 1tbsp coriander powder and sauté until the raw smell goes away Add ½ tbsp chilly powder and sauté until the raw smell goes away I’m also adding 1/2 tbsp kashmiri red chilly powder for a bright red colour keep the flame really low now, add tomato and salt to taste keep in mind that mushroom needs very less salt.. it will go down in volume when cooked.. lower the flame and cook the tomatoes, with the lid closed, until soft and mushy, stirring occasionally add pepper powder to taste add 1/2 tbsp garam masala..You can taste the curry later on and add more if required now, add the mushroom and mix well.. do not add water as the mushroom will release moisture when heated lower the flame and close the lid until the mushroom heats up and releases water it has released water, let it took in the gravy.. cook with the lid closed for 10 more minutes mushroom has now cooked well.. leave the lid open and stir for a few mins if you want it dry.. mushroom curry is now ready!! transfer to a serving bowl..
how much does it cost to set up a small-scale mushroom farm i get asked that question a heck of a lot, so in this video we’re going to take you through about how much it’s going to cost for you to set up a mushroom grow which will produce between about 30 to 50 kgs of mushrooms per week. i think that 30 to 50 kgs per week is the sweet spot for one person to operate a small scale mushroom farm. we’re going to break this down into five parts. we’re going to cover off the fruiting, the lab, the incubation, the pre and post-production, and then any additional costs that the farm might incur so let’s crack on. *now that is a knife hand that would make general mattis proud* and see just how much this is going to cost. so for any small scale mushroom farm the first thing you need to build is a fruiting room or a fruiting chamber this is my fruiting room here and it can hold about 150 blocks my blocks are on a three week cycle which means they come in they flush once they flush twice and then i move them out of here. now to build a fruiting chamber there’s going to be a few things that will cost you money. the first you actually have to construct the room. construction of the fruiting room can be as easy or as complex as you like if you aim for 12 square meters you should be able to produce 30 kilos of mushrooms. the cheapest easiest and fastest way is to get an indoor hydroponics grow tent, expect these to set you back about 350. for a nine metre square grow space the second you need to humidify the room. i built my own humidifier which costs around 250 us dollars. I have a video of it linked in the corner. Alternatively you can purchase a hydro fogger which does the same thing for about 350 us dollars. the third you need lights in the room you can get 150 watts of good strong LEDs and a meanwell driver for about 120 us dollars. the fourth you need an exhaust fan for the room. An exhaust fan with some ducting will set you back about 90 us dollars. And the fifth is a shelving to grow your mushrooms on. This is my shelving here and i made that myself but it’s probably a bit easier just to buy shelving. Uou can buy shelving for about 65 dollars a piece or you can make your own like mine. I’ll put a link to my build in the top right hand corner so once all these things are done. you can expect the fruiting chamber to set you back about fifteen hundred us dollars minimum it is very easy to go over this mark when you add in all the small things you need to buy. The mushroom lab the mushroom lab can consist of a pretty basic setup. Ideally you want to choose an existing room that has concrete or vinyl floors and you need a few key things in here the first and the most important is a laminar flow hood like what i’ve got right here. the purpose of your flow hood is to pump air through it, and these HEPA filters here actually take out all the contamination out of the air so you’ve got clean air blowing over your workspace. this prevents other mold spores or bacteria getting into your bags or your dishes if you’re working in front of them. now until recently there haven’t really been any purpose-built mushroom going um flow hoods available there are some now which is good, my one actually cost quite a bit because i’m here in New Zealand. My HEPA filter panels themselves are about 480 us dollars with another 40 or 50 us dollars for the the pre-filter which is actually mounted behind these panels here. And my fan on top my blower was actually about 330 us dollars plus another 60-70 us dollars perhaps for my control unit here. So to build my flow hood actually cost me quite a lot of money, probably upwards of 1 thousand us dollars. Now you can get these a lot cheaper, the ones that are available pre-made now, of course you can make your own still and making it in america will probably be quite cheap, but if you want to save a bit of time and hassle you just buy pre-made. Again, this is a price i paid to build this unit in New Zealand. Building it in America will be a lot cheaper. Iou can buy purpose-built flow hoods from Myers Mushrooms in America. I recommend buying one if you want to save the time and making your own. people have pointed out on my flow hood that the sealing foam is facing the wrong way, this doesn’t matter because it’s present on both sides of the filter. it will cost you about six hundred dollars to get a flow hood. The second would be a good autoclave or some people use pressure cookers. you can see mine behind me all american make some pretty good autoclaves. I recommend picking one of these up. The starting price for a good sized All-American is about 800 dollars. The third item you need is a really good impulse sealer which i’ve got right here. My impulse sealer cost me about 230 us dollars. You want