Here are some fun facts about mushrooms!
Mushrooms double in size every day
Mushrooms grow indoors, 24 hours a day, every day of the year!
A big portobello mushroom is the same as a small swiss brown mushroom, and a big flat BBQ mushroom is the same as a tiny button mushroom - they have just been left on the mushroom bed for a few extra days to grow!
The bigger the mushroom is, and the more ‘gills’ you see, the stronger the mushroom flavour. This is because the mushroom has been allowed to grow and mature.
Mushrooms are the only non-animal food source of vitamin D.
Mushrooms are fat free, low in calories, low in salt, cholesterol free, gluten free.. but high in nutrients!
If you put your mushrooms out in the sunshine for just 15-minutes, they will ‘super charge’ with vitamin D!
One portobello mushroom has more potassium than a banana.
Below are the answers for some frequently asked questions relating to mushrooms.
Q: Is a Mushroom a vegetable?
A: No, mushrooms are not a vegetable. In fact, they are not even plants! Mushrooms are fungi and evolved at a different time to plants, which makes them totally unique. Not only do mushrooms grow differently, they have a different nutrition profile to fruits and vegetables.
Q: Do I need to wash or peel mushrooms before I eat them?
A: Using modern farming methods, mushroom compost is pasteurised. So, there is no need to wash or peel your mushrooms. Simply use a paper towel to brush off any light residue.
Q: Do mushrooms contain Vitamin D?
A: Yes! Mushrooms can be an excellent natural source of Vitamin D. In fact, they are the only non-animal food source of vitamin D. You can discover more about Vitamin D in Mushrooms here. Interestingly, you can increase the amount of vitamin D in your mushrooms by ‘tanning’ them. Simply pop your store-bought mushrooms out in the sun for 15 minutes. Through the action of sunlight, they convert their abundant ergosterol to ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). It’s like magic! Vitamin D tanned mushrooms can be stored in the fridge for up to 8 days, without losing their new super charged vitamin D levels. Just 3 mushrooms (100g) can provide up to 100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D.
Q: I want to learn to grow mushrooms. Can you help me?
A: Mushroom kits can usually be purchased from your local nursery or hardware store and are relatively easy to grow. Mushrooms prefer colder wet weather, so for best results try growing kits during the winter months, particularly if you live in the northern states of Australia.
If you want to learn how to start your own mushroom growing business, try YouTube! There are some excellent tutorials that might help you.
Q: Which wild mushrooms are safe to eat?
A: Our association represents growers who specialise in fresh cultivated mushrooms grown on Australian Farms. We do not offer information on wild mushrooms. For wild mushroom identification, please contact a trained mycologist or primary industries. Find out more about here.
Q: Can I freeze mushrooms?
A: Yes, you can freeze mushrooms, however as mushrooms contain a lot of water, defrosted mushrooms can be soggy. The good news is, they are still great to use in soups or sauces.
Q: What types of mushrooms are grown in Australia?
A: Mushroom growers in Australia grow a range of mushroom varieties, including the white and brown Agaricus Bisporus - which are buttons, cups and flats (white mushrooms) and swiss browns and portobello (brown mushrooms). Australian mushroom growers also grow a range of 'exotic mushrooms', like oyster, enoki and shiitake.
The most popular mushroom in Australia is the white cups - as they are the most versitile.
All white and brown mushrooms available in supermarkets and green grocers are Australian grown, however some exotics can be imported from overseas. Always check the label before purchasing exotic mushrooms to make sure you are purchasing fresh Australian grown mushrooms where ever possible.
Check out our Australian Grown Mushroom Varieties page for more detailed information.
Q: What are the health benefits of mushrooms?
A: Mushrooms have long been studied for their health benefits of a range of illnesses including cancer prevention, immunity, heart health and cognition. Mushrooms are a great source of essential nutrients and vitamins and are highly regarded as a natural superfood.
There is much exciting research being conducted on the health benefits of mushrooms around the world. Here are just a few of the great health benefits associated with adding mushrooms to your regular and balanced diet.
Check out our Mushrooms and your health page for more detailed information on the health benefits of mushrooms.
Q: Can eating mushrooms prevent cancer?
A: Mushrooms have long been studied for their health benefits, in particular, mushrooms potential role of cancer prevention. Mushrooms have compounds which have the ablity to kill breast cancer cells. They also seem to enhance the immune system with their beta-glucans and specialty polysaccharides.
Check out our Mushrooms and your health page for more detailed information on the health benefits of mushrooms or to read the latest research of mushrooms potential role in cancer prevention, follow the links on our Mushroom resources and research page.