China impacts US mushroom market

“We grow our organic mushrooms in a computerized, temperature-controlled, humidity-controlled and airflow-controlled environment,” said Harry De Turk of Top Hat Mushrooms, Inc. “This ensures that, when the mushrooms are ready for harvesting, we have the best product available for our customers.” This controlled environment also ensures that Top Hat grows mushrooms that are free of pathogens. “Our current growing season is going well. Because we get better at what we do every year, we’re enjoying record production.”



Market Conditions
“The mushroom market is in a constant state of flux, depending on the Chinese market. If their mushrooms are priced lower than ours, we have to adjust,” said De Turk. “Our strong point is that our mushrooms are a domestic product. Buyers trust our product because they know the strict conditions we use when we grow them.”

Avoiding Gastrointestinal Illness
Because mushrooms are so delicate, it’s extremely easy for pathogens to grow in them under the right circumstances. By taking just a few simple precautions, consumers can stay healthy even as they enjoy this vegetable in their meals. According to Natural Society, the worst mushroom toxicity developed when mushrooms were harvested when the air temperature was over 77 degrees F. This toxicity can be made worse if the mushrooms are kept stored in plastic bags for longer than three hours in hot conditions.

De Turk had three simple suggestions that can help consumers stay healthy after eating mushrooms: “Put the mushrooms in a paper bag. Don’t store them in a plastic bag. Use the mushrooms within a day or two of buying them. Finally, people should cook the mushrooms before eating them. It’s much safer to eat cooked mushrooms. That’s the key to successfully eating mushrooms.”

He also pointed out that mushrooms are a highly healthy vegetable, low in fat and calories. They are also high in vitamin D and potassium, elements we all need. “That’s why we suggest cooking them in butter, with a little salt and pepper.”

Contact:
Harry De Turk
Top Hat Mushrooms, Inc.
Tel: 503-584-0472

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