Mushrooms grow in forests and are widely appreciated worldwide. They are an important source of income for rural communities and are often harvested in threatened forest ecosystems. In the last few decades, the world’s mushroom production has increased dramatically.
China contributes more than half of all global production. Mexico, on the other hand, produces 60 thousand tons of fresh mushrooms each year.
Mushrooms are rich in protein and fiber and contain many essential amino acids. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Some species have medicinal qualities and could help people combat certain health problems.
Whether they have medicinal benefits or are simply delicious, mushrooms are a healthy addition to a nutritious diet.
Although most people only know button and portobello mushrooms, there are many other varieties. They vary in flavor and texture and are great additions to any dish.
Portobellos are the same species as button mushrooms, but mature at a later stage. They are wider and have a deeper flavor than button mushrooms.
The mushroom genus Morchella contains both edible and medicinal species. Morchella is closely related to the Cup fungi and features a honeycomb-like appearance with pits at the center of the cap.
Commercial harvesting of wild morels is a multimillion-dollar industry in the Northern hemisphere. Be aware that false morels can be poisonous.
There are also a few mushroom-related illnesses. Although the majority of these mushrooms are safe to eat, some varieties can cause gastrointestinal problems and even death.
A recent outbreak in the U.S. linked enoki mushrooms to 36 hospitalizations and four deaths. The outbreak was traced to a Korean supplier, Green Co.
LTD, which supplies mushrooms to several U.S. distributors. The company has since issued a nationwide recall of these mushrooms.
The vast majority of food illness associated with mushrooms is from the consumption of wild picked mushrooms.
Wild mushrooms may contain several toxins, such as muscimol and muscarine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, visual disturbances, salivation, and hallucinations.
Some mushrooms even contain toxins which can cause hepatic and renal failure, leading to death.
Domestic, farm-raised mushrooms are usually a safe and nutritious food; wild mushrooms, however,
should only be consumed under the guidance of a trained mycologist or mushroom expert who meets
Criteria required for wild mushroom identification by state or local health departments. Cooking or drying cannot reduce the toxicity of poisonous mushrooms.