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4 Pounds Of Mushrooms Are Consumed Per Person In The US Every Year.

Few things can match the flavor of a stuffed mushroom, and Stuffed Mushroom Day is just the day to gorge on this delightful delicacy. Feel free to set about cramming your taste buds to excess or eating the wonderful ‘shroom slowly in a civilized manner, whichever way you prefer your cuisine.

  • Credit goes to the Italians for creating the stuffed mushroom in the 19th century.
  • Mushrooms are composed of 90% water.
  • One Portabella mushroom has more potassium than a banana.
  • The French were some of the first to popularize the mushroom in the 19th century.
  • Before the French, Pharoahs prized mushrooms as a delicacy and Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength in battle.
  • At first the brown crimini mushroom was the generally accepted ‘shroom of choice but eventually the tastes of the world expanded to include increasingly gourmet mushrooms such as morels, shitakes or even the rare, expensive and exceptionally delicious truffles.
  •  Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals; they were reclassified in the 1960’s into the separate Kingdom of Fungi.
  • Hieroglyphics found in the tombs of the Pharaohs suggest that the ancient Egyptians believed the mushroom to be “the plant of immortality.” The mushroom’s distinct flavor so intoxicated these demi-gods, that they decreed mushrooms to be food for royalty alone, and prohibited any commoner from handling the delicacies.
  • All mushrooms are fungi but not all fungi are mushrooms.  The Kingdom of Fungi also includes yeasts, slime molds, rusts and several other types of related organisms.
  • There are an estimated 1.5 to 2 million species of fungi on planet Earth, of which only about 80,000 have been properly identified.  Theoretically, there are 6 species of fungi for every 1 species of green plants.
  • In some ways, mushrooms are more closely related to animals than plants.  Just like us, mushrooms take in oxygen for their digestion and metabolism and “exhale” carbon dioxide as a waste product.  Fungal proteins are similar in many ways to animal proteins.
  • Mushrooms grow from spores, not seeds, and a single mature mushroom will drop as many as 16 billion spores.
  • Some South American Amazon tribes have one word that refers to both meat and mushrooms; they consider mushrooms as equivalent to meat in nutritive value.
  • Early Romans referred to mushrooms as the “food of the gods.”
  • Mushrooms have been successfully used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat many different types of health conditions.
  • Penicillin and streptomycin are examples of potent antibiotics derived from fungi.
  • Just like humans, Mushrooms can produce Vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight and UV radiation.
  • Modern studies suggest mushrooms can be useful for antibacterial, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. While also helping to reduce blood pressure, moderate blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, enhance the immune system, reduce stress and help in fighting many types of cancer.
  • There are approximately 200 mushroom species cultivated, 20 of which are grown commercially in the US – 854 million lbs produced; 389 million lbs imported; 18.6 million lbs exported.
  • There are more than 10,000 types of mushrooms, but most of these aren’t edible
  • 4 pounds of mushrooms are consumed per capita in the US every year.
  • Mushrooms are also called toadstools.
  • Mushrooms are a fungus, and unlike plants, mushrooms do not require sunlight to make energy for themselves.
  • Most mushrooms grown for human consumption today are done so in controlled, sterilized environments. The most popular type representing 90% of mushrooms consumed in the US is the White button mushroom.
  • The brown version of Agaricus bisporus called the Crimini, and its mature version, Portobello, are both popular eatable mushrooms too.
  • The worlds largest producer of edible mushrooms is China which produces about half of all cultivated mushrooms.
  • Mycophagist is the term used for people who collect mushrooms to eat from the wild. The act of collecting these mushrooms is known as ‘mushroom hunting’, or ‘mushrooming’.
  • There are over 30 species of mushroom that actually glow in the dark. The chemical reaction called bioluminescence produces a glowing light known as foxfire. People have been known to use these fungi to light their way through the woods.
  • In the Blue Mountains of Oregon is a colony of Armillaria solidipes that is believed to be the world’s largest known organism. The fungus is over 2,400 years old and covers an estimated 2,200 acres (8.9 km2). Above ground the honey mushrooms are short-lived but the underlying mycelium (branch like vegetation) lives on.


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