NATIONAL MUSHROOM MONTH
National Mushroom Month is celebrated each year throughout the month of September. During the time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes advantage of the opportunity to educate people on the versatility mushrooms offer, including health benefits. As a result, mushrooms are gaining more and more appreciation as we learn more about them.
In order to fully celebrate the heritage of mushrooms, we must first learn about the Mushroom Capital of the World. Located just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you will find a small town known as Kennett Square. Surprisingly, this small Pennsylvanian town produces over a million pounds of mushrooms a day. Each year Kennett Square holds the annual Mushroom Festival starting with a parade. Visitors can enjoy tours of mushroom farms or visit vendors to buy food and other goods.
Scientifically, mushrooms belong to the fungi kingdom. Fungi grows from carbon and energy from dead plants and animals. Interestingly, this has helped scientists to conclude mushroom DNA is similar to humans, rather than plants, as previously thought. Through the study of mushrooms, scientists learn more about the fungi, especially identifying whether they are a single-cell organism or multi cellular organism.
Mushrooms contain a ton of nutrients. Because of this, mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamins. Eating mushrooms is a great way to naturally get copper, fiber, potassium, protein, selenium, vitamin B, and zinc into your body. As scientist continue to study mushrooms, there is hope to discover possible medicinal uses. These discoveries only add to the many benefits of mushrooms.
Mushrooms are either edible and non-edible. We find edible mushrooms in cuisine throughout the world. Almost all mushrooms available at the store are cultivated and not wild. These types of mushrooms are available year-round. The most common cultivated mushroom are white button, flavorful cremini, earthy portobello, shiitake and the delicate oyster.
Non-edible mushrooms are often found in the wild, though they are sometimes found in yards. However, it can be difficult to determine whether a mushroom is safe to eat or poisonous. Mushrooms that have red on the cap or stem are known to be poisonous. You should also avoid eating mushrooms that have white gills, a skirt or a ring on the stem. Because wild mushrooms are hard to identify, we suggest leaving the identification of wild mushroom to professional mushroom hunters or forgers. Eating poisonous mushrooms can and will make you very sick and possibly kill you. So, when in doubt, don’t eat it!
HOW TO OBSERVE
Mushrooms are a versatile food item you can use in just about anything. Whether you put them on pizza or in soup or an omelet, you have the opportunity to decide how to celebrate mushrooms in any tasty dishes!
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Mushroom history dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphics found in tombs indicate mushrooms were considered to be a plant of immortality and only enjoyed by the elites of society.
National Mushroom Month was created by the U.S. Mushroom Council as part of the Mushroom Promotion, Research & Consumer Information Act of 1990. President George H.W. Bush signed the Act into law on November 28, 1990. However, National Mushroom Month did not take effect until 1993. The gap was to give mushroom growers the opportunity to vote on a referendum relating to a checkoff program for mushrooms.
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