Nutrition News About Mushrooms

Mushrooms: The Official Ingredient for Earth Day

What can you do to make a better planet this Earth Day: Reduce, reuse, recycle – and, eat a mushroom? That’s right. Because of their sustainable attributes, consider mushrooms “The Official Ingredient for Earth Day.”
Today, on Earth Day, make mushrooms your go-to ingredient. Consider why researchers have declared mushrooms “one of the most sustainably produced agriculture products”:
  • Producing one pound of mushrooms requires only 1.8 gallons of water, and 1.0 kWh of electricity; and generates only .7 lbs of CO2 equivalents.
  • Up to 1 million pounds of mushrooms can be grown on 1 acre of land per year.
  • Mushrooms are grown in composted agricultural materials, which after harvest are often recycled into potting soil.
Sustainability aside, mushrooms’ unbeatable flavor cannot be forgotten. From portabella to shiitake, mushrooms enhance the flavor of any recipe thanks to their inherent umami. Additionally, the meaty texture of mushrooms makes them a staple for both vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

For more information on mushroom sustainability, check out the Lost in the Supermarket Podcast with Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, mushroom grower Gale Ferranto and Mushroom Council’s Heather Harter.
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Top Researchers Convene to Discuss Mushrooms’ Role in Dietary Guidance

By Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND

This April, researchers, communicators and mushroom growers assembled together at a nutrition mini-summit, hosted by the Mushroom Council, to discuss raising the visibility of mushrooms in nutrition guidance.
The discussion looked to identify ways mushrooms can support consumers’ adherence to healthy eating patterns. Currently, mushrooms’ culinary flexibility enables consumers to shift towards more plant-based center of the plate options as well as meet the daily recommended intake of vegetables, which remain under-consumed by most Americans. Mushrooms’ nutrient profile is also supportive of lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and obesity, which dietary guidelines seek to address.

Guy Johnson Ph.D., Nutrition Solutions, served as the summit facilitator and he prepared a PubMed review of mushroom research over time and found there has been a steady increase in research on Agaricus bisporus (white, brown/crimini and portabella) and culinary mushrooms on a variety of outcomes. Currently, the most researched outcome has been cancer, followed by immunity and inflammation. General nutritional status, well-being, weight management and cognition were among the other most researched outcomes.

The meetings concluded with the Council recommending future research in the suggested areas to add to the discovery of the nutrient and health benefits of mushrooms in dietary guidance in the following areas:
  • Emerging roles of bioactives including ergothioneine.
  • Potential for mushrooms to improve cognition/brain health.
  • Modeling studies to look at the effect of substituting mushrooms for other foods on diet quality and nutrient density.
  • Metabolomics to identify and study biomarkers of mushroom intake, and effect and health risk in epidemiological studies and clinical trials.
  • Randomized controlled trials to investigate the effect of mushrooms on lowering risk of chronic diseases with specific endpoints such as blood pressure.

Recipe Contest Opportunities for Dietitians

Blended Burger Project™ Retail RD Recipe Contest

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Blended Burger Project™, an initiative that encourages chefs to consider and menu more plant-forward, sustainable dishes. Now, retail dietitians are joining the Blended Burger Project by sharing their favorite blended burgers through a contest sponsored by the Mushroom Council and Retail Dietitians Business Alliance.

For retail dietitians who’d like to join the Blended Burger Project™ and be eligible to win a $1,000 stipend for an education conference of their choice, it’s as easy as chop, cook and blend. Learn more about the Blended Burger Project™: Retail Recipe Contest including how to enter and the complete contest rules. Contest entries are due June 1, 2019.
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Blenditarian Recipe Contest for Sports Dietitians

Are you a member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) and currently use The Blend? If so, we are challenging sports dietitians to develop and share their favorite ‘blended’ recipe for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. The only criterion: the recipe must use a blend of at least 25% cultivated mushrooms blended with your choice of ground meat.

In addition to a $1,000 scholarship, the grand prize winner will receive a complimentary CPSDA annual conference registration and will have their dish served at the Mushroom Council conference lunch on Monday, May 20. Two runners up will receive complimentary conference registrations as well.  

To enter, email your recipe and photo to Amy Freel ( by April 30, 2019.

Finally, if you are going to be at the CPSDA annual conference in Grapevine, TX, be sure attend our culinary panel and lunch on Monday, May 20.
Enter Now

Mushrooms in the News

Memorize This: Eat Mushrooms – New York Times
The New York Times shared new mushroom research encouraging readers to eat more mushrooms to potentially reduce the risk for mild cognitive impairment. The study was conducted in Singapore from more than 600 Chinese men and women over 60.  In one-on-one interviews, data was collected and found that compared with those who consumed less than one 5 ounces a week, those who consumed one to two portions had a 43 percent reduced risk, and those that ate more than two portions had a 52 percent reduced risk.  The reasons for the association are not clear, and more research is needed.
Are Mushrooms Healthy? Here's What Experts Say - Time
Time magazine discusses the health benefits of mushrooms and ultimately names them a very nutritious food due to their antioxidants, vitamin D and low calories.

First there was kale. Then cauliflower. Next up? The Mighty Mushroom – Better Homes & Gardens
The March issue of Better Homes & Gardens included a multi-page spread and declares 2019 as the year of the mushroom. The article includes recipes, nutrition facts and details on the many varieties of mushrooms.
4 Benefits to Making a Blended Burger –
Burger season is right around the corner, and to prepare shares four benefits of the blended burger. The article lists nutrition as one benefit because a blended burger adds an extra dose of vegetables to your plate.
Mushrooms Are the Food of 2019: Here's Why It's Good News for Everyone –
Mushroom Council Nutrition Research Coordinator Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND contributed to a new article from Martha Stewart Living saying, “Few foods offer the versatility and nutritional benefits of mushrooms. The umami-filled fungi are a source of powerful nutrients, low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, and very low in sodium.”

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