Mushroom is a fungus which grows above or underground on its food source. A mushroom has three distinctly identifiable parts known as the stem , cap and gills. The stem of the mushroom, also called as stipe, is composed of sterile hyphae tissue and supports the cap. The cap of the mushroom, also called pileus, supports the spore – bearing surface of the mushroom known as hymenium. The gills also called as lamella help the mushroom spread across the food source by producing minute spores. The biological identification of mushrooms is based on its macroscopic structure. Mushroom belong to the group Basidiomycetes. The spores of the mushroom under the gills, when treated, forms a colored spore-print with pink, brown, black, purple , brown colors. The classification tests of mushrooms include odor, tastes, chemical tests among other things. Identification of mushroom requires that mushroom grow of full shape and size. Mushroom are generally classified under the order Agaricales or Agaricomycetes. The shapes of the mushroom vary greatly according to the type. Few common mushroom are fairy ring mushroom , oyster mushroom, amatas, evoki and others.
Farming and Nutrients Content
In order to grow mushrooms spawns or mushroom seeds are prepared. To plant the mushroom seeds compost if prepared so that mushroom seeds develop the mushroom toadstools. Compost id made by using wheat straw and paddy mulch. Many nutrients like nitrogen and other vital minerals are added to the compost. It is ensured that the compost is ammonia free and has good moisture. Layer or surface spewing is done to plant the mushroom seeds in the compost. Casing of spawns is also done in mushroom farming. Mushrooms start developing in around one month and are ready for cropping in around two months. Mushroom grows from a tiny nodule. They grow quickly and expand quickly as if overnight. The nodule develops into primordial mushroom fruit body in several days. However the expansion is rapid, by the absorption of fluids and other elements from the source or rain. Few mushroom take days to form their general structure and then absorb water and expand. Few other absorb water very quickly and in hours collapse again by releasing them. Some mushrooms however grow slowly. Mushrooms have a high nutritional value. Mushrooms have 90% water. The fat content in mushroom is around one percent. Mushrooms are a rich source of vitamin B such as riboflavin and niacin. It also contains elements such as zinc and potassium. Energy provided by mushrooms per one hundred grams is 22 calories. Not all mushrooms can be consumed by humans. A lot of them contain certain impurities, toxic elements or hallucinogen agents which make them inappropriate for human consumption. Agaricus bisporus is one of the most popular mushroom varieties that people like to eat. Mushroom have become very popular in developing countries as well and they are cultivated in dedicated farms which produce large quantities of edible mushrooms.
Uses and benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are cooked by boiling, baking, steaming and roasting. Raw mushrooms may be consumed after verifying that it is healthy for consumption. Many dishes around the world are prepared by mushrooms. Soups, stews, starters, vegetable curries, fried snacks and many other dishes are prepared from mushrooms. Because mushrooms cab be poisonous, only specialized individuals who have good knowledge of mushroom identification, called mycophagist, pick mushroom. China and Poland are important producers of mushrooms. Certain mushrooms absorb metals as well as radioactive elements which add towards the toxicity of mushrooms. It is not necessary that poisonous mushrooms are deadly, however they may cause vomiting, irritation or food poisoning after consumption. This makes mushroom identification by specialists all the more necessary. Some mushrooms have psychoactive properties. Consumption of these mushrooms have hallucinogenic effect. They are used in rituals or by certain priests as medicine for mental or physical healing. Research does conform that the psychedelic mushrooms have a good lasting spiritual and mystical effect on the individuals. Mushrooms are being studied to treat physiological disorders, migraine and relieving people of stress and addiction. Mushroom are also being used to treat certain diseases. Mushroom dyes are used for dying wool. Mushroom dyes were used since ancient time for dying textile, wool and fibers. Mushrooms have antiviral and antibacterial properties and their consumption makes stomach and liver healthy. Consumption of mushrooms help in regulating blood pressure and diabetes. Consumption of mushrooms is good for hair and skin health.