Fellow fans of the forbidden fruit,

I was as surprised as anyone to learn how important the fungal networks – the mycelia – are for our ecosystems and foodwebs. We only have 10-15% of the debris naturally found on our lands before the human settlers radically altered the landscape. And fungi represent 70% of the mass of organisms in the soil.

Why is this important?

Because all nature is inter-related. When we remove decomposing debris, we rob the carbon bank of soils, reducing humus, a living membrane, and these actions reverberate throughout the webs of life.

Mycelium is the foundation of the foodweb.

We are now fully engaged in 6x, the 6th greatest extinction of life on this planet. But this extinction is caused by an organism – us. Unless we come to terms on the effects of our actions on the foodwebs, we will not only be the cause of this extinction, but its victim. Clean and abundant water, sustainable soils, biodiversity, the survival of bees, our great pollinators, and the foods we consume are all in jeopardy as we dismantle our biological foundations.

At current trends, we could lose 30% of the Earth’s biodiversity in the next 100 years. The impact of this sudden loss of biodiversity is difficult to overstate. And although we grasp for understanding all the complex mechanisms, few would dare argue that these losses are good for the health of our planet. Our food security is threatened by our rush into mono-cropping, factory farms, unbridled creation of transgenic organisms.

As great as our computer technology is today is in stark contrast to how poor our knowledge is of the mycelial networks that literally are beneath our feet. As we look up to the stars for our future, we may want to start looking down at the soils for the food we need now.

Fantastic Fungi is a film that serves to be a bridge of understanding to connect these ideas so the public better understands our fungal allies. By investing in these fungal networks we invest in the webs of life. Time is short. We need to bring this knowledge to the forefront of public consciousness.

Louie and his team have accomplished an amazing task – with beautiful imagery, celebrating the quality of nature we have now. Join with us in keeping this vision alive – we live in a wonderful world that we owe to our children to pass on intact. My deepest wish is that Fantastic Fungi helps to forge a new vision about the importance of the natural world from a ground-roots, a mycelial perspective. Join us to help spread this message to the masses.

Our ancestors and descendants are depending upon us!

Paul Stamets