Skip to main content

Back to Topics



Mushrooms : Sustainable Fashion To Food

October 4, 2022

We’ve been eating mushrooms for thousands upon thousands of years.

Seriously: way (way, way) back in the Upper Paleolithic period, analysis of old dental calculus suggests the human diet included plant foods and mushrooms. 

Since then, over the centuries, we’ve created countless recipes with all different types of mushrooms. There’s no doubt: portobello makes a mean burger filling, while button mushrooms are the perfect accompaniment for an English fry-up. 

But in the last few years, innovators across industries, from food to fashion, have been looking at mushrooms in a whole new way. In fact, the fungus has so much potential and versatility, that it begs the question: are we entering the age of the mushroom?

Let’s start with how the humble fungi could transform the future of food for the better. 

A sustainable, versatile ingredient

It’s no secret at this point: the food system needs some serious work. Right now, raising animals for meat is draining the earth of resources, emitting planet-heating gasses, and slaughtering billions of animals. 

One of the worst offenders from animal agriculture is methane. The gas is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Every year, just one cow burps 220 pounds of methane into the atmosphere.

But good news: mushrooms don’t belch. They don’t emit methane. And they can make a great plant-based steak alternative. British brand Quorn has known this for some time. 

Founded in the 1980s, Quorn, which has partnerships with major chains like KFC, Greggs, and PizzaExpress, makes vegan and vegetarian meat products using mycoprotein. Aka fusarium venatum, mycoprotein is a type of fungus.

Through fermentation, Quorn creates a substance that has a very similar mouthfeel and texture to meat. But emits just a fraction of the emissions.

Other brands have caught on to the potential of mushrooms. Take The Mushroom Meat Company, for example. It creates Porkless and Beefless Shreds and Patties, using gourmet mushrooms, upcycled plant proteins, and herbs and spices. Read more:

Follow Us