The Mushroom Council
2017 Progress Report
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.
“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.”