Archive for the ‘Commitment’ Category

2014 Was the Year of the Mushroom

This year mushrooms were everywhere! From schools and universities, to online communities and restaurants; 2014 was most certainly the year of the mushroom! Council Representative, Kathleen Pries, breaks down the four best mushroom highlights of 2014.

1. Mushrooms Get Noticed Online. It was a record breaking year for mushroom mentions online! Serious Eats featured seven posts showcasing blended recipes of chefs Linton Hopkins and Jehangir Mehta, the Mamavation weight loss community challenged their followers to incorporate the blend into their weight loss strategy, and Life of Dad hosted a #ShroomTember recipe challenge in September. Burger Business listed blended burgers as a trend to watch, Health revealed five surprising facts about mushrooms, and the Washington Post told us why the meat-mushroom blend makes sense. The humble mushroom is definitely getting noticed.

2. Mushrooms on the Menu.
Isn’t it incredible that over 80% of all restaurants serve mushrooms? In fact, mushrooms are one of the fastest growing items on the menu. And it’s no wonder why, mushrooms are not only delicious, but versatile, adding flavour and texture to any cuisine. Some of our favorite restaurants featured mushrooms on their menus this year; Atlanta’s king of burgers, restaurateur and chef Linton Hopkins menued his blend burger, while Seasons 52 developed a new mushroom duxelle for their Signature Burger. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants realized the many benefits of the Blend and introduced a Turkey and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill continues to menu their Veal Marsala Meatball, which is a half-pound blended meatball that combines veal and mushrooms.

The Better Burger Project also rolled through Boston’s Copley Square in September. Seven Boston chefs competed in the “Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge” in an effort to make a delicious tasting burger by blending meat with finely chopped mushrooms. All participating chefs menued their “better burger” creations at their restaurants in October.

3. Mushrooms in Schools. Mushrooms were popping up on school menus across the country this year! From Cincinnati Public Schools to the University of Washington, students were introduced to many different types of mushroom menu items. Chef Jehangir Mehta treated the students at the University of Massachusetts to his famous blended “Graffiti” burger, while Food Network celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan showcased her favourite blend dishes at the University of North Texas. In July, the Mushroom Council introduced school foodservice director to the Blend while exhibiting at SNA ANC in Boston. Many directors and showed interest and agreed the Spicy Mushroom Meatballs were the perfect way to get kids to eat their mushrooms!

4. Mushrooms as a Superfood. 2014 was also a banner year for mushroom research. A first-of-its-kind sensory study on the Blend was conducted by the Culinary Institute of America and University of California-Davis proving the flavor and nutritional benefits of the blend. A Nutrition Today manuscript was published calling for mushrooms to be crowned as their own kingdom based on their distinct nutrient and culinary characteristics. More and more, mushrooms are being recognized for the superfood they are!

We are definitely looking forward to continued success in 2015!

The Mushroom Council Discovers Motivating Energy at PHA Summit

The Mushroom Council was proud to announce earlier this month their commitment to the Partnership for Healthier America. Kathleen Preis, Marketing Coordinator for the Mushroom Council and this month’s Council Representative, was honored to attend the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington DC, and share her experience while at the event.

Have you ever walked into a room filled with a diverse group of people, yet you all have one goal in mind? It creates a unique kind of motivating energy and buzz. I had the opportunity to witness this firsthand while attending the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington DC. The Summit invited health and wellness leaders, child nutrition advocates, policy makers, members of the press, and industry suppliers to attend.

Mushroom Council Booth at PHA Summit

The summit kicked off with a rousing opening presentation calling all present to work together to find an end to childhood obesity. The inspiring speech motivated our table of school districts and fitness leaders to brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas to promote healthy lifestyles. Throughout the summit, the collaborative spirit continued as we had the opportunity to attend educational panels dedicated to initiating progress in providing healthier meals for children both in and out of school. We were able to share the mushroom message with all attendees, and link our goals with virtually every other attendee’s goals, through the potential of pilot programs, culinary demos or as a nutrition resource for existing programs.

The Great American School Lunch Challenge featured all-star chefs Ann Burrell and Jose Garces. The challenge prompted each team to create the most creative, appetizing, and visually appealing school lunch, while also meeting nutritional guidelines. Each team cooked live while all PHA attendees enjoyed samples of their creations in a family-style lunch. The contest highlighted our message that healthy AND delicious school meals are possible with a little creativity… and lots of mushrooms!

Fletcher Street and Sam Kass

After panels, sessions, and ‘get fit’ activities, the closing assembly gave attendees the final spark needed to send everyone home with a feeling of renewed energy  in the fight for a healthier America. The keynote presentation featured moving speeches by Mayor Corey Booker (Newark, NJ), Eli Manning of the New York Giants, First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and our very own Mushroom Council chairwoman Fletcher Street.

Fletcher had the whole auditorium talking about the blendability concept, and our unique mushroom humor. I was even lucky enough to shake the first lady’s hand at the conclusion of the presentation. Next time I will make sure to bring a mushroom burger for her to try!

Our experience at PHA further invigorated our mission to educate Americans on mushrooms as a healthy meal alternative.

What event have you recently attended that reaffirmed your mission to promote better health?


Simple Solution. Extraordinary Possibilities.

PHA Summit, Mushroom Council

Mushroom Council Chair, Fletcher Street, stands alongside Lawrence A. Soler, CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America, during PHA Summit on Friday, March 8th. 

Every day, multiple times a day, families across the country are pulling out bowls and plates, forks and knives as part of an iconic routine: mealtime. Lately, the ultimate challenge is defining a place for the flavors we love with the nutrients we need. At the Mushroom Council, we say the phrase, “The trend is to blend” to recognize how mushrooms marry delicious and nutritious food.

This is why the Mushroom Council is bringing more vegetables to the plates of American families through a formal multi-year commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

Veggies often fall victim to the myth that if something is good for you, it must not taste good. But mushrooms can help you create better-for-you meals that your family will love. Challenge common notions with these three quick and easy creative solutions.

1) Challenge: My kids refuse to eat anything with veggies.

Solution: Getting kids to eat vegetables can be a lofty endeavor. The best way to help them adapt something new is by serving it in a familiar way. Blending mushrooms with meat is a simple and easy way to introduce the entire family to mushrooms, in dishes they already love and eat. From family meals to school lunches and restaurant entrees, the Council is working to bring this mushroom and meat blend to plates across the nation.

2) Challenge: I don’t have time for meal prep.

Solution: The beauty of working with mushrooms is that they can easily added to the meals you’re already making. Love omelets? Start tossing in mushrooms. Craving a burger? Try mixing mushrooms into the patty or swap it for a meaty portabella. Mushrooms’ versatility and rich umami flavor make them a perfect and simple addition to family favorites. Just add nutrient-rich mushrooms to the meals you’re already making and get extra vegetables for fewer calories in the process. Bonus Tip: Sautéed mushrooms can last for a month in the freezer – ready to be tossed into any meal.

3) Challenge: I’m tired of the same flavors and recipes.

Solution: Check out how the Partnership for a Healthier America, Let’s Move!, USDA’s MyPlate and the nation’s top recipe creators have come together on Pinterest to offer hundreds of tasty recipes to anyone looking for healthier meals. Also, find recipes on Mushroom Channel Pinterest account for breakfast, dinner, appetizers and everything in between, with new flavor opportunities in every pin.

Stay tuned to The Mushroom Channel in 2013 and join us as we continue to seek new ways to get mushrooms on plates across the country.