When we think of mushrooms and the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, the very first point which usually arrives to brain is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. But slowly and gradually that is all changing as a end result of the groundbreaking work of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, via their company, Mico-lógica.

Primarily based in the village of Benito Juárez, located in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (more typically identified as the Sierra Norte, the state’s major ecotourism area), Mico-lógica’s mission is threefold: to train both Mexicans and visitors to the region in the low-expense cultivation of a variety of mushroom species to teach about the medicinal, dietary and environmental (sustainable) price of mushrooms and to perform ongoing analysis relating to the best possible climatic areas and the variety of substrata for mushroom culture.

The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and in simple fact to Huautla de Jiménez, in 2005. “Yes, coming all the way to Mexico from France to go after my curiosity in mushrooms seems like a extended way to travel,” Mathieu described in a recent job interview in Oaxaca. “But there truly was not much of an opportunity to perform reports and grow a company in Western Europe,” he continues, “given that reverence for mushrooms experienced been all but fully eradicated by The Church over the course of hundreds of years and I discovered that Mexico still maintains a regard and appreciation for the medicinal and dietary value of hongos. Mexico is considerably from mycophobic.”

Huautla de Jiménez is much more than a five hour generate from the closest metropolitan heart. Accordingly, Mathieu at some point realized that staying in Huautla, while holding an historic allure and becoming in a geographic region conducive to functioning with mushrooms, would hinder his attempts to expand a business and cultivate common curiosity in understanding about fungi. Mathieu became cognizant of the burgeoning reputation of Oaxaca’s ecotourism communities of the Sierra Norte, and certainly the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (regional wild mushroom festival), held each year in Cuahimoloyas.

Mathieu satisfied Josefina Jiménez at the summertime weekend mushroom function. Jiménez had moved to Oaxaca from hometown Mexico Metropolis in 2002. The two shared similar pursuits Jiménez experienced analyzed agronomy, and for shut to a ten years experienced been working with sustainable agriculture tasks in rural farming communities in the Huasteca Potosina area of San Luis Potosí, the mountains of Guerrero and the coastline of Chiapas. Mathieu and Jiménez grew to become organization, and then existence associates in Benito Juárez.

mushroom growing kit and Jiménez are concentrating on three mushroom species in their hands-on seminars oyster (seta), shitake and reishi. Their a single-working day workshops are for oyster mushrooms, and two-day clinics for the latter two species of fungus. “With reishi, and to a lesser extent shitake, we are also training a reasonable bit about the medicinal makes use of of mushrooms, so a lot more time is essential,” states Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it truly is predominantly [but not completely] a program on cultivation.”

Although training seminars are now only offered in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez program to expand functions to contain each the central valleys and coastal locations of Oaxaca. The object is to have a network of producers growing different mushrooms which are optimally suited for cultivation dependent on the distinct microclimate. There are about 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and therefore as a species, the adaptability of the oyster mushroom to various climatic areas is exceptional. “The oyster can be grown in a multitude of different substrata, and which is what we are experimenting with appropriate now,” he elucidates. The oyster mushroom can prosper when grown on items which would otherwise be squander, these kinds of as discard from cultivating beans, sugar cane, agave (which includes the fibrous squander developed in mezcal distillation), peas, the common river reed recognized as carriso, sawdust, and the record goes on. Agricultural waste which might normally be remaining to rot or be burned, every single with adverse environmental implications, can form substrata for mushroom cultivation. It ought to be mentioned, although trite, that mushroom cultivation is a extremely sustainable, inexperienced sector. More than the earlier many years Mexico has in reality been at the fore in many places of sustainable sector.

Mathieu exemplifies how mushrooms can serve an arguably even higher environmental excellent:

“They can keep up to 30 thousand times their mass, possessing implications for inhibiting erosion. They have been utilised to clean up oil spills by means of absorption and therefore are an crucial vehicle for habitat restoration. Analysis has been completed with mushrooms in the struggle towards carpenter ant destruction it really is been proposed that the use of fungi has the prospective to totally revamp the pesticide business in an environmentally pleasant way. There are literally hundreds of other eco-helpful purposes for mushroom use, and in every scenario the mushroom stays an edible by-solution. Just take a search at the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Conserve The World.”

Mathieu and Jiménez can typically be found marketing their goods on weekends in the organic marketplaces in Oaxaca. They are both far more than happy to talk about the dietary value of their merchandise which range from in a natural way their refreshing mushrooms, but also as preserves, marinated with either chipotle and nopal or jalapeño and cauliflower. The mushroom’s vitamin B12 cannot be discovered in fruits or veggies, and accordingly a diet which consists of fungi is incredibly essential for vegetarians who are not able to get B12, most frequently contained in meats. Mushrooms can effortlessly be a substitute for meats, with the edge that they are not loaded with antibiotics and hormones frequently found in industrially processed meat goods.

Mico-lógica also offer teas and extracts created from various mushroom species, every single formulated as either a nutritional health supplement, or for their medicinal qualities. Even though neither Mathieu nor Jiménez has the pharmacological qualifications to prescribe mycological treatment for critical ailments, Mathieu’s very own research factors to the medicinal use of mushrooms dating from pre-history, to the existing. He notes houses of mushrooms which can assist to restore the immune program, and therefore the use of fungi as a enhance in the treatment method of cancer and AIDS, and their utility in controlling diabetes and dealing with high cholesterol.

“We must all be embracing the natural creation of mushrooms,” Mathieu concludes. “It is so effortless, it requires a small money investment, and it gives significant benefits, equally for individuals ingesting hongos for dietary and medicinal motives, and for the producers, even little scale. Mico-lógica also sells dried mushrooms. Yet most of the dried mushrooms offered in Mexico are imported from China, and are not organic. It’s a real disgrace on several amounts.”