More mushrooms, less pollution! Yes, you heard right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment. Microscopic cells called "mycelium"—the fruit of which are mushrooms —recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What fungi expert Paul Stamets has discovered is that mycelium also breaks down hydrocarbons —the base structure in many pollutants. So, for instance, when soil contaminated with diesel oil is inoculated with strains of oyster mushroom mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks. In MYCELIUM RUNNING, Stamets discusses this revolutionary trend in mushroom cultivation and provides tips for choosing the appropriate species of fungi for various environmental purposes.