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Fungi as a source of food - Essay Example

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People have used them as food or important components for mass production of a number of food products. Yeast has been used to ferment carbohydrates in the process of making bread (Halpern 47). Mushrooms can be cooked…
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Download file to see previous pages There is vitamin d2 production when ergosterols in mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet light.
Fungi have certain interesting twists especially when one zeros down to the mushrooms. In the ancient Egypt for example, mushrooms were exclusively believed to be foods for the royalties. The unique flavors intrigued the powerful pharaohs to the extent of declaring them illegal for the commoners to consume. In china, Greece, Mexico, Russia and Latin America, the practice of mushroom rituals took place. They believed that mushrooms possessed properties capable of producing super human strengths. They also believed that mushrooms could help recover lost objects, and take the human soul to the presence of the gods (Phillips and Reid 62).
Edible fungi like mushroom have been in consumption since the 18th century. France prides early leadership in the farming of mushrooms with certain accounts stating that Louis XIV being the first mushroom grower. Mushrooms were grown near Paris in special caves set aside for this activity. Mushroom farming later spread to England since the farmers there found it very easy to grow. It demanded low investments, less labor and space. Mushroom farming found its way to the United States in the 19th century though the growers there largely depended on the spawn they imported from England (Phillips and Reid 32). A book was published in 1891 shedding a lot of light on mushroom growing. Immediately after, the department of agriculture in the U.S allocated some money in research and produced a pure-culture virgin spawn cutting their dependency on imported spawn. The growth of mushroom production has since then achieved great development in the U.S.
Recent research by scientists on hallucinogen psilocybin, which is an active ingredient in mushrooms, shows that one dose causes serious positive personality change in their patients. The changes were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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