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12-06-21 Wild Mushrooms: Mycology, Foraging, Cooking and Remediation

Guests: Ryan Bouchard and Emily Schmidt, Co-Founders, Mushroom Hunting Foundation

As children, we were cautioned about mushrooms, because some of them are poisonous to eat. Most of us avoided them altogether. This is unfortunate, because in truth, there are many wild mushrooms that are edible and provide both delicious and nutritious culinary value. So which ones are safe and which ones are unsafe? In this episode we explore mycology, which is the study of mushrooms and mycelium. Mycelium is the hidden dynamic mass of branching, thread-like hyphae that produce the visible fruiting bodies we call mushrooms. Mycelium is essential to maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem, which we will begin to investigate through a story walk through the woods.

Our guests Ryan Bouchard and Emily Schmidt co-founded The Mushroom Hunting Foundation to educate people about wild mushrooms, safety and mycology. Ryan is the author of Gourmet Mushrooms of the Northeast, a combination book and calendar that details the annual progression of the mushroom seasons and focuses on species that are easiest for novices to identify as safe. Edible mushrooms can be found year round, with different species fruiting during different seasons, including the winter months. Both Ryan and Emily are experts in hunting, identifying, preparing and cooking mushrooms. In this episode, they delve into the health, nutrition and many uses of fungi, including the decontamination of polluted soil through a process called mycoremediation. Mycelium is capable of neutralizing soils contaminated with pollutants such as PCB chemicals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, heavy metals, bacterial pathogens, and even plastics. This fun episode will spark great curiosity and interest.


Mushroom Hunting Foundation website –

Gourmet Mushrooms of the Northeast calendar and book combination by Ryan Bouchard –

PhotoBlog: Mushroom Hunting –

Organic Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter –

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