The Myco Files of Hamilton Pevec
The Myco Files
In a recent interview I asked Hamilton Pevec about his interest in mycology, the science of fungi organisms and his place in the growing mushrooms culture.
“Mushrooms have recently boomed in interest. I can’t say exactly why but a significant cultural appreciation in the West for mushrooms started happening around 2016, when an American pop mycologist named Paul Stamets began having a much louder voice. Stamets did a TED talk about how mushrooms can save the world. His ideas are laid out in his book Mycelium Running. In It he explains how to do applied mycology such as using mushrooms to filter water called myco-filtration and using mushrooms to clean up toxic spills; myco-remediation.
Stamets also discusses the roll mycelium plays in the environment; how it connects the forest with a mycelial network that transfers nutrients in the form of enzymes and amino acids from a healthy area to other less healthy areas and acts as a kind of forest steward. A lot more science about this has come out since then but Stamet’s book was my first introduction.
“I’m trying to carve out my own little niche by telling Mushroom stories. I first became interested in mushroom identification, then cultivation, and then I discovered medicinal mushrooms. This is what it’s about for me: Here’s this amazing organism full of unique active compounds that all of us can benefit from, I wanted to tell those stories. As I looked out over the sort of mushroom landscape, the pop culture internet landscape, I saw that the people just weren’t telling the stories I was interested in. and so I thought that’s the niche I can fill and that’s what I’m trying to do now”