In December 2021, when I was formulating the idea around Funga, I presented the concept to my father. Unsurprisingly, he was perplexed about my sudden interest in working with “drugs” and reacted strongly against it. Of course, I couldn’t blame him. He grew up in a time when a big stigma existed around psychedelics, and the narrative was that they were equal to narcotics such as heroin and cocaine. After trying to explain in my own words and failing, I decided the best course of action was to show him Fantastic Fungi. This documentary introduces the potential of mushrooms incredibly well and includes very respected professors and other figures in the space that my father could identify with. I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am that Fantastic Fungi was created; because of it, Funga was established with the full support of my family.

Louie Schwartzberg directed the film, and it is narrated by Brie Larson and stars Paul Stamets, Michael Pollan, and Dr. Andrew Weil, to name a few. Below I have added some important key points in case you don’t have time to watch the whole thing (although I strongly advise you do).



“We lack language skills to communicate with nature but that does not mean nature is not intelligent. If we don’t find a communality with the organisms that sustain us today, not only will we destroy those organisms but we will destroy ourselves.”

– Paul Stamets


Mushrooms represent rebirth and rejuvenation. Fungi generate soil and set the stage for all life. We learned from the extinction records that organisms that paired with fungi survived. We are more closely connected to the fungi than we are to any other kingdom. “What this means is that We are descendants of mycelium. Mycelium is the mother of us all.” (Paul Stamets)

Mushrooms release zillions of spores into the atmosphere. They are everywhere and we have evolved with them. They convert life, carry life, and connect life.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the future of our planet. Plants inhale C02 and exhale oxygen, and there have been recent findings that 70% of the carbon ends up below ground. The root systems trade that carbon for nutrients, and the carbon ends up in the fungal walls where it is stored. The fungi are really important for stabilizing carbon in soils. When it is stable, it can stay there stored for thousands of years. We know that carbon can move from plant to plant. If we maintain the plants and fungal community, we have a natural way of regulating the climate.



Hundreds of scientific studies were done on LSD in the 1950s and 60s. In 1955, R. Gordon Wasson took mushrooms with Maria Sabina. He wrote an account of his experience in ‘Seeking the Magic Mushroom,’ published in Life Magazine in 1957. Many people got inspired, including Timothy Leary and Ram Dass.

Fear over rampant drug use and the spread of the counterculture movement, not to mention Harvard professor Timothy Leary urging people to turn on, tune in and drop out, led to a clamp down. President Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs, which ended research into psychedelics in the 70s.

Beginning in the 1990s with a study looking at DMT and picking up in the 2000s with research at Johns Hopkins University looking at psilocybin for depression and anxiety in terminally ill patients, an abundance of psychedelic research began again.

The methodology has been woken up again. One-third of individuals that have had a psychedelic experience say it’s the single most significant experience of their lives, and about 70% say it’s among the five most meaningful experiences of their lives (equal to their child being born and there is a before and after).


“We need a paradigm shift in our consciousness. The interconnectedness of being is who we are.”

– Paul Stamets