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 1st point which traditionally comes to mind is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. But slowly that’s all altering as a result of the groundbreaking work of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, by means of their corporation, Mico-lógica.

Primarily based in the village of Benito Juárez, positioned in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (extra usually known as the Sierra Norte, the state’s main ecotourism area), Mico-lógica’s mission is threefold: to train both Mexicans and guests to the country in the low-cost cultivation of a assortment of mushroom species to educate about the medicinal, nutritional and environmental (sustainable) worth of mushrooms and to conduct ongoing research concerning optimum climatic regions and the diversity of substrata for mushroom culture.

The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and in truth 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 recent interview in Oaxaca. “But there seriously wasn’t considerably of an opportunity to conduct research and grow a small business in Western Europe,” he continues, “given that reverence for mushrooms had been all but entirely eradicated by The Church more than the course of centuries and I discovered that Mexico still maintains a respect and appreciation for the medicinal and nutritional value of hongos. Mexico is far from mycophobic.”

Huautla de Jiménez is a lot more than a five hour drive from the closest metropolitan center. Accordingly, Mathieu eventually realized that staying in Huautla, whilst holding an historic allure and getting in a geographic area conducive to functioning with mushrooms, would hinder his efforts to grow a enterprise and cultivate widespread interest in studying 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 comparable interests Jiménez had studied agronomy, and for close to a decade had been operating 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 enterprise, and then life partners in Benito Juárez.

Mathieu and Jiménez are concentrating on 3 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 makes use of of mushrooms, so more time is needed,” says Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it is predominantly [but not exclusively] a course on cultivation.”

Shrooms chocolate are now only given in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez strategy to expand operations to incorporate each the central valleys and coastal regions of Oaxaca. The object is to have a network of producers expanding unique mushrooms which are optimally suited for cultivation based on the specific microclimate. There are about 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and therefore as a species, the adaptability of the oyster mushroom to different climatic regions is remarkable. “The oyster can be grown in a multitude of various substrata, and that is what we’re experimenting with suitable now,” he elucidates. The oyster mushroom can thrive when grown on solutions which would otherwise be waste, such as discard from cultivating beans, sugar cane, agave (including the fibrous waste developed in mezcal distillation), peas, the popular river reed identified as carriso, sawdust, and the list goes on. Agricultural waste which may well otherwise be left to rot or be burned, every with adverse environmental implications, can kind substrata for mushroom cultivation. It should really be noted, although trite, that mushroom cultivation is a very sustainable, green sector. Over the past various years Mexico has in reality been at the fore in quite a few locations of sustainable business.

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

“They can hold up to thirty thousand instances their mass, obtaining implications for inhibiting erosion. They’ve been utilised to clean up oil spills by way of absorption and as a result are an vital vehicle for habitat restoration. Study has been performed with mushrooms in the battle against carpenter ant destruction it really is been suggested that the use of fungi has the prospective to totally revamp the pesticide sector in an environmentally friendly way. There are actually hundreds of other eco-friendly applications for mushroom use, and in every single case the mushroom remains an edible by-product. Take a appear at the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, six Strategies Mushrooms Can Save The Globe.”

Mathieu and Jiménez can typically be found promoting their solutions on weekends in the organic markets in Oaxaca. They’re each much more than content to go over the nutritional worth of their products 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 regime which includes fungi is exceptionally crucial for vegetarians who cannot get B12, most normally contained in meats. Mushrooms can conveniently be a substitute for meats, with the advantage that they are not loaded with antibiotics and hormones frequently found in industrially processed meat goods.

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