This article first appeared in our ‘Why organic is the answer’ issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 03 September 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Simon and Andrew Salter were ‘part of the generation who feared or just dismissed mushrooms.’
That all changed when, after a period of stress, constant fatigue and poor sleep – with no antidote in sight – they were advised to attend a tea ceremony.
The tea master laid a panoply of ancient teas on the table, selected from some of the world’s oldest trees. ‘We drank black tea, white tea, oolong and green tea, slowly and mostly in silence’, Simon tells us.
‘At the end we were handed mushroom tea. Our first reaction was, are we going to get high?’
Simon and Andrew learnt that the tea was not psychoactive, and also that these mushrooms were packed full of health properties that can help the body to feel de-stressed, calm and focused, with a more resilient immune system.
‘Through curiosity and feelings of calm, better sleep and greater focus, we commenced the journey to see how we could introduce these mushrooms into our daily rituals’, Andrew explains.
Making mushrooms mainstream
Simon and Andrew, serial entrepreneurs and brothers, were named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020.
They have been instrumental in the conception and growth of social movement Feeling Nuts, the management and promotion of heavyweight champion David Haye; lifestyle concierge app Velocity Black; venture firm The Venture Collective; clean meat startup Mosa Meat and live events Indaba X and Letters Live.
The brothers’ hectic lifestyles eventually led to chronic burnout; they founded Dirtea in 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, as a way to help others combat stress, anxiety and fatigue while boosting creativity, wellbeing and connection to nature.
Simon and Andrew travelled the world immersing themselves in the ritual of tea ceremonies, meeting mushroom farmers in search of the best mushrooms to share with the world.
They discovered how transformative drinking functional mushrooms can be, and became fascinated with their long-term benefits.
Now Simon and Andrew are on a mission to bring the powerful healing benefits of these potent functional mushrooms to the masses.