White Mushroom

The New Yorker recently profiled three leading lights of mycology – the study of fungi. 

R. Gordon Wasson popularizes the understanding of psilocybin mushrooms by imbibing them in a remote Mexican village. 

Wasson learned of a so-called “divine mushroom” consumed in remote corners of the world. In 1955, he finally found one of these communities, a small town in the mountains of southern Mexico. At the house of a local shaman, Wasson drank chocolate, then spent thirty minutes chewing “acrid” mushrooms. “I could not have been happier: this was the culmination of years of pursuit,” Wasson wrote.”


UK biologist Merlin Sheldrake explains the amazing powers of fungi in eating rock, making soil, digesting pollutants, making foods and medicines, inducing visions, influencing the earth’s atmosphere, and surviving in space. 

Sheldrake was drawn to fungi because they are humble yet astonishingly versatile organisms, “eating rock, making soil, digesting pollutants, nourishing and killing plants, surviving in space, inducing visions, producing food, making medicines, manipulating animal behavior, and influencing the composition of the earth’s atmosphere.”


Paul Stamets is the former logger turned famed mycologist who has authored seminal books on fungi and created natural products utilizing fungi.

Mushrooms are miniature pharmaceutical factories, and of the thousands of mushroom species in nature, our ancestors and modern scientists have identified several dozen that have a unique combination of talents that improve our health.”


Stamets’s fascination with fungus began with a world-changing moment of his own: a psilocybin trip cured him of a lifelong stutter. Convinced of the mushroom’s special power—he could talk to girls now!—he began harvesting exotic varieties, building a profitable mail-order business that sells grow kits, extracts, cultivation gear, even fungal dog treats (Mutt-rooms). 

If you want to read the full article from The New Yorker, you can check it out here!

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