to get a good one bad ones don’t seal very well and often burn the bags. And of course you want this all on a stainless steel benching which is really easy to clean. You can get a good size stainless bench from amazon for about 140 us dollars. there are some additional costs in the lab which you’re going to have to consider. One is items like parafilm, but it’s not too expensive. another one is sterilized scalpels. Now I found boxes of ten sterilized scalpels for 5 dollars per box and these are all actually expired but um i’ve been using them for quite some time now and i’ve never had any contamination with them so i think that’s still good. also a few things like spray bottles, isopropyl alcohol, and paper towels of course to wipe your benching down. Expect an entry level lab to sit you back about 2000 us dollars but you can go over this mark with all the other things you need to buy. so here we are out in my incubation room. The best part about an incubation room is it doesn’t really need to be that pretty. all it needs to do is serve its purpose. now the purpose of an incubation room is to keep your mushroom blocks here at a set temperature for a specific amount of time. To do that all we do is either choose a room that’s pre-existing or if you want to go the hard route, make your own make sure it’s insulated, and get an air conditioning unit for the room. You can see my air conditioning unit right behind me. It’s actually behind this fan here so when that turns on this fan turns on with it and it blasts that air which is either being heated or cooled straight down the middle of the room you can get an air conditioning unit for about 300 dollars, and a fan for about sixty dollars. combined with an ink bird controller this will keep your incubation room at the correct temperature. At the moment I’ve only got one shelf set up in here. I actually had shelves lining this room as I was doing a lot of shiitake. I took them all down because one i didn’t really want to continue on growing shiitake and it used up a lot of room for incubation. right now i’ve only got this one shelf set up where i put all my oyster blocks on and each shelf here fits about 50 blocks at a time. right now i’m doing about 50 blocks a week, so it means that they come in here they sit in here for two weeks and then they’re gone. Which means at most i only ever have two shelves filled up. Earlier on today i actually took that whole top shelf this shelf here away and put that into fruiting. Tomorrow another 50 blocks is going to come in here and take that place. Next week these blocks will go, It is cost effective to make your own or you can buy ready-made shelving expect the shelving to set you back about 300 dollars. The good thing about incubation room is you don’t need a lot of stuff to make it work. You don’t need humidity, you don’t need lighting requirements, you don’t need fresh air exchange, all you need is a room where your blocks can be kept warm so they can grow their mycelium nice and quickly. An entry level incubation room will cost you about 700 dollars, it’s very easy to go with this mark if you have to build and insulate your own room. pre and post production there are some Things you must do to get your mushroom bags ready, and there are some things you must do after you’ve grown some mushrooms. To prepare a mushroom block there’s the expensive end of the scale and then there’s the cheap end of the scale. I’m right at the cheap end, and i just manually weigh each bag before i mix them together. The expensive end is where you buy an automated mushroom burger and you just need to hold the bag open press the button and all the ingredients or the substrate gets tipped into the bag for you. The expensive end is extremely fast and you can do hundreds and hundreds of bags an hour. The cheap end is a lot slower but if you’re not ready to spend thousands of dollars on a bagger it is good to start at the cheap end so you get a hang of things. to measure my bags i just use a cheap industrial scale and an automated water meter. These cost about 160 dollars. You can see my homemade sterilizers set up right here, and that’s actually running right now. This uses a homemade boiler and homemade steam tanks i’ll put a link to my build for this up in the corner it’s just running off the homemade PID controller which is controlling the temperature inside that barrel. You can make your own like mine for about seven hundred dollars, or you can buy a pre-made one for about thirteen hundred dollars. I run this multiple times per week and it’s fairly reliable. I’ve been using this for over a year now without much trouble. again you can buy pre-made steam sterilizers, they are slightly more expensive than it will cost you to make your own so if you are crafty with tools i do suggest just buying the parts and throwing one of these together. Cost for bagging and preparation can range from seven hundred dollars to about ten thousand dollars the more you spend the more time you save. Now post harvest i cannot stress the importance of having a really good commercial fridge these things here are invaluable and they go a long way in keeping your crop fresher for longer. You can see mine here now is at 0.6 degrees and it fluctuates from about 0.6 degrees to about 1.5 degrees, and one week i’ll fill up this fridge with a mushroom harvest. with this entire side here being fresh cut mushrooms and this side here is really kept for a lot of my spawn plates and cultures. Expect to spend about two thousand dollars for a decent commercial fridge. you’re going to need a few other things like food containers to stick your harvest in and some more stainless steel benching to cut your harvest up on. All of these add costs to the whole operation but