If you asked Graham (owner of Touchwood Mushrooms) about why he doesn't include mycelium in his products, he’ll give you a couple of solid reasons.
- Mycelium is full of salt and carbs and offers no proven medicinal benefits
- It’s impossible to separate the mycelium from its growing medium (often rice or grain) — including mycelium in medicinal mushrooms powders inevitably introduces filler that definitely isn’t beneficial
People take shortcuts in every industry and the mushroom game is no different. The proliferation of the myth that mycelium is great for people has started a worrying trend in medicinal mushrooms. Because mycelium can be grown in vast quantities in rice or grain, there are growers who produce nothing BUT mycelium. They cut off the lifecycle before the fruiting body stage, grind up a heap of mycelium and filler, and sell it as medicinal mushrooms.
This misleads the public and means that mycelium growers can make money from selling a potentially useless supplement to thousands of consumers. It also undermines the growers (like Graham) who are doing the right thing.
The best way to protect yourself is to be educated. Read up on your medicinal mushrooms. Find out where they come from. If they contain mycelium, find out much filler they contain and (most importantly) how much actual fruit body they contain. Once something is ground up and in a jar, it can be very hard to tell what’s inside. If your seller is reluctant to tell you exactly what’s in the bottle, we recommend taking your business elsewhere.
The Touchwood Mushrooms difference