You’ve stumbled on mushrooms growing in fields and forests, but have you ever stopped to wonder how the piles of shrooms in the supermarket actually made it to the produce aisle? Farmers aren’t harvesting them from the woods…right? Right. They’re growing them in secret climate-controlled bunkers.
Well, almost. The mysteries of mushroom production are revealed in the first episode of How Does it Grow?—a video series I created that traces our food to our plates, one crop at a time. (Rice, lentils, chickpeas: Do you know how any of these actually grow?) This video is peppered with facts you probably didn’t know about mushrooms, and here are just a few.
1. Mushrooms are more closely related to humans than to plants. As fungi, mushrooms don’t process chlorophyll or mimic many of the processes that define a plant. Plus, their genetics are more similar to ours than are any of their pals in the produce section.