Mushroom and Sustainable Living

Zoom Out Mycology

2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education 5. Gender Equality 15. Life on Land

Overview

Zoom Out Mycology (ZOM) is a mushroom growing business located in Oregon. ZOM grows various mushrooms in the most sustainable way. The company sells mushrooms, mushroom teas, and a mushroom growing kit. Additionally, they host summer camps and educational seminars to educate the youth about growing mushrooms in a sustainable way and about the many benefits of mycology. The various teas sold also have medicinal use, and the Mushroom Growing Kit allows the customer to grow a mushroom farm in their own house.

Author

Mahnoor Shaikh

Mahnoor Shaikh

School

Rutgers Business School

Rutgers Business School

Professor

Joseph Markert

Joseph Markert

Innovation

The innovation Mohammad created is the different method the fungi can be grown in, which is through the usage of waste from logging, thus recycling the waste from local logging activity. Furthermore, the usage of waste does not promote more logging activity. Only 15 yards of wood chips, 5 quarts of the log, and 5 yards of sawdust are used. The second innovation is the mushroom growing kit, which allows the consumer to grow their own mushroom at home no matter the geographical environment.

These two innovations emerge through the consideration of UN goal of life on land, climate action, zero hunger, good health and well-being, and quality education because the usage of mushrooms educates the consumer about benefits of fungi and provide a healthier food option that reduces the negative impact on the planet. The emergence of this innovation reflects the mission statement of the business and the business owner. The mission statement is “Fungi For Sustainability.” Mohammad’s inspiration and drive to have a sustainable food source and produce a product that benefits the climate helped to create a unique and genius innovation with growing mushrooms.


Mushroom and Sustainable Living

Inspiration

The idea for this mushroom business came to Bashira Mohammad (CEO) when she attended a mycology seminar. She then progressed to study the various benefits of mycology and decided to move to Oregon to understand the sustainability utilized in the state of Oregon and apply those same methods to her business. Following her extensive research and new found love for mycology, she started her mushroom business in Oregon. The motivation stemmed from finding a solution to producing a food source that is sustainable and has many health benefits. Mohammad noticed the general public is not very informed about the many benefits of mushrooms. Having learned so much about mushrooms and the positive impact that they can have, she was inspired to host summer camps and educational seminars to educate the public.

The inspiration for the mushroom growing kit originated from the goal of providing a food source to people while also educating them about mushrooms. The mushroom growing kit serves many purposes, such as a fun, educational way for all people new to mycology, a food source for people who can’t travel to get mushrooms, and hands-on work with mushrooms. Also, the mushroom growing kit can be used in a place that is not geographically benefitted with the conditions to grow mushrooms; giving everyone the power to learn and grow mushrooms.


Overall impact

The mushrooms Mohammad grows are grown in two different environments, some grown inside, others outside; depending on the type of mushroom it is. ZOM uses the wood chips that come from the logging in the Oregon area; the wood chips are recycled and used as the material where the mushrooms are planted. Basically, ZOM recycles the waste that comes from the logging and uses it on the farm to grow the mushrooms. The impact this method has on the business is that it allows it to meet the business mission statement, and it reduces production cost.


Business benefit

The fungi industry is a billion-dollar industry, and the innovative way of growing fungi can change the shape of the industry as the world progresses towards a more sustainable activity. The method of growing these mushrooms and compacting those methods into a smaller package that is delivered to the customer affects many aspects. One of the biggest aspects being awareness, and educating the customer about various benefits of fungi, and thus broadening the market. Since the general population is moving toward environment-friendly methods of living, the production of mushrooms through the sustainable method positively affects the market and the environment.

The mushroom growing kit has many benefits. The short-term benefit is that it promotes the business and delivers mushroom to areas that don’t have this utility. It’s an educational and great source of marketing. The long-term effect is that this kit can be developed as a source of food that can be delivered to areas that are in need of food. It can eventually be used as a source of delivering food that lacks access to retain food on a daily basis.


Social and environmental benefit

The various products of this business have impacted society in many ways. The mushroom tea has many medicinal benefits, and the mushroom growing kit is educational and a food source. The summer camp hosted is a significant form of education for the youth. The camp exposes and encourages adolescents to explore a STEM-related field, and it’s a unique introduction to mycology as well. The campers get the chance to grow their own mushrooms and learn the science surrounding fungi. The summer camp is a source of education about mycology.

The impact of this innovation on the environment is it reduces the waste by utilizing products that would usually be thrown away as a main source of production. The waste from the logging is used as the main source for growing these mushrooms. This allows the logging industry to recycle their waste and the business to utilize the sources from surrounding resources.


Interview

Bashira Mohammad, CEO and Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Zoom Out Mycology

Zoom Out Mycology

Central Point, Oregon, US

Business Website: https://www.zoomoutmycology.com/

Year Founded: 2016

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Zoom Out Mycology (ZOM) is a mushroom growing business located in Oregon. ZOM grows various mushrooms in the most sustainable way. The company sells mushrooms, mushroom teas, and a mushroom growing kit.