you do really need most of them. And finally the cost of goods sold. This is the input cost you have to spend each week to actually get the ingredients together to produce the bags the three main costs will be unicorn grow bags hardwood or soft wood fuel pellets and a supplement like soy hulls. You ideally want to use hardwood fuel pallets, but I use softwood here in New Zealand with a degree of success simply because we don’t really have access to hardwood pellets. It cost me about 30 us dollars to produce 20 mushroom bags so that’s a cost of about a dollar fifty per bag. My bags weigh about 4.2 kgs each and even at fifty percent biological efficiency we’re looking at about a kilo of mushroom out of each bag in New Zealand you can fetch about 60 NZ dollars per kilo, which is probably about 40 us dollars per kilo. After we’ve got all those costs added up, if you really want to be conservative, double it. Starting a small scale mushroom farm isn’t that cheap and there are going to be a lot of hidden costs. You never know, you might have to get an electrician out, you might have to get a plumber out, you might have to buy a vehicle like i’ve got behind me. There are other costs you need to account for so please be conservative but if you are really keen to start one i recommend giving it a go. It is a pretty rewarding and fulfilling business to run.
They are among the most remarkable organisms on earth, yet mostly invisible. Their web expands and connects the dots of our entire global ecosystems and are essential for the cycle of life. Fungi. “The fungi kingdom had a decisive role in the evolution of life, not just in the previous time, but even in current times.” They degrade almost everything, sponge up some of the most hazardous pollutants and can even create entirely new materials. They are strange and magical in ways you would never imagine. So could they potentially help to clean up the mess on our planet and become the building blocks of our future? But first of all, what are mushrooms actually? Let’s explore their hidden existence. The mushrooms you put in your risotto, you see on your rotten veggies or find in the forest are equivalent to the tip of an iceberg. They are their own realm, different to animals and plants. Their secret life evolved over a billion years ago and during evolution fungi became the trailblazers of life as we know it. Mining nutrients from rocks and providing them to plants millions of years ago they helped plants to grow and produce oxygen, making our lives today possible. Within a couple of hundred million years these microscopic life forms developed into real giants. On the Arab peninsula archaeologists found a fossil they initially thought was a tree. It turned out it was actually an 8-meter-high mushroom that grew 500 million years ago. However, the mushrooms we see on the surface is only the fruit of something much more vast. The real magic happens beneath the surface where the mycelium – the rootlike web of the fungi – mostly grows. It is the largest known organism on the planet. The mycelium of the “Humongous Fungus” in Oregon spreads through an area of 9 km2 and is estimated to be up to 8650 years old. Fungi are among the few organisms on the planet that can significantly break down lignin, a component in wood cells, but also present in fruits and any kind of tree or plant that decays after dying. “So if in the environment that would accumulate, that would be detrimental, then the nutrients would not be available to the plants again or to any other life form in the soil. So it’s absolutely essential that there is someone who can degrade that fraction.” Erika Kothe is a mycologist at the University of Jena in Germany. She’s investigating the symbiosis between plants and fungi. Fungi are essential to keep our soils healthy and scientists are just beginning to explore their amazing abilities. “So if fungi can help in the decomposition of a living thing, which is more complex than any organic compound, then this same set of organisms can also help in breaking down any organic pollutants in the environment.” Udeme Dickson lectures in analytical environmental chemistry at the University of Reading in the UK. He’s looking into how fungi could potentially help clear land of oil pollution. “We have a lot of studies which [have] proved that toxic substances have been degraded by fungi.” Some 44,000 oil fields worldwide, illegal extraction and leaks in refineries and oil-pipelines have led to an estimated five million oil contaminated sites worldwide. Fuels and crude oil contain a wide range of pollutants, among them polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH’s, one of the most worrying pollutants of our age. They kill flora and fauna, damage organs and can cause cancer in humans and animals. Back in 1998 scientists had already found that mushrooms do grow on heavily oil contaminated soils. In this case oyster mushrooms. After 8 weeks the total amount of contaminants in the soil plummeted by 99%, with PAH’s also broken down into less toxic substances. But just how do fungi function? Well, organic pollutants like fuel oils originate from dead organic matter, so fungi degrade them with the same enzyme they degrade wood and leaves. Contaminants are chopped into smaller compounds which are less harmful or not dangerous at all, so they can become part of the nutrient cycle again. Some are degraded to CO2 or water. “The concept of introducing, going back to organisms, which naturally perform the role of the degradation and using them to degrade and wipe out pollutants in the environment is a very promising route.” But it doesn’t end with organic matter. Fungi can also treat soils contaminated with arsenic, lead and mercury from mining operations, or