Category Archives: Food

Agaricus blazeii Murrill, Sacha Inchi Oil and Me (part 2)

the first part of this post is here

To review, from about 1999 to 2002, I was very involved with researching and promoting a medicinal and gourmet mushroom called ABM, Agaricus blazeii Murrill. As part of this, I wrote my first book. I did this in Tokyo, Manhattan and around Toledo, Ohio. I established many relationships and enjoyed being involved with a healthful food item in a positive community, and creating possibilities. However, I entered the world of VR and, after that, returned to the world of books and art. I don’t feel as if there are huge differences between the different areas in my life.

Everything is about human relationships and data/information. Efficiency and planning are the keys and I am always working to improve in these areas, without becoming closed-minded. I've been told that the Japanese word for “busy”(isogashii) means “no heart”. Something like that.

So... Johor Bahru, Malaysia. April 2017. Sacha inchi oil. When you are around people who are really healthy, you notice it immediately. !!!! As a writer I have to be careful here! Sometimes, when one describes one’s interactions and activities that are associated with healthy foods and practices, it is easy to across as purely a salesman, sincere or otherwise. Yes, there is an economic aspect, but it is not the main reason that I am thinking about sacha inchi. Sales can lead to an awareness of the powers within plants and humans.

Sacha inchi reminds me of ABM very much. I am considering getting involved with it because I now have experience in sharing nutraceutical information, and interest in sacha inchi is already starting. It seems that Singapore, Malaysia and China are growing markets. America and Japan have potential.

It would be interesting to come up with some idea that combines art with sacha oil. A year ago, my partner and I performed the Iron Fire Riceball Tour, which combined performance art with food art. Meaning simply, we just marched around to all of the organic food stores in Singapore and asked any of the staff if they would like to try an organic riceball flavored with organic miso with permaculture grown ingredients. It was not a commercial project, it was about communication and connecting;art. We didn’t talk business, though it was clear where the miso and rice came from. We had been living in Bali and had worked on the permaculture farm that produced the miso. That little tour was beautiful.

So now; it is an amusement for me to think of how to connect with saha ishi in a way that is personal. What I have thought of so far:

-a book on sacha inchi, but one that is a collection of short stories about everything from the history of the plant to the growing to the processing to the person who is using sacha inchi as a treatment for a serious diseases.Fact-based fiction with emotion.

-a 360 short film that documents a room full of longtime saha ichi users. The setting would be naturalistic and simple. There would be at least 10 or 12 actors and actresses. These people would not have to do anything, but they would be aware of the fact that they are being filmed. The person who sees the film would, simply, sense and observe the healthy bodies.

-the sacha inchi game. Something interactive, of course.Exciting and based on how scientists think sacha inchi empowers the immune system, it would be cool to make a game something like this:

I will think. Sacha inchi is good stuff!

Agaricus blazeii Murrill, Sacha Inchi Oil and Me

Unexpectedly, I now find myself in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. I have been here for two months, during which time I started to write a book called Touching JB. It is about Johor Bahru, Singapore, food, AR/VR, people, game development, history; many things. It is also self-reflective, but hopefully not in a narcissistic way. My past experiences connect me to the present and future, of course, as they do for everyone.

The most recent example of this involves something called Sacha Inchi Oil. I  was just introduced to it here in JB, and I am very interested in it. First, some background information. The first book I wrote was called the Agaricus blazei Murrill Notebook. It was print-on-demand, but I never marketed it. I believe in that book, but it needs to be revised. Paul Stamets, one of the world’s top mushroom scientists, wrote to me soon after I informed him of the book. He told me two things and then suggested I stop publication.

I don't remember exactly,but first Paul told me something like the taxonomy (the way that scientists classify things) for the "ABM" mushroom had changed. Agaricus blazeii Murrill had become cultivated and improved so much that it was considered to have be a new species called agaricus subrufescens.Or something like that; even now the taxonomy isn't straightforward. That happened weeks before I finished the book, and I was unaware of it. That by itself was not an absolute game changer, as most of people would continue to use the old name or would be aware of both. The other complication was that a test result that I referred to in the book had been found to be inaccurate; falsified.So, despite a great deal of interest, I didn’t get the ABM Notebook in the hands of readers.

