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First mushroom festival in Yucatan

by Yucatan Times
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Mérida, Yucatán, (August 25, 2021) .- The Rescate Zarigüeyal association will offer the first mushroom festival in Yucatán: “Hongosto”. The initiative aims to raise awareness in society about the importance of these species in the framework of the rainy season, when they can be sighted.

The meeting will be held virtually and will consist of three conferences that can be tuned in through the Rescate Zarigüeyal Facebook page.

Enrique Valdez Escobedo, director of the association, commented that many of these mushrooms have great relevance since they are wood degraders, which allows a flow of nutrients in nature. They are also home to other animals and can be used as food.

“It is a group of living beings that, despite their importance for nature – due to the many environmental services they provide – are often unknown, both by the scientific community and by the general public,” he lamented.

Even some of them, like the so-called “devil’s heart”, are destroyed when they grow inside houses as many people think that they are harmful or poisonous.

As for the speakers, Valdez Escobedo stated that they are researchers specialized in biology, who since their formation have had experience and closeness with this group of individuals. He stressed that there are few mycologists in Yucatan and those that will be presented are the three most prominent.

They will have the presence of the biologist Michael Uitzil, who has been recognized internationally for his performance in several scientific investigations. He will present the theme Wood-degrading fungi: Superheroes or villains? On Wednesday, August 25th, at 6:00 p.m.

Finally, Dr. Juan Pablo Pinzón, professor of the degree in Biology at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) will give a talk focused on how to know if a mushroom is edible or toxic. The appointment is this Friday, August 27 at 6:00 p.m.

Mushrooms: an ecological and nutritious option

Enrique Valdez explained that in the Yucatan peninsula there are various species of fungi, from those that are the most recognized – similar to those of Mario Bros – to some that are not so showy and usually grow on logs. Some of them can even be consumed as food.

As a result of climate change, many of these mushrooms are disappearing, and with them their environmental services.

“Furthermore, we are going through a food crisis and we need to find new alternatives to satisfy a constantly growing population. In that sense, mushrooms could be an ecological and nutritious option”, he concluded.

TYT Newsroom

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