Is this the end for chemical pesticides?
A leading mycologist has patented the world’s fist non-chemical pesticide in a move that could see the end of the chemical pesticide industry.
Fungi expert Paul Stamets has created a way of humanely destroying insects which feed off, and ruin crops.
The number on insects that are actually damaging to crops is really tiny – only 1-5% of the world’s insect population, yet there are whole multi billion dollar industries created around killing them off.
Agro-chemical firms Monsanto and Dow are two of the market leaders who’s profits would drop dramatically if farmers across the world stopped buying their chemical killers in favor of a more natural alternative.
The spraying of pesticides has become so widespread in the last few decades and it is damaging the planet’s eco-systems in unimaginable ways.
In order to kill off bugs and parasites that are at risk of ruining crops, entire other species are being wiped out too, insects that are needed to keep fragile eco-systems running.
The disappearance of huge amounts of honey bees in the past couple of years at first was deemed a mystery to scientists, but on closer inspection it looks as if pesticides are to blame.
Stamets, mycologist who specializes in the ability of different fungi made his groundbreaking discovery back in 2006, and while he is still working on tweaking the idea, when it makes it to the mainstream it will surely be the number one pesticide choice for farmers.
He discovered a special type of fungi which destroys insects from the inside out when it is eaten. In tricking un-wanted insects to collect and eat the entomopathogenic, the insects are basically using pesticides on themselves.
The method is so simple and does not have to be overseen by the farmers, who simply have to let nature take it’s course.
Stamets made the remarkable discovery that the entomopathogenic (self destroying) fungi are highly attractive to insects in the early parts of their life-cycle, and so persuading them to ingest the fungi was extremely easy.
Although it make seem cruel to some, Stamets’ patent is not interfering with nature or altering the course of the insects’ normal lives. It just so happened that he realized the amazing potential benefits of using the self destructive fungi for a better use.
Stamets continues to work on his creation and hopes that soon it will be used all over, instead of poisonous pesticides.