Fantastic fungi: mushrooms with a view

Fungi Perfecti
United States (Olympia)

Imagine an organism that feeds you, heals you, reveals secrets of the universe and could help save the planet. Fungi, are not merely the humble enliveners of pasta, pizzas and English breakfasts, but have the potential to solve a range of environmental problems.

That’s why Paul Stamets, an inspirational mycologist with an entrepreneurial slant, has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies – including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas.

Paul sees the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest – where he carries out much of his research – as a resource of incalculable value and he spends much of his time preserving, protecting and cloning as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible from these pristine woodlands. Revenues generated from sales of growing kits, body and skin care products and other products on Fungi Perfecti is used to sponsor further research.

“We are now fully engaged in the sixth Major Extinction on planet Earth,” Paul explains. “Our biosphere is quickly changing, eroding the life support systems that have allowed humans to ascend. Unless we put into action policies and technologies that can cause a course correction in the very near future, species diversity will continue to plummet, with humans not only being the primary cause, but one of the victims. What can we do? Fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer some powerful, practical solutions, which can be put into practice now.”

AtlasAction: View the free Fungi Perfecti catalogue online as a Flipbook.

Written by

Chris Moss (24 October 2019)


Chris Moss has been writing on travel, tech, sex, food, art and books for nearly two decades. He co-founded street paper Hecho en Buenos Aires, writes regularly for the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, and is now writing a thriller set in Andalusia.

Project leader

Paul Stamets, Founder


This project has been selected as part of NatureFutures, a new storytelling project that maps the innovations in wildlife, biodiversity and citizen science and the biologists, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs behind them. Atlas of the Future is excited to partner with the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability of the Government of Catalonia.

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