Mushrooms are some of the coolest things on planet Earth, from their benefits, their shapes, and how they are grown! So here are fun facts about mushrooms to show you how funky these fungi can be:
- Mushrooms contain more protein and potassium than most of the vegetables or fruit out there. If you’re trying to bulk up, try shifting from red meat, which is high in cholesterol, to dishes with mushrooms in them.
- The term “mushroom” is typically used to talk about edible mushrooms while “toadstool” distinguishes poisonous mushrooms. Mushroom/toadstool poisoning has taken the lives of one Holy Roman Emperor, a Pope, a wife of a Russian Tsar, and even Buddha!
- There is an entire genus of mushrooms that tastes exactly like fried chicken. It is referred to as the “chicken of the woods” and it is found most commonly in eastern North America. The mushroom is formally known as Laetiporus.
- Mario mushrooms are real and they are called Amanita Muscaria. Not only do they look like the Mario mushrooms they are also slightly poisonous. They make you or the world feel larger, which is pretty much what they do in the game.
- There are more than 76 bioluminescent mushroom species.
- Mushrooms can be considered a natural pesticide. They repel more than 200,000 species of insects and cause absolutely no harm to humans or the environment.
- Mushrooms are unique in that they have umami, the fifth taste. Mushrooms are the only food that possesses this fifth, quasi-meat flavor.
- Mushrooms can be used as packaging material. They are made of mycelium and can be thrown in your backyard, where it will biodegrade within weeks. Currently, two major companies use this: IKEA and Dell.
- There is a government-regulated Mushroom Council. In 1990 the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act was passed by Congress to strengthen the mushroom’s position in the food industry; in 1993 the Mushroom Council was formed to do just that.
- Reindeers like our beloved Rudolph, love to eat psychedelic mushrooms. Similar to Dolphins and pufferfish, they eat them to experience their hallucinogenic effects. It’s possible that this could be the origin of the flying reindeer myth.
- A “fairy ring” is a naturally occurring mushroom formation that forms the outline of a perfect circle. In European folklore, fairy rings are the dwelling places or portals to the dwelling places of fairies, elves, witches, and other magical beings. One fairy ring in Belfort, France is around 2,000 feet in diameter and is about 700 years old.
- Mushrooms are more closely related to humans than most plants. Thanks to the technology of the mapping of the human genome, analysis has shown that animals and fungi share the common ancestor that branched away from plants 1.1 billion years ago. While most people may think mushrooms are plants this distinction in their DNA classifies them as fungi.
- The world’s largest producer of edible mushrooms is China, which produces about half of all cultivated mushrooms. This is likely because mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries due to their numerous health benefits.
- Before the invention of synthetic dyes, mushrooms were widely used for dyeing wool and other natural fibers. These dyes are organic compounds and produce strong, vivid colors similar to the mushroom used.
As you can see, mushrooms can be and are super fun organisms! While we focus more on their holistic effects, these fungi are insanely useful for all kinds of things. I hope you enjoyed these facts and head to our blog to find out more.