Plus, 14 mind-blowing facts about mushrooms
People are so obsessed with plants and animals, we often forget a third category of organisms that can nourish us, heal us and heal our planet — fungi.
An artist and self-proclaimed “nature nerd” is doing her part to remind us of this magical kingdom with her mostly-edible fungi arrangements.
After spending most of her adult life as a designer in New York and San Francisco, Jill Bliss sold everything she owned to reconnect with nature on the Salish Sea Islands.
While many artists focus on flowers, one of Bliss’ favorite natural wonders to photograph and paint are the stunning array of wild mushrooms she collects.
Her artwork helps draw attention to a underrated life-form none of us could live without.
14 mind-blowing facts about mushrooms:
1. Closer genetically to humans than to plants. Mushrooms share more DNA with humans than plants.
2. Contain high amounts of Vitamin D. Like human skin, mushrooms can convert sunlight into vitamin D. Exposing a freshly cut shiitake mushroom, gills up to the sun for eight hours can increase its vitamin D content by 4600%.
3. 75 species of mushrooms glow in the dark! Before electricity people used to carry around sticks and branches covered in glow-in-the-dark mushrooms to light their way through the woods.
4. Mushrooms are nature’s pesticide, repelling over 200,000 species of insects.
5. They’re extremely high in antioxidants, which ward off free-radicals and cancer. Even the common white mushroom, which contains far less than other mushrooms, contains more than almost any vegetable.
7. Mushrooms is an under-rated super-food. High in iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium and loaded with B vitamins, mushrooms are loaded with all the nutrients most of us lack.
8. Mushrooms are prebiotics. — or foods that induce the growth probiotics/beneficial bacteria. They could be used to help pro-biotics survive in storage and create bacterial balance in the gut.
10. Fungi can help combat environmental destruction by “eating” toxic substances like oil and e. coli bacteria
11. Fungi sequesters massive amounts of carbon, helping off-set CO2 emissions that cause global warming.
13. Magic mushrooms create a hyper-connected brain, allowing communication between brain regions that don’t normally talk together.
14. Mushrooms might help save the honeybee, which would help save us all!