029 - Fascinating Fungi And Radical Mycology With Peter McCoy

Exploring The Mycology Of Self And How Fungi Intricately Connect Us

Peter McCoy Headshot.jpg

In this episode we talk with Peter McCoy. He is most well known as one of the founders of Radical Mycology, a grassroots organisation and movement that teaches the many ways to work with fungi for personal, societal, and ecological resilience. He describes himself as an interdisciplinary, systems-oriented mycology educator.

Join us as we talk about traditional uses of fungi, myco-literacy, what fungi can teach us, and Peter shares a bit about his journey.

In 2016, Peter released the book Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing & Working With Fungi. He is the lead cultivation expert for the Amazon Mycorenewal Project, and a mycology advisor to Open Source Ecology and Permaculture Magazine North America. 

Apart from his work with fungi, he is also a community organiser, artist, musician, lecturer, and teacher.  Peter’s daily practice centers on cultivating, researching, and foraging for new intersections between healthy human and fungal relations. He is available for consultation on mushroom cultivation and remediation design, site surveys, lectures, informal talks, and teaching assignments.


Check out all that Peter is up to:

Radical Mycology 






Radical Mycology: The Book

Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing & Working With Fungi


Mycologos School





And shoutout to the band Confiture… bringing funky tunes to ears near you… www.confitureband.com


Show Notes


Mycology As Activism

- came to see mycology as a huge piece of the puzzle to nature’s restoration

- wanted to actively contribute to earth’s betterment

- did some self-education as a young adult that broadened his worldview

- got involved in some projects which made him realise you can be part of making changes

- creating solutions and community, instead of basing identity on what you are against

- began to bring mycology up as a potential solution to current issues, not always received well

- found like-minded people and ideas began to evolve

- realised this was the piece of the puzzle he could contribute

- solutions that mycology creates fold into social issues as well as environmental issues


Mycology in Cultural Awareness

- discussion of fermentation & Sandor Katz

- mycology is unfamiliar and even somewhat feared in popular awareness

- Peter works to de-stigmatise fungi and show how great it is

- discussion of historical uses of fungi/mycology

- many approaches to mycology beyond food, ethno-mycology


Getting Educated!

- for Peter, mycology gives him access to new perspectives on many aspects of life

- it reminds him that there is still mysteries out there to discover

- most people don’t know much about fungi; one way Peter is working to address that through his book

- building community around mycology, to bring it into the cultural awareness at a social level

- has in mind for the future a much more structured form of education to bring deeper study of mycology to people

- “Radical Mycology 2.0” is coming

- mycology is not taught in schools, so there is a hole to fill in offering education



A New Way to See the World

- sense of connection that comes for many people, in learning the magic and mystery of fungi

- a whole new way of seeing the natural world

- teaching mycology through the the eyes of ecological awareness

- for Peter, sometimes the things that are least talked about are the most interesting, such as the benefits & deliciousness of probiotics



Ecological Remediation

- according to science, it seems likely that fungi were the first larger-celled structured organisms on earth (after bacteria)

- fungi are central to earth’s biology & uniquely powerful

- discussion of how fungi supports soil, animal, and plant life

- fungi are capable of breaking down many kinds of toxic substances that other organisms cannot

- in the long run, fungi will probably be able to break down almost all man-made substances

- this branch of research (micro-remediation) is very young, with not many fully realised examples, but there is so much room to explore

- this exploration is something that many people will be capable of doing eventually in their own backyards, and potentially make big discoveries



Fungi in Our Future

- in the further-off future (100, 200 years), possibly all man-made systems could be affected and improved by fungi

- fungi has a long shelf life, & makes an incredible building material

- discussion of growing mushrooms for common household & natural medicinal uses



Closing Thoughts

- fungi already influence your life in a million ways

- now is the perfect time: there is so much opportunity to get involved in cultivating fungi at this particular point in history

- radicalmycology.com 

- Peter’s book is at publishing website: chthaeus.com

- this coming October: Radical Mycology Convergence

- join the newsletter on any of their social media platforms