At the end of every year, we at Marie Veronique seek to shine the spotlight on a hardworking, overlooked part of nature to be grateful for – microbes, for example. Invisible to the eye, but we cannot live without them. See if you can guess what we chose to be worthy of our thanks this year. Hints:
Did you get it?? Yes!!! It is mycelium, the root-like structure of fungus, and a tremendous source of life on this planet! Here are a few facts about mycelium you can share over a holiday dinner, possibly while you are enjoying some of its fruiting bodies, AKA mushrooms.
Mycelium is a network of nearly microscopic threads that continuously recycles air, soil, and water.
When you see mushrooms, you are looking at the tip of the iceberg; there’s a vast, hidden network of mycelium hidden in the ground beneath them. Only about 10% of fungi pro- duce mushrooms.
Networks of fungal mycelium work tirelessly to recycle nutrients through rot, and without them, the forests would choke. 70% of carbon is stored by fungi, which can stay under- ground for thousands of years.
Mycromediation via mycelium and mushrooms may be our best hope for saving the planet.
So besides giving thanks to the observable world, let’s not forget our friends underneath our feet — we owe our lives to inhabitants of both the micro and mycro worlds.
By now you may be wondering, what is the connection between mycelium, microbiota, and Marie Veronique? Answer: In the absence of the first two life would be impossible, whereas in the absence of the third it would merely be unpleasant. (Give yourself a point if you said all three start with the letter M).
In all seriousness, we are ever more aware of how interconnected everything is — skin health may be our raison d’etre, but we are just one aspect in the grand scheme of things.
— Marie Veronique Nadeau