Blog 2

In this class we learned about SCOBY, which is a mixture of bacteria and yeast that was used in common culture to make a drink known as Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented drink, meaning that there is a small percentage of alcohol present. Kombucha is very popular in SoCal and is often marketed as a miraculous health cure. Many in the health and wellness sphere is believe that Kombucha’s fermentation and bacterial properties help with gut health. While this mixture of bacteria and yeast is hailed as a holy grail in the health and wellness community, bread is villianized. There can be fermentation that is present in bread making, i.e. sour dough bread. Sour dough bread is made with a starter; this starter is a combination of wheat and water that play host to bacteria and yeast. Just like SCOBY. But like I mentioned previously, bread is villanized unlike Kombucha. Why is that? Well there are also common misunderstandings about bread. Most people believe that bread, specifically carbs, is the cause of obesity. It is a common diet for people to cut out carbs in its totality in order to lose weight.

It has become common place fro those who do not have a medical degree or a degree in nutritional studies to create their own diets based on false or incomplete knowledge from the internet. Many people just create diets that are not sustainable and, in some cases, can be harmful to the body. GMOs are another example of food miscommunications that is unnecessarily affecting people’s food habits. At the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, a comprehensive medical review had come to the conclusion that there is no decisive information equating GMOs to bad health. (https://ag.purdue.edu/gmos/gmos-health.html#:~:text=One area that draws a,is bad for human health.) The bigger benefit for pushing non-GMO products is the capitalistic benefit associated. Non-GMO foods are always more expensive compared to GMO foods because of the public connotation associated with GMO and non-GMO foods.

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Another aspect of the lecture is the concept and connectedness of the mycelium network. This network links together fungi. This networks acts like the human neural network but on a much greater scale. This network is also able to provide nutrients from the stronger of the species to the weaker of the species. There is an installation, “Somatic Communism” by Eve Gabriel Chabanon which depicts the mycelium network as a communistic society that realises the concept of mutual uplifting results in the great strength of the whole entity. (https://iselp.be/en/evenement/somatic-communism/). One concept that I relate the mycelium network to the concept of the Collective Consciousness that was first proposed by sociologist Emile Durkheim. The theory of the Collective Consciousness states that the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes operate as a unifying force within society. It does not refer to the specifically moral conscience, but to a shared understanding of social norms. This is in a way how the mycelium work together to hold its network in place. Granted, the mycelium network does a lot more for each other.