Paul Stamets’ patent could destroy Monsanto’s grip on the pesticide industry using mushrooms
Why poison your food if you don’t have to?
In this post-industrial culture of getting as much as you can out of as little space as possible, increasing profit, regardless of ecological impact; we have birthed a slew of new ideas to accomplish effective acceleration of growth while limiting the danger to our ecosystem. One such idea is the use of mushrooms in place of pesticides.
In 2001, Paul Stamets issued a US Patent for a new kind of pesticide, a mycopesticide (pesticide that contains living fungi), that is, in the words of executives in the pesticide industry, “the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” By utilizing mushrooms, instead of toxic chemicals, we can draw the attention of insects away from the plants we are growing for food. Before the mushroom begins sporulating, (producing spores) the insects are attracted to it and eat it. They feed it to their queen; and the queen dies. It dies because this particular type of mushroom actually grows inside of the insect and bursts through it, killing it. After this, the fungi will begin sporulating and the insects will be repelled (they don’t like spores). The different types of fungi specifically target up to 200,000 species of insects.
The fungi are also free to cultivate, as they grow naturally on agricultural waste.
In the video below, Paul explains how fungi may be the key to saving the planet, as we know it. (At 13:00 he begins talking about how he destroyed a carpenter ant infestion with mushrooms)