Mico-Logica Alters Our Perception of the Magic of Mushrooms in Oaxaca, Mexico

When we feel of mushrooms and the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, the very first thing which traditionally comes to thoughts is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. But slowly that’s all altering as a outcome of the groundbreaking perform of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, via their organization, Mico-lógica.

Based in the village of Benito Juárez, situated in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (much more commonly recognized as the Sierra Norte, the state’s key ecotourism region), Mico-lógica’s mission is threefold: to train each Mexicans and visitors to the country in the low-price cultivation of a selection of mushroom species to educate about the medicinal, nutritional and environmental (sustainable) worth of mushrooms and to conduct ongoing investigation with regards to optimum climatic regions and the diversity of substrata for mushroom culture.

The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and in reality to Huautla de Jiménez, in 2005. “Yes, coming all the way to Mexico from France to pursue my interest in mushrooms appears like a long way to travel,” Mathieu explained in a current interview in Oaxaca. “But there truly wasn’t a lot of an chance to conduct research and develop a company in Western Europe,” he continues, “considering that reverence for mushrooms had been all but completely eradicated by The Church over the course of centuries and I discovered that Mexico nonetheless maintains a respect and appreciation for the medicinal and nutritional value of hongos. Mexico is far from mycophobic.”

Huautla de Jiménez is much more than a 5 hour drive from the closest metropolitan center. Accordingly, Mathieu ultimately realized that staying in Huautla, while holding an historic allure and becoming in a geographic area conducive to working with mushrooms, would hinder his efforts to grow a business enterprise and cultivate widespread interest in understanding about fungi. Mathieu became cognizant of the burgeoning reputation of Oaxaca’s ecotourism communities of the Sierra Norte, and indeed the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (regional wild mushroom festival), held annually in Cuahimoloyas.

Mathieu met Josefina Jiménez at the summertime weekend mushroom event. Jiménez had moved to Oaxaca from hometown Mexico City in 2002. The two shared similar interests Jiménez had studied agronomy, and for close to a decade had been working with sustainable agriculture projects in rural farming communities in the Huasteca Potosina region of San Luis Potosí, the mountains of Guerrero and the coast of Chiapas. Mathieu and Jiménez became business, and then life partners in Benito Juárez.

Mathieu and Jiménez are concentrating on three mushroom species in their hands-on seminars oyster (seta), shitake and reishi. Their 1-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 also teaching a fair bit about the medicinal uses of mushrooms, so extra time is needed,” says Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it really is predominantly [but not exclusively] a course on cultivation.”

Although instruction seminars are now only provided in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez strategy to expand operations to consist of both the central valleys and coastal regions of Oaxaca. The object is to have a network of producers increasing distinct mushrooms which are optimally suited for cultivation primarily based on the unique microclimate. There are about 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and therefore as a species, the adaptability of the oyster mushroom to unique climatic regions is outstanding. “The oyster can be grown in a multitude of distinct substrata, and that is what we’re experimenting with right now,” he elucidates. The oyster mushroom can thrive when grown on products which would otherwise be waste, such as discard from cultivating beans, sugar cane, agave (such as the fibrous waste developed in mezcal distillation), peas, the prevalent river reed known as carriso, sawdust, and the list goes on. Agricultural waste which may perhaps otherwise be left to rot or be burned, every with adverse environmental implications, can form substrata for mushroom cultivation. It ought to be noted, although trite, that mushroom cultivation is a hugely sustainable, green business. Over the previous many years Mexico has in truth been at the fore in lots of places of sustainable industry.

Mathieu exemplifies how mushrooms can serve an arguably even greater environmental fantastic:

“They can hold up to thirty thousand occasions their mass, obtaining implications for inhibiting erosion. shrooms vs weed ‘ve been made use of to clean up oil spills via absorption and therefore are an significant vehicle for habitat restoration. Research has been completed with mushrooms in the battle against carpenter ant destruction it’s been recommended that the use of fungi has the prospective to totally revamp the pesticide industry in an environmentally friendly way. There are literally hundreds of other eco-friendly applications for mushroom use, and in each and every case the mushroom remains an edible by-solution. Take a appear at the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, six Approaches Mushrooms Can Save The World.”

Mathieu and Jiménez can typically be identified promoting their items on weekends in the organic markets in Oaxaca. They are both more than delighted to discuss the nutritional value of their merchandise which range from naturally their fresh mushrooms, but also as preserves, marinated with either chipotle and nopal or jalapeño and cauliflower. The mushroom’s vitamin B12 can not be found in fruits or vegetables, and accordingly a diet which incorporates fungi is particularly significant for vegetarians who cannot get B12, most typically contained in meats. Mushrooms can very easily be a substitute for meats, with the advantage that they are not loaded with antibiotics and hormones typically found in industrially processed meat goods.