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Chaga - Health and sustainability claims for a wild-harvested medicinal product

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  1. patience_limited
    From the article:

    From the article:

    Much of the argument that Chaga harvesting is unsustainable hinges on semantics. If Chaga sclerotia are locally picked 100% then that would be economically unsustainable, but not biologically unsustainable. The difference lies in the simplest of ways: Chaga mycelium will continue to grow and thrive despite all of the sclerotia having been harvested. Indeed, the sclerotia themselves will quickly regrow. Since the part humans harvest plays no role in the viability or spread of the species stating that overharvest is occurring is nonsense of the highest order. Biological unsustainability and Economic unsustainability are two completely different beasts and to treat them as the same is wrong.

    The single biggest threat to a loss of Chaga is not harvesters but habitat loss. When we point fingers at harvesters and blame them for the lack of access to Chaga two things are occurring: We are not taking responsibility for our own lack of ambition to find a better spot, and we are blaming the wrong people. If we as wild harvesters of anything stood up against the machine that is eating our wild habitats we would make giant strides against losses of prime places to find Chaga or any other wild edible. But in the end it is way easier to point a finger at the person that shares your interests and is essentially on your team than to really fight the true fight.

    If you are truly interested in sustainability of our natural resources and you want to do something about it then get involved in your local community and find ways to make sure your Birch forests don’t get turned into parking lots. Blaming other foragers literally does nothing but divide us. Right now we need to be together as a culture in a major way. Point fingers where they make a difference. Often those fingers should be pointed back at ourselves for supporting the very corporations that ruin and pave over our forests. As paradoxical as it may sound, buy hunting licenses even if you do not plan on hunting. These licenses support keeping land available for public use. Hunters actually foot the bill for many land conservation efforts, while foragers generally just get to take from the land and pay nothing to keep it in conservation. We can put our money where our mouths are. Buy a federal duck stamp, or better yet, start a group called Chaga Unlimited. Whatever you do, do something, talk is cheap.

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