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

When we consider 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 operate of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu in mycology, by way of their firm, Mico-lógica.

Primarily based in the village of Benito Juárez, located in Oaxaca’s Ixtlán district (a lot more typically identified as the Sierra Norte, the state’s primary ecotourism region), Mico-lógica’s mission is threefold: to train each Mexicans and guests to the nation in the low-expense cultivation of a range of mushroom species to educate about the medicinal, nutritional and environmental (sustainable) worth of mushrooms and to conduct ongoing investigation regarding optimum climatic regions and the diversity of substrata for mushroom culture.

The French-born Mathieu moved to Mexico, and in fact 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 definitely wasn’t significantly of an chance to conduct research and grow a business enterprise in Western Europe,” he continues, “considering that reverence for mushrooms had been all but absolutely 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, although holding an historic allure and becoming in a geographic area conducive to functioning with mushrooms, would hinder his efforts to grow a business and cultivate widespread interest in learning about fungi. Mathieu became cognizant of the burgeoning reputation of Oaxaca’s ecotourism communities of the Sierra Norte, and certainly the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (regional wild mushroom festival), held annually in Cuahimoloyas.

Mathieu met Josefina Jiménez at the summertime weekend mushroom occasion. Jiménez had moved to Oaxaca from hometown Mexico City in 2002. The two shared related 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 enterprise, 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 one particular-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 far more time is needed,” says Mathieu, “and with oyster mushrooms it really is predominantly [but not exclusively] a course on cultivation.”

While coaching seminars are now only offered in Benito Juárez, Mathieu and Jiménez strategy to expand operations to contain both the central valleys and coastal regions of Oaxaca. The object is to have a network of producers developing various mushrooms which are optimally suited for cultivation primarily based on the distinct microclimate. There are about 70 sub-species of oyster mushrooms, and thus 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’s what we’re experimenting with ideal 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 (such as the fibrous waste created in mezcal distillation), peas, the prevalent river reed identified as carriso, sawdust, and the list goes on. Agricultural waste which may otherwise be left to rot or be burned, every single with adverse environmental implications, can kind substrata for mushroom cultivation. polka dot mushroom bar should be noted, although trite, that mushroom cultivation is a hugely sustainable, green business. More than the past several years Mexico has in truth been at the fore in numerous areas of sustainable sector.

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

“They can hold up to thirty thousand instances their mass, possessing implications for inhibiting erosion. They’ve been made use of to clean up oil spills through absorption and therefore are an important vehicle for habitat restoration. Research has been completed with mushrooms in the battle against carpenter ant destruction it is been recommended that the use of fungi has the potential to fully revamp the pesticide sector in an environmentally friendly way. There are actually hundreds of other eco-friendly applications for mushroom use, and in each and every case the mushroom remains an edible by-solution. Take a look at the Paul Stamets YouTube lecture, 6 Methods Mushrooms Can Save The Planet.”

Mathieu and Jiménez can generally be identified selling their merchandise on weekends in the organic markets in Oaxaca. They’re each more than happy to discuss the nutritional worth of their products which variety from naturally their fresh mushrooms, but also as preserves, marinated with either chipotle and nopal or jalapeño and cauliflower. The mushroom’s vitamin B12 cannot be found in fruits or vegetables, and accordingly a diet which consists of fungi is really crucial for vegetarians who can’t get B12, most typically contained in meats. Mushrooms can quickly be a substitute for meats, with the benefit that they are not loaded with antibiotics and hormones usually located in industrially processed meat goods.