I recently went to The Alchemists Kitchen in New York. The second I walked in, Mushroom People magazine caught my eye. Not only because the cover is very inviting, but with just a quick flick through the pages, you can already see the stunning quality of the content and visuals. It is truly a collector’s piece!

Below, I have written out the editor’s note of the magazine, which was very lovely. I urge everyone to order a copy to explore the rest of the “magazine for mycophiles.”



Discovering a mushroom in a lush, dark forest is like stumbling upon the sentry post of a hidden world. And, in a way, that´s exactly that a mushroom is – a tangible marker of the tangled network of complicated interrelations and coexistences happening all around us, the fruiting body of invisible lives. They are things seen that manifest the unseen. Mushrooms hold mysteries.

Mushrooms are viscerally themselves: strange and familiar, beautiful and ugly, toxic and healing, ephemeral and enduring. Their very being collapses time, representing life and death simultaneously. This wholeness contributes to their freaky nature, making them hard to trust but tempting to behold. And they are everywhere – fungi can be found on all seven continents. Over 10,000 varieties have been identified so far, and new species are discovered everywhere all the time. It’s no surprise that these enigmatic jewels inspire everything from creation myths to biodegradable burial suits, infused with the culture of their interpreters.

Mushroom People reflects a collective love for the chaotic kingdom of fungi and the glorious and strange ideas it inspires. In the five sections of this single-issue magazine, we ask questions about mushrooms, then forage for answers with the help of artists, writers, and fungi enthusiasts from around the world. (Mushroom people are everywhere, as bountiful as spores and as diverse as they come.) From basic facts to symbolic interpretations, one truth emerges: a mushroom is rarely just one thing. 

As humans stand at the edge of a climate disaster we made, scant degrees from catastrophe, we might be tempted to reduce mushrooms to something singular: a fix. Mushrooms are powerful, and as we learn more about the ways we can use them to better our bodies, minds, and planet, we enter into a complicated yet familiar relationship with our fungal friends. Humans, especially in the West, have a poor track record of respecting the Earth’s gifts. These days, it can seem like we’re asking mushrooms to solve all of our problems – to gobble up our spilled oil and remediate our polluted soils while giving us meaty foods to chew, leather for our shoes, and insulation for our houses; to cure our bodies and soothe our darkest fears, assuring us that we matter and means something while helping us live forever, then decomposing our bodies after we die. But maybe we are asking mushrooms the wrong questions. In the final section of the magazine, we wonder: What do the mushrooms want? And what might it mean to live like a mushroom?

Until mushrooms learn to speak (and maybe they are, and we aren’t understanding), our interpretations are all that we have when unpacking their mysteries. The more we want from mushrooms – and the more we learn from them, with their knack of thriving at the edge of disaster – the more our responsibility grows to approach them mindfully, with respect, humility, and a hefty dose of practical caution (alongside some punny mushroom jokes). The future belongs to the Mushroom People.