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The value of research: achieving super food status.

Mushroom Council-funded research has been a valuable vehicle to reach media, consumers and nutrition influencers. Because of the Council's commitment to research, mushrooms have seen an increased presence on super food lists-articles that inform consumers what they specifically should eat and why. Securing the mushroom's spot on these lists would be almost impossible without the Council-invested science and research.


One of the goals set for 2008 was for mushrooms to appear on more "foods you should eat" lists. Sixty percent of mushroom placements in 2008 were in stories listing top foods that have a specific role in nutrition and can protect against disease or cancer. Articles including mushrooms highlighted vitamin D, antioxidants, cancer-fighting properties and the ability to help with weight management.

Mushroom Council-funded research moved influencers as well. For example, the City of Hope research resulted in a rare response from Dr. Walter Willett, the chair of the Harvard School of Public Health and key leader in the anti-trans fat movement. Dr. Willett is also one of several nutrition influencers who signed a letter urging an increased recommendation of vitamin D intake

The weight management benefits of mushrooms generated media interest in 2008. Earlier this year, the Mushroom Council met with magazine editors in New York to preview the Mushroom Council-funded research from Dr. Lawrence Cheskin of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health about the weight loss benefit of substituting White button mushrooms for beef. As a result, Cheskin's research was featured in Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day, with future stories planned for Self and Women's Health. In addition to magazine editors. Dr. Cheskin's research was also distributed to nutrition influencers and print and online editors. Recently, Phil Lempert, a renowned health consultant for "The Today Show," included the Mushroom Council-funded research in his national newsletter reaching thousands of subscribers.


Research on mushrooms' cancer fighting properties also garnered media attention across the country. News of mushroom's potential breast and prostate cancer prevention benefits, researched by Dr. Shiuan Chen of Beckman Research Institute and City of Hope (COH), appeared in Best Life magazine, Detroit News, Kansas City Star, COH Hope News and Mushroom News. And another promising study-Dr. Dayong Wu's research on mushrooms' activating natural killer cells in mice--received media coverage in Prevention and will be highlighted in the January 2009 issue of Shape in an article about boosting immunity during the cold season. Finally, results of the research study on mushrooms and heart disease, led by Dr. keith Martin of Arizona State University, appeared in a "Save Your Arteries" article in June 2008 issue of Men's Health.

Mushroom research is a solid platform for communicating the importance of nature's hidden treasure in 2009. One of our ongoing goals is to influence more dietitians and health influencers. A May 2008 study of dietitians revealed that less than 40 percent of dietitians recommend mushrooms to their clients. Through ongoing communication about research, the Mushroom Council aims to increase that number by the next study in the first half of 2009.

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Title Annotation:Mushroom Council and their push to make mushrooms more marketable
Publication:Mushroom News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2008
Previous Article:Retail performance in 2008 & expectations for 2009.
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