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Article: Put Mushrooms Front and Center This Earth Day

Put Mushrooms Front and Center This  Earth Day

Put Mushrooms Front and Center This Earth Day

Sure, every day is Earth Day when you love nature as much as we do, but this is a holiday we look forward to all year long. The 53nd-annual Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2024. Celebrated globally since 1970, this annual event aims to highlight the importance of protecting our planet. Earth Day initiatives support the green revolution’s goals of “action on climate change, educate on sustainable food systems, sustainable fashion, and ending plastic pollution, and recruit millions of concerned citizens into the environmental movement.”

Reading through that list is a reminder that the fungi kingdom is the unsung hero in nature, working behind the scenes and underfoot to support everyone who calls this planet home. That’s why, this Earth Day, we encourage you to remember all that mushrooms do for us!  

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Celebrate Earth Day without Mushrooms

1. Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable crops. 

Some could even argue mushrooms are the most sustainable crop. They’re the “ultimate recyclers,” can be grown year-round in small spaces and don’t create much waste. 

2. Fungi can help clean up pollution. 

In nature, fungi break down what’s left behind — helping expedite decay to keep the circle of life turning. The enzymes they produce can break down organic matter as well as many different pollutants. Mushrooms can even digest plastic

3. And they’re also used to help save the bees! 

We’ve all heard about the plight of the honeybee, which has been on the brink of collapse for well over a decade. But research has shown promise that certain mushrooms can offer their little immune systems some support, to give them a fighting chance.*

4. Mushrooms can help us feed ourselves in a warming world. 

Growing mushrooms (even on a large commercial scale) requires minimal water, energy and space. A mushroom farm requires about as much power as it takes to make a pot of coffee at home! It’s easier to scale up mushroom farms than other crops, which can help feed more people using less resources. 

5. And they could even help offset some effects of climate change.

When planted alongside trees, mushrooms can help capture carbon (while feeding people), which can offset some effects of climate change! A study published in 2023 proposed that mushrooms could help ease the land-use quarrels that arise between forestry and food production advocates. 

Want to show some love for the fungi kingdom? Here are some simple ideas. 

5 Ways to Show Some Love for Mushrooms on Earth Day (or Any Day!)

Watch (or rewatch) the film that started it all! 

In honor of the fifth anniversary of the film, Fantastic Fungi is back in theaters for a limited time. No matter how many times you’ve streamed it, there’s nothing like watching Louie’s artistry — and nature! — come alive on the big screen. Find a screening near you

Eat more mushrooms. 

Saving the planet is a topic that gets dark and heavy rather quickly. Thankfully, swapping a meal with meat for one made with mushrooms is a downright joyful and delicious experience. Experiment with different mushroom species that you find at local farmers’ markets and your grocery store. Find inspiration and new recipes in the Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook.

Forage responsibly. 

You can also gather your favorite seasonal mushrooms in the fields and forests near your home — but be mindful of the best practices for foraging. Remember to leave no trace (and bring along a bag to pick up stray litter you encounter) and take only what’s fair, leaving plenty behind to thrive in nature.  

Give thanks. 

There are so many ways to bring mushrooms into your daily rituals and routines. Give thanks for the fungi kingdom by integrating a couple new products into your daily life. From gummies and capsules, ready-to-drink lattes to mushroom coffee, you have so many options! Or try our newly relaunched line of Fantastic Fungi Mushroom Elixirs, with six different formulations made with intention and integrity.

Grow them at home. 

Certain mushrooms grow like magic, practically before your eyes. Growing kits are a rewarding and affordable way to start “farming” mushrooms even in small spaces. Mushrooms grow differently than plants, so even if you have a “black thumb” or can’t keep plants alive, you can learn how to cultivate mushrooms.  

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