There’s a subreddit for just about everything, but if you’re a legit Uncle Ben’s fan who is also a serious Redditor (that’s a lonely island), you might be disappointed to find that the subreddit r/UncleBens isn’t so much a gathering of hardcore pre-cooked rice fans, as it is an online sub-community of DIY psilocybin cultivators who are using Uncle Ben’s and other supermarket staples to grow magic mushrooms.
According to Mel Magazine — where you can find a fascinating deep dive on the topic that’s well worth your time — the subreddit, which describes itself as “a beginner-friendly place to post and discuss Uncle Ben’s Tek, a simple beginner-friendly method for cultivating mushrooms” was created by a Reddit user after he found relief from depression and suicidal ideation through the microdosing of magic mushrooms, according to Mel. Putting his biochemistry degree to use, the user broke down an easy and accessible way for people to cultivate their own psilocybin, using an easy to find product like Uncle Ben’s brown rice, rather than relying on dealers or complex cultivation techniques for their shrooms.
What makes Uncle Bens the perfect vessel for psilocybin, according to the r/UncleBens crew, is that mushroom cultivation “requires a sterile, nutrient-rich environment in which their spores can grow,” and since Uncle Ben’s rice is pre-cooked, sterilized and vacuum-sealed, it provides the necessary environment for cultivation. Mel notes that psilocybin mushroom spores are legal to buy in 47 states (sorry to California, Idaho, and Georgia) and generally take 11 to 20 days to colonize, and a month or two to produce mushrooms.
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On the subreddit, you’ll find a community of kind-vibe cultivators who swap photos of their harvests and offer advice and guidance for anyone who wants to cultivate mushrooms themselves. Considering that magic mushrooms are showing encouraging success in therapeutic settings, proven to be the safest drug, and seeing increased legalization, this sounds like a much more fun DIY quarantine project than more sourdough.