even radioactive elements. In 1986 a nuclear reactor meltdown and explosion in Chernobyl spread devastating radioactive contamination, making the region uninhabitable to this day. In a trial near the nuclear reactor Erika Kothe used fungi together with host plants. “We could show that strontium, which is even a radioactive element half of the bioavailable strontium could be taken up by the sunflower in the growth period of 12 weeks.” Later the plants can be cut down, burned, and the strontium enriched ashes can be stored more safely. The soil is left significantly cleaner. What the fungi do here is change the mobility of the elements, fixing them in the soil, absorbing them, or helping plants take them up. Samples taken to a Russian industrial site showed that fungi accumulated up to 40 times more nickel and copper than the soil they were growing in. So we might already be holding the solutions for heavily polluted soil in our hands. But as promising as some experiments are, many also fail. “That means I have 10 different experimental setups and it went well in seven and it didn’t go well in three or the other way around. So what should I do, I cannot put that as a basis of putting into action real remediation schemes as an authority.” Treating soils with fungi is feasible in rather small areas. It’s cheaper and more eco-friendly than conventional methods removing and burning it. It’s not an easy method though, especially in entire forests or mining regions. Ecosystems are unique and translocated fungi from another area do not necessarily grow in them. Promoting local species that can do the job would be key, but this takes time and patience. Of course fungi can also decompose any organic waste from agriculture and the food industry. So, what about using their power to degrade organic matter to build the blocks of our future? Like building a home made of mushrooms. No, we’re not talking about mouldy walls and cellars. And not about living like the Smurfs do in the TV series either – well, maybe… It might sound strange, but in 2014 architectural team “The Living” built this 12m high tower in the city of New York. But not with stone, bricks or concrete. Yes, you guessed it, they used 10,000 bricks made of mycelium. “They’re very inexpensive to produce. They can be grown and fabricated in almost any conditions. So they don’t need specialized equipment. And then when you actually put these bricks out into the world, they’re very strong, especially for their weight. But they’re a lightweight brick.” David Benjamin headed the project and is Associate Professor for sustainable architecture at Columbia University. The production of materials like concrete and steel for construction are responsible for roughly 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. You might want to watch a video we did how the global construction industry is fuelling a sand shortage and works with mafia-like structures. On the other hand crop residues all around the world are often burned. In Delhi for example in winter this contributes significantly to the city’s air pollution. This is the alternative: For the tower, crop residues from corn fields were seeded with a fungus which feeds on them. Placed in a mould the fungus mycelium colonized it entirely within a week, eating up all the agricultural waste. It dries into a solid brick form creating a new and low-carbon building material. It’s not flammable and its insulation properties are extremely good, it doesn’t only match some concrete’s capabilities, but also those of polystyrene and plastic, which are standard. The bricks simply rot when the house is pulled down. “I can imagine scenarios where people all over the world, sometimes in resource constrained environments, are growing their own bricks. It’s totally viable.” The bricks aren’t as firm as concrete. However, by combining the mycelium with other compostable materials like bamboo, and designing a framework to distribute stresses evenly, scientists from the University of Karlsruhe showed that concrete’s advantage can be mitigated. “One of its biggest challenges is durability because this is a material where if it gets damaged or cut it has the potential to absorb moisture.” That means to make it a realistic approach for housing, future homes would need different layers, using our mushroom bricks as the core of a wall, but protecting them from moisture damage from the outside. Ok, the mycelium bricks aren’t firm enough to build a skyscraper yet, but for low rise buildings they could actually work. The idea of fungus housing is still at an early stage, with examples more likely to be seen at art exhibitions than in neighbourhoods, but the potential is huge. Fungus thrives in almost every region and any climate. And with our growing population the need for affordable and sustainable housing is growing as well. Fungus bricks could become a local and easy means of answering these demands. With accelerating climate change and pollution putting increasing pressure on our ecosystems, methods to tackle its degradation are becoming more urgent than ever. In one way or the other fungi will play a decisive role here. They’re essential to the health of our planet. We just need to make use of their secret powers. Did you know that the use of fungi goes back at least 6000 years? Ancient cultures used them for transcendental experiences and people still use them for spiritual reasons today. The discovery of using them in antibiotics was nothing short of revolutionary. So why not take the next step and use them to clean up the planet? What’s your opinion? Do you think fungi can help to solve some of our problems? Let us know in the comments. Share and like the video. As you can see we put a lot of love and effort into it.