The Magic of Mushrooms in Oaxaca, Mexico

Once we consider mushrooms and the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, the very first thing which historically involves thoughts is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. However slowly that is all altering because of the groundbreaking work of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, by their firm, Mico-lógica.

Based mostly within the village of Benito Juárez, situated in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (extra generally generally known as the Sierra Norte, the state’s most important ecotourism area), Mico-lógica’s mission is threefold: to coach each Mexicans and guests to the nation within the low-cost cultivation of quite a lot of mushroom species; to teach concerning the medicinal, dietary and environmental (sustainable) worth of mushrooms; and to conduct ongoing analysis relating to optimum climatic areas and the range of substrata for mushroom tradition.

The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and actually to Huautla de Jiménez, in 2005. “Sure, coming all the way in which to Mexico from France to pursue my curiosity in mushrooms looks as if an extended option to journey,” Mathieu defined in a current interview in Oaxaca. “However there actually wasn’t a lot of a possibility to conduct research and develop a enterprise in Western Europe,” he continues, “since reverence for mushrooms had been all however utterly eradicated by The Church over the course of centuries; and I realized that Mexico nonetheless maintains a respect and appreciation for the medicinal and dietary worth of hongos. Mexico is way from mycophobic.”

Huautla de Jiménez is greater than a 5 hour drive from the closest metropolitan heart. Accordingly, Mathieu finally realized that staying in Huautla, whereas holding an historic attract and being in a geographic area conducive to working with mushrooms, would hinder his efforts to develop a enterprise and domesticate widespread curiosity in studying about fungi. Mathieu turned cognizant of the burgeoning popularity of Oaxaca’s ecotourism communities of the Sierra Norte, and certainly the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (regional wild mushroom competition), held yearly in Cuahimoloyas.

Mathieu met Josefina Jiménez on the summertime weekend mushroom occasion. Jiménez had moved to Oaxaca from hometown Mexico Metropolis in 2002. The 2 shared related pursuits; Jiménez had studied agronomy, and for near a decade had been working with sustainable agriculture tasks in rural farming communities within the Huasteca Potosina area of San Luis Potosí, the mountains of Guerrero and the coast of Chiapas. Mathieu and Jiménez turned enterprise, after which life companions in Benito Juárez.

Mathieu and Jiménez are concentrating on three mushroom species of their hands-on seminars; oyster (seta), shitake and reishi. Their one-day workshops are for oyster mushrooms, and two-day clinics for the latter two species of fungus. “With reishi, and to a lesser extent shitake, we’re additionally educating a good bit concerning the medicinal makes use of of mushrooms, so extra time is required,” says Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it is predominantly [but not exclusively] a course on cultivation.”

Whereas coaching seminars at the moment are solely given in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez plan to develop operations to incorporate each the central valleys and coastal areas of Oaxaca. The article is to have a community of producers rising totally different blue meanies mushroom that are optimally suited to cultivation primarily based on the actual microclimate. There are about 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and thus as a species, the adaptability of the oyster mushroom to totally different climatic areas is outstanding. “The oyster will be grown in a mess of various substrata, and that is what we’re experimenting with proper now,” he elucidates. The oyster mushroom can thrive when grown on merchandise which might in any other case be waste, equivalent to discard from cultivating beans, sugar cane, agave (together with the fibrous waste produced in mezcal distillation), peas, the widespread river reed generally known as carriso, sawdust, and the listing goes on. Agricultural waste which can in any other case be left to rot or be burned, every with adversarial environmental implications, can type substrata for mushroom cultivation. It ought to be famous, although trite, that mushroom cultivation is a extremely sustainable, inexperienced trade. Over the previous a number of years Mexico has actually been on the fore in lots of areas of sustainable trade.

Mathieu exemplifies how mushrooms can serve an arguably even better environmental good:

“They’ll maintain as much as thirty thousand occasions their mass, having implications for inhibiting erosion. They have been used to wash up oil spills by absorption and thus are an essential automobile for habitat restoration. Analysis has been executed with mushrooms within the battle in opposition to carpenter ant destruction; it has been advised that the usage of fungi has the potential to utterly revamp the pesticide trade in an environmentally pleasant approach. There are actually lots of of different eco-friendly functions for mushroom use, and in every case the mushroom stays an edible by-product. Check out the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, 6 Methods Mushrooms Can Save The World.”

Mathieu and Jiménez can usually be discovered promoting their merchandise on weekends within the natural markets in Oaxaca. They’re each very happy to debate the dietary worth of their merchandise which vary from naturally their contemporary mushrooms, but additionally as preserves, marinated with both chipotle and nopal or jalapeño and cauliflower. The mushroom’s vitamin B12 can’t be present in fruits or greens, and accordingly a weight loss program which incorporates fungi is extraordinarily essential for vegetarians who can not get B12, most frequently contained in meats. Mushrooms can simply be an alternative to meats, with the benefit that they aren’t loaded with antibiotics and hormones usually present in industrially processed meat merchandise.

Mico-lógica additionally promote teas and extracts created from totally different mushroom species, every formulated as both a dietary complement, or for his or her medicinal properties. Whereas neither Mathieu nor Jiménez has the pharmacological background to prescribe mycological therapy for critical illnesses, Mathieu’s personal analysis factors to the medicinal use of mushrooms courting from pre-history, to the current. He notes properties of mushrooms which may help to revive the immune system, and thus the usage of fungi as a complement within the therapy of most cancers and AIDS, and their utility in controlling diabetes and treating excessive ldl cholesterol.

“We should always all be embracing the natural manufacturing of mushrooms,” Mathieu concludes. “It is really easy, it entails a minimal capital funding, and it supplies vital rewards, each for these ingesting hongos for dietary and medicinal causes, and for the producers, even small scale. Mico-lógica additionally sells dried mushrooms. But many of the dried mushrooms offered in Mexico are imported from China, and aren’t natural. It is an actual disgrace on quite a few ranges.”


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