The produce department is often the first section shoppers visit in a supermarket. That’s probably because it’s one of the main reasons people decide to shop at a particular store. Consumers are drawn to organic foods, and that includes mushrooms. Mushrooms are growing in popularity and the organic variety is now available at many stores. In fact, the organic mushroom market is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years.
Organic mushrooms are technically fungi and not plants, but they’re commonly treated as vegetables. Generally, they don’t require any chemicals or pesticides to grow, but they are susceptible to insect infestation and need some form of control. Organic mushrooms are grown using fewer synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. They also aren’t exposed to ionizing radiation or genetic engineering.
While they may not have the nutritional profile of a leafy vegetable, mushrooms are rich in nutrients. They contain vitamin D, a nutrient that’s important for absorbing calcium and developing healthy bones. They’re also a good source of selenium, vitamin B2 and potassium.
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Additionally, some types of mushrooms have been shown to support the immune system and reduce stress. Shiitakes, for example, contain compounds that are known to prevent cancer and protect against damage from UV rays. And a study conducted by Penn State found that participants who regularly consumed mushrooms (including shiitakes) had lower rates of depression and anxiety. The report cited the antioxidant ergothioneine as the possible explanation. As the world’s population grows and becomes busier, consumers are looking for healthier options in food. Organic mushrooms offer a nutritious and healthy alternative.