Before I share the top 10 interesting facts about the edible mushrooms, let me share few basics about the mushrooms.
Rather than rewriting, I am going to share the information from Wikipedia:
Mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (notably Chinese, Korean, European, and Japanese). Mushrooms are also known as the “meat” of the vegetable world in some cultures.
A number of species of mushrooms are poisonous; although some resemble certain edible species, consuming them could be fatal. Eating mushrooms gathered in the wild is risky and should only be undertaken by individuals knowledgeable in mushroom identification. Common best practice is for wild mushroom pickers to focus on collecting a small number of visually distinctive, edible mushroom species that cannot be easily confused with poisonous varieties.
China is a major edible mushroom producer. The country produces about half of all cultivated mushrooms, and around 2.7 kilograms (6.0 lb) of mushrooms are consumed per person per year by over a billion people.
Mushrooms have always been a fascinating item for kids, so I am going to share few interesting facts about mushrooms from their perspective.
Fun Facts about the Mushrooms for Kids
- Unlike other plants, mushrooms don't need sunlight to make energy for themselves
- A single portabella mushroom can contain more potassium than a banana
- Mushrooms are made up of approximately 90% water
- There are more than 30 species of mushrooms which glow in the dark and people have been using these mushrooms as lights to find ways inside the jungle
- The world’s largest known fungus is over 2,400 years old and covers an estimated 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) in the Blue Mountains of Oregon
- Mushrooms were widely used for dyeing wool and other natural fibers prior the invention of synthetic dyes
I also found the nutritional facts about mushrooms at the same above Wikipedia and I am sharing it as it is very interesting.
Nutritional Facts about the Mushrooms
Did you notice the following from the above nutritional facts?
- Just 22 calories for each 100 grams of mushroom
- Total fat - Zero (Wow...)
- Cholesterol - Zero
- Sodium - Zero
- Potassium - Good amount
More Interesting Facts about Mushrooms
Want to learn more about the mushrooms?
- Mushrooms can be one of the best resources for lean proteins without worrying about fats, carbs and cholesterol
- For centuries, mushrooms have been used as a food as well as medicine in some cultures
- Recent studies are suggesting that mushrooms can be used for bioremediation also such as removal of dangerous substances with the help of mushooms
- Many food companies use portabella as an alternative to meat for vegetarians and that's why it is also known as beefsteak for the poor
- Like humans, mushrooms can produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight
- Ancient Egyptians believed that mushrooms grew by magic, because of the way they could appear overnight
- Mushrooms are one of the richest, natural sources of selenium, an essential mineral which strengthens the immune system
- Mushrooms are a good source of zinc, another essential mineral which helps boost your immune system
Top 10 Interesting Facts about the Edible Mushrooms
I am sharing not only the top 10 interesting facts but also the sources where I have taken so that you can do more research if you want.
- Long Before Trees Overtook the Land, Earth Was Covered by Giant Mushrooms – Source (Smithsonianmag.com)
- An edible mushroom called Laetiporus, that grows in the wild and tastes nearly identical to chicken/fried chicken – Source (Wikipedia)
- All three mushrooms i.e. portabello mushrooms, button mushrooms and white mushrooms are the same mushrooms at different levels of maturity – Source (Wikipedia)
- Lightening makes mushroom grow plentiful – Source (National Geographic)
- In a 2004 study, Chinese women who ate mushrooms and drank green tea reduced their risk of breast cancer by nearly 90% – Source (Wiley Online Library)
- There is a mushroom that looks like a brain and is dangerous to eat. It is prohibited in Switzerland and Germany, while some others regard it as a delicacy – Source (Wikipedia)
- There is a mushroom that dissolves itself. It is edible, but it must be cooked or eaten within hours of picking – Source (Wikipedia)
- According to Stamets, many of the estimated 150,000 species of mushrooms have environment-healing properties. For example, the oyster mushroom can break down oil from spills. The King Stropharia mushroom filters bacteria like E. coli before they get into the water supply. And the turkey tail mushroom may help strengthen the immune systems of women with breast cancer, according to government-funded research aided by Stamets and his team – Source (Reader’s Digest)
- Scientists believe about 90 per cent of land-based plants are involved in this mutually beneficial relationship with fungi. Plants deliver food to the mushroom, created by photosynthesis, and the filaments, in turn, assist the plants to absorb water and minerals and to produce chemicals that help them resist disease and other threats. And, of course, a myriad of other life forms benefit from the healthy plants – Source (ecowatch)
- Human use of medicinal mushrooms has a long history, and the valuable medicines of mushrooms are a vital element in protecting health for centuries in many cultures – Source (MedicineHunter)
Mushrooms have always occupied a curious spot in the human psyche associated with magic, spiritual power and mystical revelation, mushrooms have been used as foods, healing agents, poisons, ritual artifacts, and hallucinogens. They are hunted by enthusiasts the world over, and play a central role in numerous lavish festivals and museum displays.
Mushrooms comprise a category of nutritional products that have been gaining scientific and medical attention these days. A rapidly expanding body of research worldwide is finding value in the use of mushrooms for the prevention and treatment of health problems
Here are some popular mushrooms which are being used as herbs:
- Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
- Shiitake (Lentinus edodes)
- Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
- Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor, Coriolus Versicolor)
- White Button Cap Mushroom (Agaricus bisporous)
- Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)
- Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus)
- Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
We also found a good video on the power of fungii, mushrooms and mycelium.
I also found a great video done by Mushroom Celebrity Paul Stamets on TED and I like the video, so I am sharing it here.
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