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Why we’re embracing the 'F' word

You’ve likely heard about flora and fauna, but what about the third (and just as important) F? We’re talking about funga. Fungi are neither plants nor animals. They comprise their own kingdom altogether and we believe it’s time to recognize their critical role in keeping our planet keepin’ on! Re:wild is committed to being “mycologically inclusive” and hope you will too.

Fungi have ancient origins—evidence indicates they first appeared around 1 billion years ago. Current research suggests there are between 2.2 and 3.8 million species of fungi on Earth—but the real number could be 10 times that. A mere 8 percent of all fungal species have been documented to date.

Why this matters

We can’t live without fungi. Plants and trees need fungi to communicate with each other, to grow and to decompose when they die—bringing the cycle full circle to prepare for new life.

Fungi are also powerful allies in carbon capture, particularly in soils. Many species—including birds and worms—rely on fungi for food. And fungi are the reason we have bread, cheese, alcohol, and critical medicines such as antiviral and anti-cancer compounds, cholesterol-lowering statins, and immunosuppressant drugs that enable organ transplants.

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