Permission to Dream
By Clinton Ginn
The possibilities for working with fungi have never been greater. From textiles, medicines, food, environmental remediation, art, and even space exploration, the novel compounds and myriad forms of the fungal kingdom allow for ever increasing novel applications to the context of the modern world. At Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., we continue the work that began in 1977 with an expanding base of practical knowledge and potential.
I refer you to many of the other posts, regarding the future of food in the 21st century and the critical role that mushrooms will play. Gourmet Mushrooms Inc. is uniquely suited to play a major role.
Thanks to the combination of the mechanization of modern manufacturing and decades of research and development, Gourmet Mushrooms can reliably provide new mushroom varieties to the North American fresh market. We continually analyze our growing process to deliver higher quality at the best possible price to the customer. This involves the consistent application of experimental design, data gathering, research, and ingenuity on the part of our team. From round table discussions to 1-on-1 intensives, together we strive to explore new strains, find new substrate recipes, explore novel nutraceuticals, and perfect growth parameters. With this ability to produce North America’s highest quality exotic mushrooms, we are creating new markets, as well as integrating and partnering with distributors and other mushroom based enterprises. This way we are constantly growing and at the same time reinforcing our proven principles of success, much like the mycelium that we cultivate. We have 2 facilities with operating spawn laboratories, analytical and microbiological labs, and a vast culture bank of production proven, experimental, and medicinal strains from across the world. Not to mention a team of dedicated mushroom growers with over 100 years of combined experience in the field of mycology, covering culinary and medicinal applications.
Recent years have seen a decentralization of mushroom cultivation technology, and a host of small mushroom farms have sprung up to provide fresh food and medicines to their local restaurants, farmer’s markets, and grocery stores. With this modern resurgence of small business entrepreneurialism, combined with the information transfer of the internet, many people find a profitable industry and honest livelihood. Additionally, the grass roots mushroom farms have invited innovation and increased the diverse offerings of the small-scale farm from freshly cultivated cordyceps to mushroom jerky.
For over a decade, Gourmet Mushrooms Inc. has produced organically certified mycelial biomass nutraceuticals with a worldwide distribution, yet the innovation and improvements continue. Research and development is integral to the everyday methodology of our operation and our product line is set again to increase in 2017.
“At the beginning of the 21st century, Fungi were involved in the industrial processing of more than 10 of the 20 most profitable products used in human medicine. Two anti-cholesterol statins, the antibiotic penicillin and the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A are among the top 10. Each of these has a turnover in excess of $1 billion annually.”
In fact, the vast kingdom of fungi offers new frontiers of medicine virtually unexplored by modern science. Taking into consideration the realm of the microbiome in the human digestive system and its role with chronic inflammation; the nootropic effects of the genus psilocybe; the antiviral, antibiotic, and immunomodulatory characteristics of a wide variety of species; not to mention the complexities of the characterization of these molecules and their cascade effects in the human system, it is plain to see that, in many ways, the future of medicine is fungal.
The industry and opportunities are mushrooming. The days of the button mushroom being the only product available to the American consumer are over. BTTR, as we call it, better known as Back To The Roots, has made the mushroom kit cool again. Ecovative in New York state wins’ awards and federal grants every year for their mycelium based textiles. MycoWorks in San Francisco has created a process to transform mycelium into a vegan leather. Wild harvested mushrooms dominate the world of haute cuisine. Truffles are cultivated with success all over the world. Fungi Perfecti is developing mushroom products for soil remediation and fighting colony collapse disorder of the honey bee. Four Sigmatic is opening a shop on Venice Beach, CA to promote their mushroom based coffee and all things mushroom. Fermentation and koji are some the hippest food trends. Interested in Biofuels? Fungi produce the enzymes for the industry, making it possible. There are mushroom flavored craft beers, and the farinaceous scent of mushrooms is lauded among wine makers. Some mushrooms can devour plastic, transforming it into a food, potentially sustaining human beings on interstellar journeys. Others destroy termite infestations without a single pesticide or inspire people to dream at MycoMeditations on the beaches of Jamaica. These individual examples, of which there are many more still ‘underground’, are creating a network of cultural shift away from the canned mycophobic culture of the past, into the variegated mycophilic culture of appreciation and wonder of the future.