Cold Pasteurization Technique

The Cold Pasteurization technique, also called the cold fermentation method is the wave of future for Mycotechnology. Heat pasteurization has been the standard sterilization method for most mushroom cultivators for decades. However, it is very hard to achieve a temperature of 140-160 degrees F for multiple hours and not use some kind of carbon emitting heat source. This not only puts mushroom cultivation, and especially mycoremediation, at big risk for problems affecting our climate, but also doesn’t fit into the new sustainable landscape.

But then comes along Paul Stamets. While soaking his bulk substrates (i.e. straw, woodchips, etc) at his farm in Washington State,  he noticed that some of the barrels had started to smell. This was due to the anaerobic community that was beginning to form in the stagnant water. Something very interesting is happening here. The pathogenic anaerobic bacteria surge through the water and destroy and aerobic organisms in their path. I would like to quickly refer you to a biologist named John Todd who began a concept of treating waste water with wetlands ecosystems. His first stage of treatment was an anaerobic community of organisms that break down the waste. He then aerates the mixture and begins to favor aerobic communities. This destroys the once present anaerobes. When Paul Stamets dumped over this barrels and allowed them to drain, the anaerobic community ceased to exist. At this special moment in time, the organisms that were living in the bulk substrate have mostly all died due to the extreme shifts in environmental conditions. He next inoculated them with a species of Pleurotus, which was now favored over all other contaminants. This is a large jump forward for sustainable mushroom cultivation and will be the future of mycoremediation. Integrating this process into a new model of mushroom cultivation is born, from stem-butt culture to end substrate with no sterile laboratory required. And best of all, no additional carbon emissions in our atmosphere! So beautifully simple.

 

You can learn more about this technique in Paul’s new lecture series, ’6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World’. We will also be bringing a sterile lab with us again this year for demonstrations and for use by appointment to the Telluride Mushroom Festival. You can visit the event website at http://www.shroomfest.com/.

 

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