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Chef with red wine glass

Button Mushrooms

See also: Article on Mushrooms; Fungus Trivia & individual mushroom names


Annual U.S. mushroom production is about 825 million pounds.

U.S. Mushroom per capita usage:








1.3 lbs

2.7 lbs

3.7 lbs

4.1 lbs

3.8 lbs


0.3 lbs

1.2 lbs

2 lbs

2.6 lbs

2.6 lbs


1 lbs

1.5 lbs

1.7 lbs

1.5 lbs

1.2 lbs

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Mushrooms are commercially produced in virtually every state. Pennsylvania, however, still accounts for over 55% of total U.S. production, which in 2001/2002 reached more than 850 million pounds. (National Agricultural Statistics Service)

Mushrooms: Top 5 Producing Countries   (USDA)




World Total

5.71 billion lbs

13.17 billion lbs


1.78 billion lbs

9.2 billion lbs

United States

850 million lbs

870 million lbs


580 million lbs

520 million lbs


220 million lbs

390 million lbs


140 million lbs

280 million lbs

There are close to 40,000 varieties of mushrooms.

Some famous victims of mushroom poisoning:
The Great Buddha, the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Claudius, banquet guests of the Emperor Nero, Alexander I of Russia, Pope Clement II, King Charles V of France.


Abe Lincoln's mother supposedly died when the family dairy cow ate poisonous mushrooms and Mrs. Lincoln drank the milk.

    • The official state mushroom of Minnesota is the morel.

    • The official state mushroom of Oregon is the Pacific Golden Chanterelle.

    • Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is the Mushroom Capital of the World and home to the Phillips Mushroom Museum. The museum was established in 1972, and chronicles 3 generations of the mushroom-farming Phillips family.

One portabella mushroom has more potassium than a banana. White and crimini mushrooms are also good sources of potassium. Potassium helps the human body maintain normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function.

Doctors in Germany have reported that some people may show an allergic skin reaction to shiitake mushrooms. The reaction is a lash-like reddening of the skin that may be worsened by exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet light). Additional information is being gathered to study the problem further. (2004)

The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 square miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it's still growing!

Near Rochester, New York, there is a house shaped like a group of mushrooms.

Mushrooms are not a true vegetable in the sense that it does not have any leaves, roots, or seeds, and really does not need any light to grow. So what exactly is a mushroom? It is a fungus, which grows in the dark and creates more mushrooms by releasing spores. Mushrooms are found all over the world and have been a very honored food in many cultures. Ancient Egyptians considered mushrooms to be food for the royals. The French adored the fungus and began harvesting them in caves during the seventeenth century. These famous fungi didn't reach popularity in the United States until the late 1800s. - 5 a Day

Since mushrooms are grown from microscopic spores, Mushroom farming is a step-by-step process that involves:

    • two phases of composting
    • spawning (mushroom farmer's collecting the spores)
    • casing (a soil mixture that acts as a water reservoir that is placed on top of the mushroom spores)
    • pinning (the growth stage where the shape of the mushroom forms)
    • harvesting - 5 a Day

It's best to buy your mushrooms from a reputable grower or grocer instead of hunting them yourself, as there are many poisonous mushrooms. Incorrectly identifying them can lead to symptoms of sweating, cramps, diarrhea, confusion, convulsions, and potentially result in liver damage, or even death.


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