Do you love mushrooms? You aren’t alone. Mushrooms are one of nature’s most delicious gifts.
But not all mushrooms are created equal. Where you buy your mushrooms has a significant impact on the environment, the food system, and even your own tastebuds.
Keep reading for all the reasons you should always buy local mushrooms. Once you start supporting local mushroom growers, you’ll never go back.
It’s Better for You
Local mushroom growers are more likely to grow organic products, whether certified or not. That means no harmful pesticides have come in contact with your food.
Check if your local mushroom grower is certified organic. A lot of farmers work hard for this certification.
But whether or not they are certified, local farmers tend to have an intimate relationship with their crops. You know that your mushroom grower has taken the time to cultivate the mushrooms you are eating. In other words, you know exactly what kind of product you are getting when you buy from a local mushroom grower.
Why is it important to make sure that you are getting high-quality mushrooms? Mushrooms are known for their health benefits and medicinal properties. By ensuring that you are eating high-quality mushrooms, you are maximizing those benefits to your wellness.
For example, chaga mushrooms can help you manage stress, boost your immunity, and control your blood sugar. It is no wonder that mushrooms are considered a superfood.
Need we say more? Many widely distributed crops sit on shelves for days. And that is after being trucked across the country.
Why would you settle for that when you have local options? Fresh food has more nutrients and more flavor.
That is because of something called ripening time. If a product had to be shipped a long way to the store where it was sold, it was probably picked when it was underripe. An underripe product will ripen on the truck.
A fresh product will ripen on the vine, tree, or wherever it was grown. That means that you are getting the highest possible quality when you source locally.
If you want to maximize freshness, think about starting to grow your own mushrooms. If you are curious about becoming a local mushroom grower yourself, read this article.
It Supports Biodiversity
Local mushroom growers will typically only grow what is natural for the region. It is great because it supports biodiversity.
Biodiversity refers to the amazing variety of plants, animals, and fungi on Earth. Many species have been driven to extinction or endangerment by human activity.
One way to combat this issue? Support the ecology of your region.
Focus on eating foods that can be grown where you live. And only eat what is available in each season.
Doing this will support your local ecosystem. Plus, you get to eat delicious mushrooms while you are at it.
It Supports the Local Economy
When you support local mushroom growers, you are supporting the local economy. Think about it: if you don’t buy from local producers, they will go out of business. If local producers go out of business, you lose your access to fresh, local foods.
By buying your mushrooms locally, you are investing in your whole community. The money you spend stays in your region, instead of being distributed far and wide.
It makes your home stronger and more resilient to disasters. It also means you always have good food to eat.
You Get to Be Involved in Your Food System
One of the best perks of supporting local mushroom growers is that it allows you to be engaged in your food system. Being engaged isn’t just important. It is also fun.
When you buy local, you get to meet your farmer. And if you decide to buy your mushrooms at a farmer’s market, you’re likely to be in for a good time. Farmer’s markets often have live music, crowds, and food trucks, making tasty snacks.
By buying at farmer’s markets, you also can buy other local foods besides mushrooms.
Another great option for engaging in the food system is to join a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture.
To participate in a CSA, you sign up with a farm at the beginning of their season. You pay a fee and receive a weekly basket of food. You don’t always know what will be in the basket, although sometimes you can customize it.
It is usually just whatever is being grown at the farm and is bountiful that week. It is another great way to source local mushrooms, and it lets you keep in step with the seasons, too.
It should be noted that CSAs are usually a very affordable way to buy local food. Often, CSAs are cheaper than shopping at the grocery store. Not to mention you get food that is much higher in quality.
It’s Better for the Environment
Storebought mushrooms always come encapsulated in so much plastic. Packaging like this is having a catastrophic effect on the environment.
Plus, when you buy mushrooms at the store, they probably came from far away. Sometimes even from across the country.
The amount of fossil fuels burned in transporting those mushrooms is unnecessary especially when you have the option to buy local mushrooms.
Cut out the middle man and all their plastic by sourcing from local mushroom growers.
Always Support Local Mushroom Growers
Sometimes you want a nutty porcini mushroom. Other times, it’s a rich, buttery shiitake. Either way, it is always recommended that you support local mushroom growers.
It is better for the environment and the local economy. And it will result in you getting a better quality mushroom.
Did you find this article helpful? Click here to learn more about locally sourced mushrooms.