Green Education Center

Why eat mushrooms?

Why should we eat more mushrooms?

In short: nutrition, taste, and ecology.

Mushrooms, the fruits of fungi, are the most nutritious foods in nature.

– Mushrooms are the richest vegetarian sources of zinc, copper, selenium, ultra-trace minerals, vitamins B3, B5, and D, and also exceptionally high in potassium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and biotin.

– Mushrooms contain unparalleled amounts of health- and longevity-promoting substances including ergothionine, ergosterol, spermine, spermidine, glutathione, and trehalose, and have very high antioxidant potentials.

– Edible mushrooms are very low in digestive inhibitors, anti-nutrients, and toxins. Their nutrients are highly bioavailable even in their raw state.

– Raw mushrooms contain active digestive enzymes in sufficient quantities to improve our digestion of proteins, fats, starches, and even fiber, and can improve the digestability and nutritional value of other foods eaten at the same meal.

Mushrooms are the most savory (umami) foods in nature.

– Most dried mushrooms have more savory taste intensity than the same weight of pure MSG.

– Mushrooms produce the full range of aromas enjoyed by humans, including fruity, nutty, earthy, cheesy, herbal, and sweet.

– In blinded studies, substituting mushrooms for meat improves the flavor and texture of foods.

Mushrooms are the most sustainable and eco-friendly foods.

– Mushrooms can be grown on most agricultural “waste products”: straw, leaves, sawdust, hulls, and peels.

– One pound of mushrooms can be produced on 1lb of agricultural waste and less than ½ gal water, with little or no added energy. Producing one pound of beef consumes 12lb of grain, 2500 gal water, 35lb topsoil, and 1 gal of gasoline.

– Mushrooms can be grown almost anywhere on locally available materials, potentially eliminating the need for long-distance transportation.

– Mushrooms provide a valuable source of income for marginalized peoples around the world.

With so many benefits for our health, palate, and environment, why not include mushrooms in your next meal?

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