At the time of the book’s completion I had moved to Singapore to work for a startup doing 3D gamemaking/VR, which I was thrilled to be doing, but which also took up all of my time.I didn’t revise the book.

Before the move to Singapore, I was working with an amazing woman who was a pharmacist and a mother of two boys. We were both living in Japan at that time, and it was there that she introduced me to the company that grew and produced very high quality ABM. We sold their product on the internet as well as at health fairs in the US.The challenges: we were both new at selling something like ABM, the internet was new to us and our freeze-dried ABM was extremely expensive. We seemed to be pioneers as very few people knew about ABM. In short, we learned a lot, made some great connections and didn’t sell much.

However...there are very few things that can compare to playing a small part in a process that results in a person regaining some, or all, of their health.

However, the partnership, the international network and the lessons learned became dormant. But... a few days ago, I discovered sacha inchi oil.


Part two of this story is here.

re: Paul Stamet; This is his company.

This TED talk by Paul is full of mushroom/cancer facts and hope. Go to 1:20

Touching Johor Bahru 1

I've plenty of notes about this place, as well the nights I've spent with the present owner at the 123 Cafe...

Tiong Bahru Mouth: Galicier Counter at CNY

Tiong Bahru Mouth: Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh

Tiong Bahru Mouth

This post documents progress on Tiong Bahru Mouth, which is a collection of short stories and a visual art project, both by Stephen Black. Visual art, in this case, means photographs, videos and 360 videos. There is also a haiku component which is hidden on the internet. PHOTOGRAPHS VIDEOS Coffee and Light Tiong Bahru Mouth Wakes Up Jian Boh Shui Kueh at Sunrise Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh glutinous rice packing Galicier Counter at CNY Two Friends in a Hardware Shop A Couple Descending  

An Open Letter to Facebook Groups with an interest in Tiong Bahru (part 2)

As mentioned in Part 1, the Tiong Bahru Mouth edition of photographs is now being prepared. Some images from the series are here. A description of the print ordering process is here, including links to the outstanding printer (Samuel Chia) and the museum-quality framer, Framehub.

SB (wearing VR viewer, the printer Samuel Chia and John Cheng, from Cheng Sugar, a Singaporean company that is over seventy years old!

This weekend (September 24 and 25), and next, I'll be at the Isetan at Wisma Atria, Level 1. I will be casually holding a seminar on the story behind the images, as well as the ordering process. This is a bit of an experiment and, from what I learn, I may develop a kind of "pop up" gallery in the future. new topic: AUDIOBOOK  Mirai Booth-Ong, a Los Angeles- based Singaporean actress/singer is now finalizing the iatb audiobook... new topic: CROWDFUNDING VIDEO "outtake" new topic: FREE  iatb EBOOK... just send me an email and I will send you the file. However, if you want to buy from Amazon... Also, I have a special offer of $18 for all 8 of my ebooks. Drop me an email if you are interested. new topic: T-SHIRTS...and soon iatb baby wear! 21528_925038137582297_1761505173788481572_n Thank you for reading this far, as well as your interest and support! See you in Tiong Bahru! Sincerely, Stephen Black The following interview starts with questions about Bali Wave Ghost, my most recent novel, but also covers a bit of the story behind i ate tiong bahru.

i ate tiong bahru book reviews + glasses + t-shirts

Reviews are now being collected and updated, but for now, there is only this link . i ate tiong bahru has sold almost 2000 copies, qualifying it as a national bestseller in Singapore. A second edition is now being planned. The follow up book is tiong bahru mouth. Printed copies of i ate tiong bahru are in all Singapore public libraries, as well as at Naiise, Booktique, Books Actually, Plain Vanilla, City Book Room, Kinokunya and excluniqueeee. Ebooks are available on Amazon.iatb-book-on-white-paper iatb-glass iatb-tshirt-and-porridge-vertical


ay4ya is space and time and exchange.

I Ate Tiong Bahru & Tiong Bahru Mouth Glasses and book


I ate tiong bahru glass coffee mug

toing bahru glass simple background

tiong bahru glass simple background


I ate tiong bahru book and glass coffee mug

I ate tiong bahru book and glass coffee mug, with tiong bahru mouth glass coffee mug