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Fungus in February: Mushrooms
~ How Much Do You Know About Mushrooms
They are a type of fungus that can be eaten. California is one of the three top U.S. states that produces this edible fungus. The U.S. is the second largest country to produce this tasty fungus. They are musthrooms. This year, U.S. mushrooms growers produced over 1 billion pounds of mushrooms.
The first mushrooms were cultivated in south east Asia. Mushrooms have been consumed and used through history. According to hierglyphics, ancient Egyptians thought mushrooms were the plant of immortality. In the past, others thought mushrooms had something in them to give people super-human strength. Mushroom production came to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Since 1965, the U.S. production of mushrooms has quadrupled!
There are about 38,000 varieties of mushrooms. Out of that the U.S. has about 3,000. Many varieties of mushrooms are rare and very expensive. The most common is the button mushroom. In the San Francisco (bay) area, there are more than 86 types of mushrooms available. Almost half of those available in the bay area have medicinal value.
Because of the different climates throughout California, mushrooms can be produced all year long either outside or indoors in growing houses. Mushrooms can be carefully grown in backyards as well as grown by large scale producers. Be careful to not just eat any mushroom you find growing though. Many are poisonous. It doesn't take long for mushrooms to grow and be ready for harvest. This makes production a fast cycle.
Mushrooms are good source of different nutrients including protein, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B1, B2, D2, phosphorus, iron, niacin, and calcium. The portabella mushroom is considered vegetarian meat because of its nutritional value and its consistency. Thanks to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Inspection Services Certified Farmer's Market Program, you can find different varieties of mushrooms at your local farmer's market. The Division of Measurement Standards' Quantity Control Program ensures that if you need to buy your mushrooms from the store either fresh or canned, that the correct amount product is in the container.
Enjoy some edible fungus. Eat a mushroom!