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Welcome to Issue One

Rotting Oak with Strands of Mycelium, Colour Enhanced Scanning Electron Microscope Enlargement. Courtesy of Science Photo Library.
Welcome to issue one
Martin Powell, Editor

It seems particularly timely to be launching The Mushroom as humanity is facing the unprecedented challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Timely because with fatalities from the current pandemic overwhelmingly concentrated among those whose immune systems are compromised due the age or pre-existing ill-health there is understandable interest in ways we can help maintain good immune health and by extension in mushrooms with their proven immunological activity.

Timely because whereas in recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on individuals and countries looking after their own interests more than ever the challenges we face are global and require global solutions. They require us to think in new ways, working together to adapt to the new environment, living in harmony with it rather than trying to subjugate it.

In this there is a lot we can learn from mushrooms, through their adaptability and resilience, their vital role in ecosystems worldwide and their symbiotic relationships with many other plants and living organisms, without which we would not have any of the major cereal crops that provide the bulk of our nourishment or the forests that nourish the planet.

In the same way that mushrooms connect plants, functioning as a network enabling the sharing of information, facilitating their growth and even helping make the soil that anchors them the idea of this magazine was conceived as a way to connect those working with mushrooms in different ways around the world, providing a channel for communicating advances and new developments in the field and facilitating the sharing of knowledge and experience.

It is our hope that it will provide information and nourishment, inspiring and uplifting those who read it and at the same time help in some small way change our attitude to the world in which we live, not from the top down but from the bottom up.

In keeping with this intent we are delighted that all profit from The Mushroom will go to supporting people and projects who, like The Future of Hope Foundation featured in this issue, are working with mushrooms to address the multiple challenges facing the planet and all its inhabitants.

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Issue 01