Why Love for Australia’s Mushrooms* Is Booming (*Not Those Ones)

Ah mushrooms, the meat of the vegan kingdom. Whether they are the main star in a curry or barbied steak-style, they just hit different. 

I’m talking texture. I’m talking succulent chumbles of flavour. I’m talking jumping down a waterfall of umami juice. Yes, mushrooms really can be this good.

What’s more, Australia is finally realising that mushrooms slap. Between 2012 and 2020, the value of our mushroom industry grew by an impressive 25%. This means the industry is now worth more than $368 million, a number that only continues to climb. Everyone from large-scale planters to bouquet farmers is currently getting a glow-up.

For instance, a company called Eden Towers is in the middle of creating a massive mushroom farm in Western Australia. Its mushrooms will be grown in a controlled environment, which will give them a good chance of popping off. 

“The existing specialty mushroom market in Western Australia cannot meet demand,” said Christian Prokscha, the Co-Founder of Eden Towers. “So a lot is imported into WA every week.” 

“Working with our partners, we see an opportunity to scale the business very quickly.”

According to Eden Towers, this facility will be able to make around six tonnes of mushrooms each year.

Flooding Creek Fungi

Meanwhile, Victoria’s Flooding Creek Fungi is also benefiting from this boom.

As one of its operators, Josef Sestokas, said, “We go to farmers’ markets when we can. We went nearly every Saturday for a whole year, and then demand went up in November last year from the restaurants.”

This demand meant that Flooding Creek Fungi couldn’t attend the farmers’ markets as regularly. The hunger for shrooms was too strong.

Flooding Creek Fungi is a smaller establishment. It supplies obscurer mushrooms to restaurants and families alike.

Are Mushrooms Sustainable in Australia? 

Now, all of these facts would be horrific if mushrooms were a flop. If they were bad for the planet. If they were worse than devouring beef.

But fortunately, this just isn’t the case. These little buds need a lot less water to grow than a plethora of other crops. They also don’t create much waste and are super low carbon emitters. 

Therefore, you should eat some sustainable mushrooms tonight. Whisper them sweet nothings. Thank them for their service. Have a banquet of fungi delights.

Related: Welcome to 2023 — Mushrooms Eating Cigarette Butts

Related: How to Start a Vegetable Garden When You Only Have a Balcony to Grow On

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