Transforming the Marketplace

The Mushroom Council

2017 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2013
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Dedicate a minimum of $2 million annually for 3 years to bring more vegetables to the plates of American families through mushroom marketing, working with school systems to increase mushroom-based food items served in schools, developing a new category of healthier meat and mushroom products for schools or commercial foodservice and engaging major associations of nutritionists and dieticians to communicate the nutrition benefits of blending mushrooms and meats.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Develop a Standard Procedure tool kit for use of mushrooms in school food that will be distributed nationally to schools.
    • Progress To Date

      The Mushroom Council developed the Farm to School: Mushroom Harvest of the Month Kit for schools in 2015, which provides classroom materials, marketing materials and information for parents and food service personnel focused on mushrooms. Between January and August 2017, the online toolkit was accessed by 596 unique users.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Facilitate mushroom promotions in 10 school districts, with a target of five school districts where a majority of students participate in the free or reduced lunch program, and with a goal of serving meal items made with mushrooms and marketing the health benefits to staff, teachers, students and parents.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2017, the Mushroom Council conducted one contest, "Blend the Rules", that challenged K-12 schools to creatively blend and serve mushrooms to students. Schools submitted mushroom success stories, recipes and photos for a chance to win farm to school grants and mushroom growing kits. Since 2013, the Mushroom Council has conducted 13 promotions with schools districts, six of which were in school districts where the majority of students were eligible for free or reduced price school meals.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Coordinate development and distribution of 30-40 recipes for schools that operate scratch cooking services. Recipes will focus on meat/mushroom blends and uses for fresh mushrooms.
    • Progress To Date

      By the end of 2017, the Mushroom Council had developed 69 recipes for schools that focus on meat/mushroom blends and fresh mushrooms, exceeding its goal. Recipes are available for all schools on the Mushroom Council's website.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Develop a minimum of four new meat/mushroom blended products and share with USDA for school food service.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2017, three new meat/mushroom blended products were shared with USDA for school food service. Since 2013, a total of 11 new meat/mushroom blended products were shared with USDA for school food service, exceeding the Mushroom Council's goal.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2017

Partner Statement

“The Mushroom Council remains committed to improving nutrition and health through multiple foodservice channels including retail, colleges and universities, and healthcare. In the K-12 channel, the Council has provided training and technical assistance to dozens of US districts in order to increase vegetable consumption and reduce sodium intake. Using scratch cooking and other culinary techniques, school kitchens can take advantage of mushrooms’ umami to deepen the flavor of meals and enhance student acceptance. The Council’s efforts have been very successful. A scan of the school nutrition landscape in 2012 revealed that mushrooms were rarely used in schools and were restricted to a few “traditional” dishes – pizza as a topping, brown gravy and occasional casseroles like turkey tetrazzini. Five years later, in 2017, schools are now serving mushrooms in blended burgers (as well as on top of regular burgers), in multiple pasta dishes (roasted and grilled), in traditional Asian entrées like ramen, pho and stir-fry, and in many breakfast favorites from frittatas to omelets. The meaty texture and flavor of mushrooms have also made them an integral component of the growing trend toward vegetarian dishes in schools. These uses can seen in the 2018 Mushrooms on the Menu (http://www.mushroomsinschools.com/information-resources/) showcasing fifty real photos of real school meals.”