ー英会話講師の英語日記ー 札幌英会話スクールSTEP UP（札幌駅、大通駅徒歩５分）
The fungus among us
Did you know that everyday, we encounter fungi thousands of times? We breath in fungal spores floating in the air, transport them on our bodies and step on them when we stroll through the park. In fact, just stepping on patch of healthy soil puts you in contact with miles of mycelium – the threadlike roots of fungi. Recently, after listening to an interview with mycologist Paul Stamets, I became more interested in mushrooms and the mycelium from which they sprout. Dr. Stamets is a mycologist – a scientist who studies mushrooms. Of course, not all mushrooms are safe to ingest, but many of them are and they have myriad health benefits that we’re just beginning to understand. And new ways to use mycelium to fix our environment are also being developed.
Japan is famous for having a diverse range of mushrooms found in just as diverse a culinary tradition. This is true in the west as well. In America and other countries, big portabello mushroom burgers are common substitutes to hamburgers. Besides being a healthy alternative to meat, they are also easy to propagate at home. I have friends who grow edible mushrooms in their gardens that have a surprising range of flavor. I encourage us all to study about and eat more mushrooms. In particular, I love the kanji for mushroom – 茸. Grass over an ear = mushroom. What an easy character to remember.