Does Nature Know Best?

Al Stangenberger forags at nature.Berkeley.EDU
Thu Jan 15 00:33:02 EST 1998

dwheeler at wrote:

: But for 30-50 of the years that tree is growing to 120' high, it is also
: inoculated with Tuber gibbosum and T. giganteum, producing .5 lb. of each
: fungus per year. Thus the tree produces each year $30-$100 of mushroom
: while growing to maturity.

: At cutting, the tree may be worth $800 (at today's prices). While
: reaching that size, the tree would have produced $900-5000 worth of
: mushrooms. Which is greater?

But if everybody starts harvesting truffles, isn't that going to drive the
price down?  I would almost expect to see bins of truffles at the corner
supermarket if truffle harvesting were to take place on all the acres of
forest which are apparently capable of producing them.

Metallic alumnium was nearly as valuable as gold until the modern inexpensive
method of refining made it abundant and cheap enough to use for beer cans.

Al Stangenberger                      forags at            
Dept. of Env. Sci., Policy, & Mgt.    145 Mulford Hall # 3114
Univ. of California at Berkeley       Berkeley, CA  94720-3114
(510) 642-4424  FAX: (510) 643-5438   

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