[Fwd: [saf-news] Old Growth better than plantations]

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Tue Sep 26 01:38:02 EST 2000


In article <39CE3362.2D7ED1E1 at forestmeister.com>,
  Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote:
> Regarding eating fungi, what sort of nutrious value does it have for humans, not
> counting the fungi that feed the mind? <G>
>
Oh, you mean in addition to niacin (which mushrooms are extremely high
in). Uh, the answer kind of lies in which species you are talking of.

With 15,000 species available to choose from there is a wide variety of
answers.

At least one fungus, Fistulina hepatica (aka Beefsteak mushroom) is noted
for a high Vitamin C content.

Many truffles are noted for their aphrodiac qualities, probably developed
from pheromone-like compounds. Androstenol and androsterol have been
reported from some truffle species, and probably attract animals which
seek out the pheromones, such as sows or voles.

Most mushrooms are high in non-digestable fiber (roughage), have
relatively high concentrations of rare minerals and elements.

Some are used for dying purposes (as opposed to being used on purpose to
die). <G>

Hallucinogenic/divination/psychoactive properties are fairly well
documented for those interested.

Many edible saprophytic fungi offer a unique method of forestry: the
ability to grow your trees and eat them too. Many fungi have a biological
efficiency of 100-200%, meaning that for every oven-dry pound of wood
inoculated, the mushroom grower can expect to harvest 1-2 pounds of
fresh-weight mushrooms.

There are two ways (in general) to break down organic material in nature:
one is by bacteria. Guess what the other one is?

Dr. Orson K. Miller Jr. has estimated that without fungi, all land area
would be 65 feet deep in organic debris, including animal excrement and
cellulose of various sources. (And you thought they were just landfills!)

By breaking down these organic components, fungi act as indispensible
recyclers.

Somewhere between 80-95% of all plant life on earth (as extrapolated from
local surveys) require mycorrhizal fungi for existence. Without these
fungi, grass would not exist, trees die in the shortest of droughts,
crops fail and animate life on earth would cease to exist. Nearly as
scarey as a doomsday bomb such as the theoretical cobalt bomb, the lack
of fungi would quickly cause starvation and death to most of the earth's
organisms: vegetable, fungal, and animal.

Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com


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