Topic: Medicinal Mushrooms — Hope or Hype? We will explore the ethnomycology, folklore, science and marketing behind the use of certain fungi for their possible health benefits. This will include the difference between opinion and scientific information, and how to evaluate reports and claims.
Note: The meeting this month will be held in Gates Hall (next to Mitchell Hall)
Speaker: Denis Benjamin, born in South Africa, emigrated to the USA in 1970. He completed his residency in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and was on the faculty until 2000. He practiced pediatric pathology at the children’s hospital in Seattle and later at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth. He became a hiker and mushroom enthusiast, spending much of his leisure time on the eastern slopes of the Cascades. Now retired from medical practice he devotes his energy to natural history and documenting the wildflowers and mushrooms with photography and watercolors. The latter was inspired by a workshop with the noted Russian botanical artist (Alexander – Sasha – Viazmensky). He has attended botanical illustration at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. A past board member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society, he recently helped establish the Yakima Valley Mushroom Club. He was Chairman of the Toxicology Committee of NAMA for a number of years and a consultant for the regional Poison Control Center. He is author of Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas (1995, WH Freeman and Co. NY, NY) and Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging (2010 Tembe Press, Cle Elum, WA) He now lives in Fort Worth and is a Research Associate at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.