Mushroom Council Swears Everyone Really, Really Likes Mushrooms

When you work for a council devoted to one food, you better bet your britches that your job will include convincing people to eat what your industry is pushing. That’s the job of the Mushroom Council — trying to woo consumers away from traditional meaty meals and into the embrace of the fungi. But how can mushrooms shine in a world of the Big Mac (and the Big King, natch)?

The Mushroom Council is on the case, and claims that really, people like mushrooms more than they think. The industry group gathered up scientists, nutrition researchers and chefs recently for a Mushrooms and Health Summit.

At that event, the director of programs and culinary nutrition for the Culinary Institute of America presented a study (funded by the Mushroom Council) that shows people like mushrooms just as much, or more as meat, reports NPR.

She and her co-researcher served up eight different samples of taco blends including a bunch of meat/mushroom combinations. Out of all of them, the majority liked the 50% beef, 50% mushroom mix the the most, saying the Miller’s hunch was that consumers could enjoy mushrooms as a healthy substitute for meat without sacrificing combo was just as good as the real thing and more flavorful.

Beyond flavor, a mixed burger is 24% lower in fat and 27% cheaper than an all-beef burger. Plus mushrooms bring vitamin D, potassium, antioxidants and B vitamins to the table.

Is a devoted red meat lover going to go for fungi when there’s a big, beefy burger on the table? Maybe not. But it could be time to stick some mushrooms in there for good measure — especially if it means a cheaper grocery bill. Now all we need is a bunch of mushroom recipes — feel free to share yours in the comments.

Make Room For Mushrooms: Fungi Compete With Meat In Burgers [NPR]