Mushrooms – Decaying Waste to Create Value

Mushrooms are one of the most versatile organisms to grow on the planet. They have the ability to grow in any environment and require a minimum investment. The ROI factor for mushrooms is tremendous, and if you have space enough to keep a garbage can, you have more than enough to start earning profits. Being overlooked in our country for a variety of reasons, there are many who cultivate mushrooms and reap its benefits. After working with them, here we enlist some benefits of mushrooms you might not have heard of

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Cuisine

Mushrooms not only carry much good nutritional value, but they also have the “UMAMI” flavor which makes it a great alternative of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Various kinds of mushrooms like button, oyster, milky mushrooms, and so on can be easily incorporated into various cuisines from making mushroom curries to mushroom burgers to mushroom noodles. Dried mushrooms pack a lot of flavors and can be used to make broths and stews. Mushrooms have found their way into luxury dining as well, with varieties like shitake and truffle

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Truffles are one of the most expensive edible items and are sought after because of its subtle earthly flavor. However, cost-effective means like truffle oil can be used to recreate the flavor profile one might expect from eating normal truffles.

The Indian market can hugely benefit from mushrooms because of the huge number of vegetarians and the subsequent lack of protein alternatives. Often vegetarians are curious to try delicacies which are usually suited for non-veg and paneer has been used as an alternative in those dishes but has often failed. But since mushrooms pack that umami flavor, the vegetarians are not anymore restricted to a small menu with more and more innovative recipes coming up and restaurants embracing it. 

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Medicines

Mushroom can also be useful as a component in your regular coffee. Medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane mushroom have been used as a component in regular coffee to make it healthier. It has a lesser amount of caffeine than regular coffee alongside having numerous health benefits. Despite being made from a fungus it does not have a typical mushroom-like taste. They are rather muted and earthy.

Mushrooms have medicinal properties as well. They have known to have huge immunity boosting capabilities along with being rich in antioxidants and anti-tumor agents.  Cordyceps Militaris a variety of mushroom which has many medicinal properties like anti-oxidant/anti-aging, anti-tumour/anti-cancer/anti-leukemic, anti-proliferative, anti-metastatic, immunomodulatory, anti-microbial, insecticidal, larvicidal, anti-fibrotic, steroidogenic, anti-angiogenetic, anti-diabetic, anti-fatigue, neuroprotective, liver

Sustainable alternative

Mushroom has been also known for contributing to sustainability and pollution control by being used as a base for developing a biodegradable packaging material which is a huge boon as a plastic alternative. It is known as MycoFoam and makes use of the extensive root network of mushrooms (mycelium) to give it ‘plastic-like’ strength. Using such packaging materials which are biodegradable, will not cause much pollution and damage to the surroundings. Other than packaging material, mushrooms can also be used to make several clothing items and furniture. 

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Leather

This was a shocker to us as well! Mushrooms have been a great alternative as a material for vegan leather in order to be more sustainable and help contribute to animal welfare. Mushrooms are very easy to grow and they can easily thrive on otherwise wasteful material thereby contributing to waste management as well. As the world becomes more and more enlightened about sustainability and the overall welfare of all living beings such innovative ways have come up such as utilizing mushrooms in the fashion industry and so on. Going from a single spore to a finished “fungi leather” (or “mycelium leather”) product takes a couple of weeks, compared with years required to raise a cow to maturity. Mild acids, alcohols, and dyes are typically used to modify the fungal material, which is then compressed, dried, and embossed. The process is quite simple and can be completed with minimal equipment and resources by artisans. It can also be industrially scaled for mass production. The final product looks and feels like animal leather and has similar durability.

Reach out to us to get to know more on mushrooms and let our team of expert consultants guide you through.

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Kamala Farms

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