The Natural List: Exclusive interview with Paul Stamets

Mycology legend Paul Stamets shares his wisdom and research regarding his mushroom-minded mission—and why NASA is interested in fungi. Listen in.

New Hope Network staff

October 12, 2023

35 Min Listen

For many, the mushrooms craze is somewhat new, or at least newly embraced. But for world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, it’s affirmation of something that, in nearly four decades of impassioned work, he never wavered on: Mushrooms can change the world. 

Stamets has spent 40 years funneling resources into the study of mycelium. He is the founder and owner of Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense, co-founder of Mycomedica Life Sciences, co-director of the nonprofit the Center for Ecological consciousness and the author of multiple books describing psilocybin mushroom identification and cultivation.

In this episode of The Natural List, we connect with Stamets to discuss mycelium, psilocybin and so much more, including the important role that kindness and connection should play in today’s business landscape. 

In this episode:

  • 2:50 - An introduction to world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets.

  • 5:10 - Adrienne presents a quick refresher on mycelium.

  • 6:55 - Welcome Paul Stamets (and his amadou mushroom hat)!

  • 7:50 - Paul elaborates on his core values: kindness, courage, strength and wisdom.

  • 10:40 - How mushrooms foster connection with others and the larger ecosystem.

  • 12:30 - The importance of respecting and protecting the ‘Earth that gave us birth.’

  • 15:20 - Paul delivers a quick master class in immunology.

  • 17:30 - What’s next for mycelium and the well of knowledge.

  • 19:55 - The greatest benefits of mycelium.

  • 22:30 - Paul shares his most revolutionary idea.

  • 30:40 - It’s time for a special edition of The List featuring key takeaways from Paul’s keynote address.

Related:Paul Stamets on the future of mushroom mycelium at Expo East

Enjoy this new episode here and wherever you listen to your podcasts, including Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts.  

Interested in being a guest on The Natural List? Email us at [email protected].

Our guest

About Paul Stamets

Owner, Founder & Director of Research, Host Defense Mushrooms | Fungi Perfecti 

Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi: habitat, medicinal use, and production. He lectures extensively to deepen the understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep taken on this path of life. His presentations cover a range of mushroom species and research showing how mushrooms can help the health of people and planet. His central premise is that habitats have immune systems, just like people, and mushrooms are cellular bridges between the two. Our close evolutionary relationship to fungi can be the basis for novel pairings in the microbiome that lead to greater sustainability and immune enhancement. Paul’s philosophy is that “MycoDiversity is BioSecurity.” He sees the ancient Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as a resource of incalculable value, especially in terms of its fungal genome. A dedicated hiker and explorer, his passion is to preserve and protect as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible from these pristine woodlands. His research is considered breakthrough by thought leaders for creating a paradigm shift for helping ecosystems worldwide.   

Related:The Natural List - Wellness predictions with SPINS and NBJ

Your hosts 

About Jessica Rubino 

Jessica Rubino is a natural products industry expert and content strategist with more than 15 years experience in media, events and natural products. As New Hope Network’s vice president of content, Jessica oversees digital and print content, conference programming and branded content for CPGs, retailers, investors and service providers. Jessica is passionate about using innovation as a force for good and leveraging content to spark the changes we want to see in the world. 

About Adrienne Smith 

Adrienne Smith is the director of content for and the editor-in-chief of Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine where she helps ideate and produce content for natural products retailers, brands and entrepreneurs. Before coming to New Hope Network, she spent nearly two decades writing about food and beverage products and trends for the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Trade in Madrid, Spain, as well as for publications including the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and El País.

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