Any mushroom fan will tell you –
September is National Mushroom Month.
One of the most commonly cultivated vegetables in the United States, mushrooms pack much more nutrition than most Americans realize.
Who knew that mushrooms can give you a good dose of vitamin D?
Read the list pages to learn more about the varieties of mushrooms most commonly available in your neigborhood grocery stores.
The science of mushrooms
Even though biologically mushrooms are fungi, they share many of the attributes of other kinds of produce, in particular the green leafy varieties.
Mushrooms are unique in the plant kingdom because they also contain nutritional components more commonly found in meats, legumes and grains.
Surprise! Mushrooms pack quite a load of protein – about three grams per three-ounce serving.
In short, mushrooms are nutritional bonanza because they’re:
- Gluten free
- Cholesterol free
- Low in sodium
In addition to vitamin D, mushrooms also provide potassium, B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin and selenium.
Put your thinking cap on
Time to study up for the big Mushroom Month bar trivia contests.
Things you need to know:
- Kennett Square, Penn., is the mushroom capital of the world.
- The US is second in the world in mushroom cultivation behind China.
- Unlike true plants, mushrooms have no leaves, roots or seeds. They grow in the dark and propagate by releasing microscopic spores.
- 2013-2013 mushroom crop, all varieties – 896 million pounds valued at $1.11 billion, about $1.24 per pound.
- Number of commercial mushroom growers in the US – 298.
- Mushrooms are grown in nearly every one of the 50 states.
- The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom (amillaria ostoyae) in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, covering 3.4 square miles of land. It’s still growing.
- One portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.
- Mushrooms became popular in the US in the 1800s.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org