Photo: Charles O'Rear via wikipedia; a plane dispensing pesticides.
In the current world, pesticides pervade our homes, schools, parks, and public lands. You name it - pesticides are there. 54 years after Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring", raising public awareness about the danger of pesticides in our environment and on human health, the use of pesticides has only increased. Pesticides have been linked to a wide array of negative health problems ranging from headaches to nausea to reproductive issues to cancer. Pesticides are toxic and harmful to all life, and the continued use of pesticides is not sustainable.
In the field of agriculture, there has been a resurgence of people looking for alternative means of pest management. Beyond organic options, a growing number of farmers are looking to biodynamic methods of farming that are not only a chemical-free approach to farming, but also produce healthier food and soil.
Photo: Dusty Yao-Stamets via Wikipedia; Paul Stamets holding an Agarikon Mushroom.
In the field of mycology, the study of fungi, there have been several exciting advancements that offer another, chemical-free method of pest management. Ten years ago, Paul Stamets patented 200,000 entomopathogenic fungi, a type of fungi that destroys insects. In a talk he gave in 2008, Stamets shared that several executives from the pesticide industry told him that that his work with fungi is the "most disruptive technology" the industry had ever witnessed. The fungi that Stamets developed and patented is able to attract different pests to it and, upon eating it, the pests eventually turn into fungi from the inside out.
Paul's work with fungi presents a very exciting new avenue for pest management - a method that works with nature to fight off unwanted pests.
To learn more about Paul Stamet's work, check out his website here: http://www.fungi.com/
And be sure to watch his TED talk from 2008 below:
Article by: Rajmani Sinclair, September 27, 2016