When we consider mushrooms and the southern Mexico kingdom of Oaxaca, the first aspect which traditionally involves thoughts is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. But slowly that’s all changing because of the groundbreaking work of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, via their employer, Mico-lógica.
Based inside the village of Benito Juárez, placed in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (greater normally known as the Sierra Norte, the nation’s essential ecotourism place), Mico-lógica’s task is threefold: to teach both Mexicans and traffic to the us of a in the low-cost cultivation of a diffusion of mushroom species; to educate approximately the medicinal, nutritional and environmental (sustainable) fee of mushrooms; and to behavior ongoing research concerning superior climatic regions and the diversity of substrata for mushroom tradition.
The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and in reality to Huautla de Jiménez, in 2005. “Yes, coming all of the manner to Mexico from France to pursue my hobby in mushrooms seems like a protracted manner to travel,” Mathieu defined in a current interview in Oaxaca. “But there honestly wasn’t a great deal of an opportunity to behavior research and grow a business in Western Europe,” he keeps, “on account that reverence for mushrooms have been all however absolutely eliminated by using The Church over the route of centuries; and I discovered that Mexico still maintains a admire and appreciation for the medicinal and nutritional value of hongos. Mexico is a ways from mycophobic.”
Huautla de Jiménez is greater than a five hour power from the closest metropolitan center. Accordingly, Mathieu eventually found out that staying in Huautla, even as keeping an historical allure and being in a geographic location conducive to working with mushrooms, might preclude his efforts to develop a commercial enterprise and domesticate substantial hobby in gaining knowledge of about Chocolate Mushroom Bars fungi. Mathieu have become cognizant of the burgeoning popularity of Oaxaca’s ecotourism communities of the Sierra Norte, and indeed the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (local wild mushroom pageant), held yearly in Cuahimoloyas.
Mathieu met Josefina Jiménez at the summertime weekend mushroom occasion. Jiménez had moved to Oaxaca from hometown Mexico City in 2002. The shared similar pursuits; Jiménez had studied agronomy, and for near a decade were working with sustainable agriculture initiatives in rural farming groups inside the Huasteca Potosina place of San Luis Potosí, the mountains of Guerrero and the coast of Chiapas. Mathieu and Jiménez have become commercial enterprise, and then life companions in Benito Juárez.
Mathieu and Jiménez are focusing on 3 mushroom species of their palms-on seminars; oyster (seta), shitake and reishi. Their one-day workshops are for oyster mushrooms, and two-day clinics for the latter species of fungus. “With reishi, and to a lesser volume shitake, we are also teaching a truthful bit about the medicinal uses of mushrooms, so more time is needed,” says Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it’s predominantly [but not exclusively] a course on cultivation.”
While training seminars are now only given in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez plan to enlarge operations to include both the primary valleys and coastal regions of Oaxaca. The object is to have a community of producers developing extraordinary mushrooms which can be optimally suitable for cultivation primarily based at the unique microclimate. There are approximately 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and therefore as a species, the adaptability of the oyster mushroom to one-of-a-kind climatic areas is brilliant. “The oyster may be grown in a large number of various substrata, and that is what we’re experimenting with proper now,” he elucidates. The oyster mushroom can thrive whilst grown on merchandise which might otherwise be waste, such as discard from cultivating beans, sugar cane, agave (including the fibrous waste produced in mezcal distillation), peas, the not unusual river reed referred to as carriso, sawdust, and the listing goes on. Agricultural waste which may additionally in any other case be left to rot or be burned, each with adverse environmental implications, can form substrata for mushroom cultivation. It need to be mentioned, though trite, that mushroom cultivation is a exceedingly sustainable, inexperienced industry. Over the beyond several years Mexico has in fact been on the fore in lots of regions of sustainable industry.
Mathieu exemplifies how mushrooms can serve an arguably even extra environmental suitable:
“They can maintain as much as thirty thousand instances their mass, having implications for inhibiting erosion. They’ve been used to easy up oil spills thru absorption and as a result are an vital automobile for habitat healing. Research has been achieved with mushrooms inside the battle in opposition to chippie ant destruction; it’s been cautioned that using fungi has the capability to absolutely revamp the pesticide industry in an environmentally pleasant manner. There are actually loads of different green programs for mushroom use, and in every case the mushroom stays an fit to be eaten spinoff. Take a study the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World.”
Mathieu and Jiménez can often be found promoting their products on weekends within the organic markets in Oaxaca. They’re each greater than glad to speak about the dietary cost of their products which variety from evidently their clean mushrooms, however additionally as preserves, marinated with both chipotle and nopal or jalapeño and cauliflower. The mushroom’s diet B12 cannot be located in end result or greens, and for that reason a eating regimen which includes fungi is extraordinarily critical for vegetarians who can not get B12, most customarily contained in meats. Mushrooms can without problems be a substitute for meats, with the benefit that they may be no longer loaded with antibiotics and hormones frequently determined in industrially processed meat products.
Mico-lógica also sell teas and extracts crafted from different mushroom species, each formulated as both a nutritional complement, or for their medicinal homes. While neither Mathieu nor Jiménez has the pharmacological historical past to prescribe mycological remedy for extreme illnesses, Mathieu’s personal studies points to the medicinal use of mushrooms courting from pre-records, to the existing. He notes residences of mushrooms that can help to restore the immune system, and for that reason the usage of fungi as a complement within the treatment of most cancers and AIDS, and their application in controlling diabetes and treating excessive cholesterol.
“We must all be embracing the natural manufacturing of mushrooms,” Mathieu concludes. “It’s so clean, it involves a minimum capital investment, and it offers large rewards, both for those ingesting hongos for nutritional and medicinal motives, and for the manufacturers, even small scale. Mico-lógica also sells dried mushrooms. Yet maximum of the dried mushrooms sold in Mexico are imported from China, and aren’t natural. It’s a real disgrace on numerous stages.”
Mexico and mushrooms have come an extended manner because the generation of Oaxaca’s María Sabina. With the ongoing efforts of Mathieu, Jiménez and Mico-lógica, it should not be lengthy before the sector understands and embraces the magic of mushrooms inside a far broader context.
Alvin Starkman traveled to Huatula de Jiménez to revel in the magic of mushrooms within the 1960s. A former Toronto litigation legal professional, Alvin now lives in Oaxaca wherein he’s taking couples and families to sights in and round Oaxaca’s relevant valleys, works with documentary movie agencies, and writes about life and cultural traditions within the location.