Crazy About Mushrooms
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Welcome to Crazy About Mushrooms!

Anna holding shaggy parasols.
Anna Mchugh

Mushroom Documentary and Mycological Education

What do the poisoned Emperor Claudius, the Aztec storm deity Quetzalzacotl, and a 5,500 year old Ice Man have in common? They were all crazy about mushrooms! For thousands of years, people the world over have cherished mushrooms as food, medicine and a gateway to the divine. Why do some people love mushrooms? What can we learn from them? Crazy About Mushrooms is a radio documentary and educational project that explores these questions.

Crazy About Mushrooms is an hour-long documentary produced by journalist and mycophile (mushroom-lover) Anna McHugh. Funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and hosted by KVMR-FM in Nevada City, CA, Anna traveled the United States speaking with mushroom luminaries from all over and bringing their stories, and the story of the mysterious mushroom, to light.

Listen to the finished documentary here!

Anna is a writer, mushroom hunter, and mycological educator who writes a blog about Kingdom Fungi and the human encounter with mushrooms. Anna presents at nature centers, festivals, conferences, and other educational venues. Anna's lectures and workshops reveal the inner workings of fungal ecology, gourmet mushroom cultivation, and the rich folk traditions of using mushrooms as food and medicine.

Can Oyster Mushrooms Clean Up Oil Spills?

Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti invited me to record his research on oil-digesting mushroom mycelium in Washington State's Puget Sound. Stamets has been cultivating and researching mushrooms for over 30 years, and discovered that the common oyster mushroom can break down and digest oil, and are able to restore life to contaminated soil in as few as 6 weeks!

Listen in on Paul Stamets as he explains his newest experiment using oil-eating oyster mushrooms: the mycoboom! Much like an oil containment boom in design, Stamets's mycoboom is designed to trap, consume and neutralize oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico!

Interview of Paul Stamets

Recorded June 2010 by Anna McHugh