Jeff Chilton: Magical Medicinal Mushrooms

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Episode Summary

I've always appreciated fungi, and today's episode is packed with powerful information from a truly fun-gi!

Jeff is an expert mycologist. Our conversation traversed all things from medicinal mushroom properties, culinary mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, as well as how sketchy the mushroom supplement industry is.

I learned a ton. One big take away for me was the fact that most mushroom powders today are actually mostly GRAIN due to the fact that the mycelium is grown on grain and then the mycelium and grain combined is powdered and processed.

Other highlights include...

  • Jeff's journey into the field of mycology

  • The immune stimulating properties that ALL mushrooms have

  • Some special compounds found in special varieties of mushrooms

  • Why mushrooms grown in China are NOT contaminated

  • The importance of reading the fine print on mushroom supplements

  • Some delicious and nutritious culinary mushrooms 


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About Jeff

Jeff Chilton, raised in Pacific Northwest, studied ethno-mycology at the University of Washington in the late sixties and started working on a commercial mushroom farm in Olympia, Washington in 1973. During the next 10 years he became the production manager, responsible for the cultivation of over 2 million pounds of agaricus mushrooms per year and was also involved in the research and developement of shiitake, oyster and enoki mushrooms which resulted in the earliest US fresh shiitake sales in 1978.

In the late seventies he was a founder of Mycomedia, which held 4 mushroom conferences in the Pacific Northwest. These educational conferences brought together educators and experts in mushroom identification, ethnomycology, and mushroom cultivation.

During this period Jeff co-authored the highly acclaimed book, The Mushroom Cultivator, which was published in 1983.

In the 1980’s he operated a mushroom spawn business and in 1989 he started Nammex, a business that introduced medicinal mushrooms to the US nutritional supplement industry. He traveled extensively in China during the 1990’s, attending conferences and visiting research facilities and mushroom farms. In 1997 he organized the first organic mushroom production seminar in China.

Jeff’s company, Nammex was the first to offer a complete line of Certified Organic mushroom extracts to the US nutritional supplement industry. Nammex extracts are used by many supplement companies and are noted for their high quality based on scientific analysis of the active compounds.

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