How Mushrooms Can Help Us To Save The Earth?
What can be said about mushrooms? Only that they’re the most amazing and the most neglected kingdom of living species at the same time. It’s true that people don’t know much about the funguses despite the fact, that their usage and very existing affect the planet very much.
Let’s put aside our gastronomic preferences because mushrooms are much more than just the food. Their biomass is way bigger than the biomass of the entire animal kingdom. There are more than three and eight-tenths millions of known fungus species and it is believed that humanity has discovered only one-tenth of them.
We perceive mushrooms only as food, packed in food film on the supermarket shelves or as antibiotics like penicillin. But there is a lot more about them.
Funguses form the landscape, provide the soil’s creation, oxygenate the atmosphere, enrich the soil with minerals and nutrients and ensure the decomposition of the fallen plants and animals.
Mold is a type of funguses and is present everywhere. Not a single leaf would be decomposed without the mold. We face it regularly when our stored food is getting out of its shelf life or when we leave a loaf of bread for a long time in a drawer. Those blue, white and purple stains are mold which is a type of fungus.
It looks gross and disgusting but mold is a useful and important element of the Earth’s ecosystems.
Funguses play an important role in plant and animal life. For example, funguses transform rock formations into nutritious and useful microelements that nourish plant life and the soil. Funguses form the landscapes and prevent the soil from erosion with the help of one of their structural elements – mycelium. Mycelium constitutes a web, made of millions of thin but strong and prehensile strings. This fungi part provides the nourishment of fungi and works just as a tree root but with one significant difference – mycelium serves as a carcass for the soil. Mycelium could spread across the land for hundreds of meters, giving birth to uncountable mushrooms and funguses. Funguses are very important and are used for numerous purposes by humans, from nutrition and clothing to medicine and construction works.
Scientists have studied mushrooms for a long time and the first significant discovery, penicillin, was made with the help of a sort of domestic fungus and had started a whole new era in medicine. Now, scientists analyze how we can use funguses to make life better and the planet safer for us.
Funguses’ specificities give fertile ground for thinking and idea developing
Funguses Can Revive the Polluted Land
Funguses are somewhere between plant and animal kingdoms. They breathe in carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen. They can purify the soil and ground waters from harmful substances and anthropogenic emissions such as oil, gasoline, motor oil, sulfates, etc.).
Not all fungus species are able to purify the land from such toxic pollutants but the species which can do this are widespread across the globe. By the way, humanity doesn’t have ready-to-implement strategies that can purify wildlands from the spilled oil and polluted sewage waters, so funguses could the perfect solution for this problem.
Mushrooms Can Fight Viruses
The most famous antibiotic – penicillin had saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers during World War II. Further researches and scientific studies have developed and discovered numerous other antibiotic medicines and now it is believed that funguses can cure such «hopeless» diseases as AIDS and the Zik virus.
Medicine fungi are extremely rich in antioxidants and there are more than fifty known antibiotics, extracted from different fungus species. Proper and thoughtful usage of medicine fungi can prevent numerous diseases like cardiovascular illnesses, flues and allergies.
The newest studies have proven that certain fungus species are able to fight cancer. Now they are commonly used in oncology.
Mushrooms Green the Planet
Mushrooms breed primarily by spores. It is known that one mushroom can release millions of spores and the number of mycelium from one single mushroom is astonishing.
Mushroom spawn can encompass dozens of square kilometers, decomposing dead biomass, enriching the soil, greening the landscape and giving birth to new plants. Mushrooms purify the land where they grow, creating perfect conditions for future generations of plants.
Mushrooms Are Very Healthy and Nourishing
Mushrooms are super nutritious and healthy due to their nutritional composition and the number of healthy proteins and fiber in them. It is not necessary to take medications, produced from mushrooms. Even home-cooked mushrooms are able to prevent and even cure many chronic diseases that are endemic in modern society.
Mushrooms have a lot of proteins and fiber in them. These nutrients make them a perfect addition to the ration. They strengthen immunity, improve cognitive ability and boost brain activity. Vitamins, calcium, minerals and beta-glycan are present in mushrooms in big numbers.
Aspergillus Tubingensis Fungus Can Decompose Plastic Very Fast
A very important discovery was made recently. It states that Aspergillus Tubingensis fungus can decompose the polyurethane – an artificial plastic compound that is used in the production of plastic bottles, food films, wrapping material and other plastic items.
If the usage of Aspergillus Tubingensis will become massive, the existing problem with plastic contamination could be partially solved in the nearest decades.
Now funguses play a huge role in the planet’s life as well as helps humanity to cope with the current environmental crisis. There are many ways of how mushrooms can save the world. Although we didn’t ask them for help, the give us a hand by greening the planet and keeping things going the right way.
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