You can count on mushrooms to be on the list of foods to eat only if grown organically.
Because mushrooms are very porous, they easily absorb pesticides and fungicides. However, it is not just the use of pesticides sprayed on the surface of the mushroom that you should worry about. Of grave importance is what is in the substrate on which the mushrooms grow. Mushrooms are accumulators of many heavy metals. The mycelium, the root of the mushroom, absorbs the toxins in the substrate and channels them into the fruiting body, the mushroom. Such toxins might include but are not limited to: oil, gasoline, diesel, petrochemicals, chemical dyes, pesticides, preservatives, industrial metals, chemical weapons and nitrates. If the mycelium has been exposed these or other toxins, the mushrooms will have large concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium, mercury, arsenic, cesium, lead, and copper.
Whether you choose to buy organic mushrooms or grow your own with a mushroom kit, be sure that you know how your mushrooms are grown. You want your mushrooms grown in a pure substrate that has not been treated with chemicals. Beware of substrates that have been treated with pesticides or chemicals, as they have the potential to carry unwanted toxins. Also, be wary of purchasing mushrooms from a grower with whom you are not fully confident in the growing environment or growing practices.
In other words, what we are saying is this: it is a very good idea to buy organic mushrooms over non-organic mushrooms. However, because organic mushrooms are quite expensive and very difficult to find, an even better idea is to grow your own mushrooms at home. And, the best idea yet is to grow your own mushrooms at home with one of our pure grow-your-own kits because you can trust what is in our substrate.
We are extremely picky about what we use to make your kit. Although our kits are not yet certified organic, we use only pure, untreated hardwood sawdust as the substrate. Already in its purest form, our sawdust is also sterilized in pressure cookers to eliminate any contaminants potential before inoculating with spawn and supplemented with an all-natural energy source (wheat bran) for the mycelium’s nutrition. Your mushrooms are grown from superior, non-GMO mushroom spores. And of course, your kit has never been exposed to artificial additives, preservatives, or pesticides. The mushrooms you enjoy from your kit are as pure and wholesome as they get.
Source: Christian Collin-Hansen, Rolf A. Andersen and Eiliv Steinnes (2005). Damage to DNA and lipids in Boletus edulis exposed
to heavy metals. Mycological Research, 109, pp 1386-1396.
Source: S. W. Chiu, Y. H. Chan, S. C. Law, K. T. Cheung and D. Moore (1998). Cadmium and manganese in contrast to calcium reduce
yield and nutritional values of the edible mushroom Pleurotus pulmonarius. Mycological Research, 102, pp 449-457.
Source: International Herald Tribune (Aug. 2012)
Source: The Mushroom Growers’ Newsletter XXI Number 5 (Sept. 2012)
Source: The Mushroom Growers’ Newsletter XXI Number 3 (July 2012)
Source: Stamets, Paul. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2005. 101-107. 205-206.