SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Leading travel publisher Matador Network has teamed up with PhD biochemist and mushroom educator Dr. Gordon Walker to produce Mushrooms Are Hot Right Now, a just-released Matador Original Video that explores how fungi can help solve some of our planet’s biggest problems.
“I knew that mushrooms were important,” says Matador Network CEO Ross Borden, “but working on this doc with Gordon has opened my eyes to how intertwined our lives are with fungi and how essential they are to our survival.”
Available through Matador Network’s website, YouTube and various distribution partners, the documentary combines evocative visuals and expert interviews to detail the many ways fungi can be an ally in humanity’s attempt to undo its own harms. Walker and fungal educator Mario Gabiati explore the natural ability of fungi to store carbon, as well as enable novel technologies like biofuels, medicines, and mycomaterials. Dr. Ning Sun from ABPDU Labs discusses how mycelium-grown leather can replace animal leather and plastics in fashion.
“Humans have caused a tremendous amount of damage to this planet with our careless unsustainable practices,” says Walker. “Fungi may be one of our only chances of creating a sustainable future for humanity. Otherwise, we are going to slide into exponential decay.”
Walker, who in addition to appearing in the film is a co-producer, earned his PhD from University of California, Davis, and under the Fascinated By Fungi moniker has, for the past eight years, been educating the public about fungi through his visually stunning and deeply informed social media posts. As the preeminent fungal influencer, he has amassed 3 million followers on social media, across popular platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
“What I am trying to do is catch peoples’ attention, get them to focus on fungi in a way they’ve never really seen before,” he says. “Every time I share this information, I have someone who says, ‘Hey, you just blew my mind. I didn’t know there was yeast on our skin. I didn’t know they were inside of us. I didn’t know all these different places where fungi slotted into our world.'”
The documentary was written and directed by Kati Hetrick and filmed in Emeryville and Shasta-Trinity National Forest, a favorite mushroom hunting ground for Walker, who lives in nearby Napa, California.
“It was fun to have the film crew from Matador in business mode and then to find a mushroom and everyone becomes an excited toddler,” Walker says. “That was the best part for me — to see other people get so excited about a mushroom, and I think this film will have that effect for a lot of viewers.”
About Matador Network
Matador Network is the world’s No. 1 media brand for modern adventurers and creator of the personal AI travel assistant GuideGeek. With more than 16 million followers across social media, Matador has become a leading travel brand through its production of article features, city guides, creator-first content and original videos. Matador is the top-ranking travel brand on TikTok and its videos are viewed more than 140 million times per month. It has content distribution deals with American Airlines, Hearst Media and Gas Station TV, and works with brands like Ford, REI, Samsung, YETI, Southwest Airlines, Visit California and Microsoft. matadornetwork.com
SOURCE Matador Network