are low in calories, have no cholesterol
and are virtually free of fat and sodium. Mushrooms also contain
other essential minerals like Selenium, which
works with Vitamin E to produce antioxidants that neutralize "free
radicals" which can cause cell damage. Studies have suggested
that selenium may reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease,
may slow the progress of HIV disease and may aid in symptoms of
rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatitis and asthma. Studies show men
who eat selenium rich foods may lower their risk of prostate cancer.
(good for the heart) is also found in
mushrooms. It has been suggested a diet with potassium may help
to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Copper is another essential
mineral found in mushrooms. Copper aids iron (also found in
mushrooms) in making red blood cells and delivers oxygen to the
body. Mushrooms also contain three B-complex vitamins; riboflavin for healthy skin
and vision, niacin aids the digestive and nervous
systems, and pantothenic
with the nervous system and hormone production. These vitamins
are found in every cell and help to release energy from fat, protein
and carbohydrates in food. Vegetarians should know that mushrooms
are one of the best sources of niacin. The vitamin content of
mushrooms is actually similar to the vitamin content found in
The amino acid
count in mushrooms is
higher per serving than corn, peanuts, kidney and soy beans. The
average mushroom is also high in protein and nucleic acid.
article from the Channel4000.com website 3/4/02
Meat Substitute Approved
Alternative Popular in Europe
- A meat substitute made from fungus has been
very popular in Europe, and now the Food and Drug Administration
has approve it for sale in the United States. Known as mycoprotein,
it's marketed under the trade name Quorn. It can be made into
such favorites as chicken-like nuggets, lasagna and fettuccine
Alfredo. There's even an alternative to ground beef, called "grounds."
Nutrition experts say it has a lot of protein and fiber, and few
calories. Scientists found the fungus growing on farms near London
in the '60s and discovered that its long strands could mimic the
fibrous tissue of meat. Now it's mixed with egg and flavorings
and fashioned into imitation meat.
They say it has potential as long as the word "fungus"
doesn't appear on the label.
first mushrooms were thought
to be cultivated in Southeast Asia, but it is not known why for
sure. It is possible that someone discovered that mushrooms grew
by accident or perhaps there was a demand and someone sought out
a growing method.*
mushrooms are wild or cultivated
they continue to grow after they are picked. People sometimes
mistake a thin white material called mycelium for mold, but rest
assured it probably is the mycelium growing!
farmers grew garden beds
in the 1700's which ended up being too small and too expensive.
They later moved their crops to caves created when the stone for
building Paris was quarried - this is where the name champignon
de Paris originated. American farmers followed the same method.*
mushrooms are canned, pickled
and frozen, drying mushrooms is the oldest and most commonly used
way to preserve mushrooms.
compost can range from
being manure or wood based (sawdust, wood chips) to utilizing
materials like cocoa bean or cotton seed hulls, brewers grains
, even exotic items like banana leaves as substrate.
Portabella mushroom generally
has more potassium than a banana.
Mushrooms continue to gain
popularity, especially the specialty
mushrooms such as Portabella, wild Morels, Oysters and Shiitake.
Mushrooms, particularly the Portbella are often used in place
of meat in many dishes.
Fact: Commercial mushroom farming began in
20th century. Pennsylvania and California are the largest mushroom
"farms" are climate controlled buildings; airflow, temperature
and light are all constantly monitored.
Wild mushrooms can range in
price for reasons such as taste,
historical significance and availability. European truffles can
sell for over $1,600 per pound!
Wild mushrooms can be found
in many wooded areas. If you
do choose to harvest wild mushrooms, make certain you have a
identify your pick. Many mushrooms may resemble safe mushrooms
(they are called false mushrooms) and can be poisonous.
*Facts from The
Edible Mushroom A
Gourmet Cook's Guide by Margaret
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