Funky fungi

Mushrooms as meat alternatives are driving the growth of farming and backyard cultivation of edible fungi.

In Australia alone, the value of mushroom production increased 25 percent from 2012 to 2020 to $368 million.

Australians are eating more than 70,000 tons of mushrooms a year, compared with about 65,000 tons in 2013, ABC reported.

There is more to the tastiness of mushrooms that make it popular to consumers, according to nutritionist Flavia Fayet-Moore, who has been leading studies on the food commissioned by the research and development corporation Hort Innovation, according to ABC.

Rich in fiber, mushrooms also contain beta-glucans that have been found to reduce cholesterol. It can store Vitamin D when placed in the sun and its antioxidant amino acid ergothioneine is being studied as a means to slow down dementia.

“We are looking at the benefit of daily consumption of ergothioneine for cognitive function in people who report memory complaints,” CSIRO senior research scientist Naomi Kakoschke said, according to ABC.

CSIRO or Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization is a research and development agency of Australia.

Kakoschke’s team of researchers is also verifying mushrooms’ potential in improving people’s mood.

Incidentally, musician and former biologist Tarun Nayar has posted a TikTok video on how mushrooms do it.

In the video of his biodata sonification experiment, Nayar attached on mushrooms electrodes connected to a modular synthesizer which converted the fungi’s bioelectrical signals into electronic music, LA Times reported.

Plants, flowers, fruits and even human beings have biological frequencies that can be turned into music.

Nayar described the loud, thrumming tones produced by mushroom signals as hypnotic.

The fungal funk was a hit and instantly created a new genre of music by earning Nayar more than 730,000 followers on TikTok and tens of millions of views.

WJG @tribunephl_wjg

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