U of A students stunned by mushrooms’ disease-fighting capabilities


Kaila Hauck was never a fan of fungi. So when she and three other University of Alberta students chose mushrooms for a class assignment, it was more out of curiosity than affection.

“It was really just an interesting topic,” said Hauck, a fifth-year student in the school’s nutrition and food program. “I’d never personally heard of any health benefits about mushrooms.”

That would soon change. After reviewing about 60 scientific papers on the compounds found in edible fungi, her team found “so many health benefits, it was kind of astonishing.”

Hauck said researchers have found things in mushrooms that can prevent heart disease, reduce allergic reactions and fight viruses. For their research, her team focused on two kinds of compounds: antioxidants and cancer-fighting agents.

The potential for mushrooms to treat and prevent cancer is remarkable, Hauck said. Her research found numerous clinical trials aimed at fighting the disease using active fungi compounds, including selenium, which kills off tumour cells, and aromatase inhibitors, which stifle the excess estrogen production that can cause breast cancer.

To read the full story visit the Edmonton Journal website.

posted by Brittany

Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada: Cooking Videos

Welcome to Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada! I will be hosting this ongoing special, giving you a peek at what goes on Behind the Scenes here at Mushrooms Canada.

This first edition of Behind the Scenes will take you into the world of shooting a mushroom cooking video. On we go!

Despite the bitter cold weather this morning, the cooking team and DailyWebTV.com arrived bright and early at the Hamilton Spectator “Go Cooking Kitchen” to film our latest set of Mushrooms Canada Cooking Videos. After six or seven trips back and forth from the car (in the freezing cold) we had all the supplies and gear inside, ready to be set up.

A lot goes into the set-up of this pretty simple kitchen. After only 1 hour the crew has set up three HD cameras, some very bright lights, and dressed the set to make it look more homey. You would be surprised what a little greenery, colourful bowls and a pepper grinder can do!

IMG_1335_WEBOnto the cooking! The agenda was pretty full with three great mushroom recipes; Grilled Mushroom, Cheese and Spinach Panini, Fragrant Thai Curry Dinner, and Mushroom, Walnut, and Barley Pilaf.

First up, the Panini.

Clare and Meriel got straight to work on this one, managing to finish in just a few takes. And it’s a good thing to, because it was breakfast time, and we were starving! There’s nothing like a warm mushroom panini in the morning! While the camera crew and I stuffed our faces, Clare and Meriel set-up for the next video, Fragrant Thai Curry Dinner.
Fragrant-Thai-Curry-DinnerIf you haven’t tried this recipe, I would highly suggest you do, it is fantastic! By the end of the shoot the room was filled with the aromatic sense of mushrooms and curry, yum!

As always, when we are nearing the end of the day, a slight sense of panic always comes over the crew, “Are we going to have enough time to shoot the last video?” Luckily with some cooking video magic, and some sleight-of-hand thanks to Clare, we were able to “cook” the mushroom pilaf recipe in only 7 minutes.

IMG_1370_WEBSo what’s our secret? It’s simple, bringing in a cooked version of the recipe and quickly switching it out for the uncooked. And with some simple camera magic, we have a fully cooked Mushroom, Walnut, and Barley Pilaf in 7 minutes flat. It’s a good thing to, we finished up the video with only 5 minutes to spare, just enough time to enjoy a bowl of fresh pilaf!

IMG_1366_WEBCurious to see how the videos turned out? Well stay tuned, because the finished cooking videos will be posted shortly!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoying this edition of Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada.

– Brittany

A Weekend at the London Wine and Food Show

I just returned home from a fabulous weekend at the London Wine & Food Show. There was plenty to be seen, heard, nibbled and sipped, with exhibitors ranging from Ontario wineries to local London restaurants.

Mushrooms Canada served up samples of fresh Sauteed Mushrooms, which proved to be a big crowd pleaser.

Sauteed-in-Frying-PanThe Food Network Cooking Stage was definitely the place to be, with great demonstrations by Roger Mooking, Steam Whistle Brewery, and Chef Keith Ryan from Fanshawe College. I also had the opportunity to present a cooking demo on the Food Network Stage on Saturday night. I cooked up one of my favourite recipes, Sweet & Spicy Stir-Fried Mushrooms.

Mushrooms Canada also conducted a draw to win a T-Fal Hot Spot Frying Pan. Congratulations to Karen S. from London on winning, we hope you put it to good use sauteing up some fresh mushrooms!

IMG_6728-(1)_WEBThanks to all who stopped by the Mushrooms Canada booth and enjoyed a sample, asked questions, entered the draw, and took home some wonderful recipes. We hope to see you again next year!

– Brittany

London Wine and Food Show

Have some spare time this weekend? Why not head over to the London Wine & Food Show at the Western Fair.

This year’s show promises to be a great one with lots of wine, food, cooking demos, and tasting seminars.

Mushrooms Canada will be there sauteing up some fresh Ontario Crimini Mushrooms, and handing out some fabulous recipes. Be there on Saturday evening for our “Ask a Mushroom Farmer” session, where you can ask a local mushroom farmer anything that’s on your mind.

Make sure you had over to the Food Network Cooking stage, Saturday at 7:00pm. I will be cooking up my favourite recipe Sweet & Spicy Stir-Fried Mushrooms. Delicious!

Interested? You can purchase ticket on the Western Fair Website.

See you there!

posted by Brittany

A New Year and a New Blog

Happy New Year Everyone, and welcome to the New Mushrooms Canada Blog.

Let me start with a little self introduction. My name is Brittany and I am the Marketing Manager for Mushrooms Canada. I started working with Mushrooms Canada three years ago when The Canadian Mushroom Growers’ Association was looking for a new identity. Over the past few years we have worked very hard to build the Mushrooms Canada brand into what you see here today. In other words, we have been pretty busy!

You may have seen Mushrooms Canada out-and-about recently; cooking mushrooms at several Women’s Shows, making appearances on TV, hosting Student Chef Competitions, and in magazines. Well, there is a lot more of that to come in 2009. So make sure you add this blog to your reader, sign-up for our Award Winning Newsletter, and check back regularly, because there will be tons of mushroom news and info coming your way!