It is hard not to despair, as we watch the world pump out hundreds of millions of tonnes of single use plastic each year and pour toxic chemicals onto the land and into the water that we so desperately need.

One of the latest scientific studies estimates that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean and it can be found on every beach in the world.

If you talk to people who understand soil, you will find that a great deal of our land is contaminated by hydrocarbons, pesticides and other toxins, carelessly left by people who either didn't know better or didn't care.

But it could be that nature, reeling from the pain caused by such bad behaviour is going to come straight back and provide a solution through bioremediation.


One of the most promising natural solutions comes in the humble mushroom, which has shown downright magical possibilities for fixing some of the mistakes we have made.

Paul Stamets, one of the world's leading mycologists, has shown that particular types of commonly available mushrooms can eat away toxins from the land in his book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.

He has also shown that fungi can perform as highly effective natural pesticides, an idea which - if commercialised - would have a huge positive impact on waterways, human health and bees that suffer from the use of chemicals.

Some types of endophytic fungi, originating from Ecuador, has even proven to consume plastic in anaerobic conditions - such as the conditions you would find at the bottom of a landfill - which could have massive implications in the fight against plastic pollution.

Stamets - a legitimate fungi freak - also reports on widespread health and nutritional benefits from mushrooms. These include inhibiting common harmful bacteria susch as like Staphylococcus (Staph), E Coli and Salmonella, prohibiting the growth of breast and colon caner and multiple nutritional benefits.

It all sounds too good to be true, as no doubt many people say when they hear about magic mushrooms that simply grow in the field, but the evidence is there.

Are mushrooms going to help us clean the filth that generations of people are leaving for our kids?

Could they become the answer to the much-demonised Monsanto food production machine of pesticide dependence and genetic modification?


What else can nature provide us to help clean up our act? We certainly need it.