Nutrition News About Mushrooms

Mushroom Council Invests $1.5M into Nutrition Research

With mushrooms growing in awareness and consideration among consumers nationwide, the Mushroom Council is making a $1.5 million investment in research to help broaden understanding of the food’s nutritional qualities and overall health benefits.
In its September board meeting, the Mushroom Council voted unanimously for the two-year research initiative. The vote came after a nutrition summit in April to identify research priorities, followed by a request for and review of proposals over the summer.
“Prior to the passage of the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990, little was known about the health and nutrition benefits of mushrooms. The industry’s commitment to research over the decades has significantly advanced our understanding and appreciation for mushrooms’ inherent nutrition qualities,” said Bart Minor, president and CEO of the Mushroom Council. “We look forward to continuing this commitment with the next chapter of research investment.”
In April, the Mushroom Council invited 26 researchers and council board members to the summit to review past council research projects and establish criteria for new project proposals. Following the summit, the group identified neurocognition and food pattern modeling as research priority areas and issued two requests for proposals to the nutrition research community.
The council received 15 proposals that were reviewed by the council’s scientific Research Advisory Panel. The final proposals recommended for funding at the September board meeting include:
  • Nutrimetabolomics* and markers of health promotion of mushrooms in healthy eating patterns.
  • Modeling the effects of substituting and/or adding a full serving of mushrooms to healthy eating patterns.
  • Insights into mushrooms’ relationship with cognitive health in older adults.
  • Study on mushrooms’ impact on brain health in animal modeling.
  • Investigating mushroom consumption and preference among preschoolers.
  • Analysis of mushrooms for bioactives/ergothioneine for inclusion in USDA database.
Since 2002, the council has conducted research that supports greater mushroom demand by discovering nutrient and health benefits of mushrooms. Published results from these projects form the basis for communicating these benefits to consumers and health influencers. (*Nutrimetabolomics is the identification of mushroom-specific compounds, their absorption and excretion, and relationship to improved health).

Managing Prostate Levels with Mushrooms, According to New Study

By Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND
Nutrition Research Consultant to the Mushroom Council
Results of a small study suggest that white button mushrooms may help manage rising PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels in men previously diagnosed with prostate cancer. PSA is mainly regulated by the male hormone androgen. Previous preclinical research discovered that an extract of white button mushroom was able to inhibit steroid 5-alpha reductase which is involved in testosterone metabolism.
A clinical trial at City of Hope, Duarte, CA was undertaken to find the dose of white button mushrooms that could effectively block PSA production.  Thirty-six patients (six groups with 6 per group) took differing numbers of tablets prepared from freeze-dried white button mushrooms for an average of about 10 months.  The tablet doses were equivalent to 40-140 g fresh mushrooms. 
After 3 months of the intervention, 13 study participants demonstrated some PSA decrease below baseline. Two patients, receiving the equivalent of 80 and 140 g a day experienced confirmed PSA partial response (50% decline from baseline) and two patients on that dose demonstrated a PSA complete response defined as a decline to undetectable levels.
Since this was a small study, the PSA response levels may have represented a natural variability among study participants.  A larger study is underway to confirm the findings as well as further explore the mechanism of action.
Read the Complete Study
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Whole Foods names Blended Burgers as a top 10 food trend for 2020 

Whole Foods Market announced its top trends for 2020 and making the list was Meat-Plant Blends. The October 21 press release noted, “Chefs across the country have been on board with the trend for years through James Beard Foundation’s The Blended Burger Project, a movement that strives to make the iconic burger ‘better for customers and for the planet’ by blending in at least 25% fresh mushrooms. Flexitarians looking to strike a tasty balance between meats and plants can expect more blended products in their future.”
View the Complete Top 10 Trends List

2020: Year of The Blend™

While 2019 was all about mushrooms having their moment, 2020 is poised to be the year of The Blend™.
As you may already know, The Blend started as a culinary technique blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat (such as beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, veal). Since its introduction nearly eight years ago, The Blend has developed from an idea to create healthier and more sustainable meals that still taste delicious, to a movement that is changing the way America eats.
Planning an upcoming 2020 trend article/segment? Allow us to offer up The Blend as a trend for inclusion. Need more convincing? Consider this:
  • A recent study in the Journal of Food Quality and Preference (Volume 79, January 2020) revealed a growing consumer interest in blending with mushrooms to dial back meat consumption. Study results found consumer acceptance is influenced greatly by their assessment of plant-based foods’ taste, health, sustainability, cost and novelty.
  • While buzz is growing around alternative meat-free burgers, a recent study by The Hartman Group found that 56% of purchasers of plant-based products are interested in purchasing half-plant/half-meat burgers – or are already buying them. It also reported that 30% of consumers who do not purchase plant-based products said they are interested in buying blended burgers.
  • The recent “Power of Meat” study found 13% of consumers buy blended burgers, and 63% want to try one.
  • James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project competition returned for its 5th year in 2019 with entrants covering all 50 states and customers voting 400,000+ times for their favorite mushroom/meat blend burger.
  • The Blend is a hit with colleges and universities with 83% of all universities – that’s 4,500 schools – either menuing or wanting to menu The Blend.
  • As mentioned above, Whole Foods has already named blended burgers a top trend for 2020 and highlighted brands like Applegate and Teton Waters Ranch that have brought frozen blended patties to grocery stores from coast to coast. More innovative products are expected to hit store shelves in 2020.
Let’s work together! Please contact Kim Bedwell at the Mushroom Council about any opportunities you think may be a fit for mushrooms and The Blend.

Recipe: Mushroom Freezer Breakfast Burritos

By Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD
Don’t let hectic mornings stop you from fueling properly. Whip up a batch of these Mushroom Freezer Breakfast Burritos, so you can have a healthy and energizing breakfast at your fingertips in minutes. 

The key to preparing these freezer burritos is thinking ahead. I know that’s not always easy with crazy schedules, but believe me when I say it’s worth it. Add some crimini mushrooms, eggs, spinach, whole wheat tortillas and goat cheese to your shopping list, and make a few of these on a weekend afternoon. Wrap them in foil, place in a freezer bag and freeze. 

Label the freezer bag with what’s inside and the date. You can leave them in the freezer for up to 3 months, so I recommend making a large batch. When you’re ready to eat them, take the burrito out of the foil, pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and you’ve got a healthy, post-workout breakfast. 
Mushroom Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Makes 4 wraps
2 tablespoons neutral oil (canola, vegetable, grapeseed)
½ white onion, diced 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cups loosely packed spinach, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
8 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray
4 large whole wheat tortillas
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons goat cheese
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil to pan. Add the onion, garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Flip the mushrooms, so the other side can cook. Place the spinach in the pan and cook until it’s wilted or about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and stir all the veggies together. Remove from heat and set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat another large skillet over medium heat. Spray the skillet with cooking spray and add egg mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the eggs have set. Remove from heat. 
Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds (they are easier to roll when warm). Lay out the tortillas on four separate pieces of aluminum foil and spread one and a half tablespoons of goat cheese on each tortilla. Evenly distribute the roasted vegetables and scrambled eggs among the four tortillas. Roll each one up in the foil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze. When ready to eat from the freezer, remove foil and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated throughout. 
The views and opinions in the article links included in this email are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Mushroom Council.

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