Appreciation: Lichen soup Sodium Carbonate treatment

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Mundu Ruku, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Mundu Ruku

    Mundu Ruku New Member

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    Amazon Forest
    Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica) is a Linchen, that means unlike true moss it is not a bryophyta, it is a fungus and algae simbiosis, now in the video , a lady is cooking Lichen soup in the snow and she uses SODIUM CARBONATE to treat the Lichen, and I wonder what it does, what is it for? Could there be a Lichen soup without the SODIUM CARBONATE softening?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2020
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  2. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    B.C., Canada
    Greetings Mundu Ruku of the Amazon Forest!

    You are correct, Cetraria is a lichen rather than a moss: Common names can be confusing and there are a number of lichen with names ending in "moss."

    I like the question from the learning and interest point of view, and am less keen on it from the active pursuit point of view. Some reasons include;

    - Lichen grows slowly and once you pick it, it is gone. In most places lichen cannot be sustainably harvested. There are 7.6 Billion of us, expanding exponentially, so we are responsible for multiplying all of our actions by many in order to understand the impact of any of our individual actions.
    - Even with processing, lichen is not great-tasting, it is bitter to varying degrees, and most people need to accustom their digestive system gradually to handle it.
    - The ability to correctly identify lichen is required, which takes study and practice. There are 20,000 known species worldwide, and rising, and many species are regionally specific. Lichens contain strong compounds, so correct identification can be important.
    - Some lichens are marvellous at concentrating atmospheric contaminants, partly because of the slow-growing absorption over a long period. There is some interesting material for example around the radioactivity absorbed by lichens after Chernobyl.

    Thank you for sharing the video - I look forward to watching it!
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