Yesterday I made Mushroom Ragout. Now we can have a serious talk about when raw foodies take it too far. I put my trust in Paul Stamet, see http://www.fungi.com/front/stamets/index.html. I consider him the foremost authority on mushrooms in this country, if not the world. Well, at least he’s the one I’ve heard of anyway. He has discovered that mushrooms can clean up toxic waste in our environment far more effectively than any conventional methods ever used, and in his studies he advocates using mushrooms medicinally to stimulate your immune system and treat various diseases. But one thing Mr. Stamet is clear on, is that raw mushrooms do not have nutritional or medicinal value for us. Mushrooms must be cooked for our bodies to commune with nature, so to speak. In fact, mushrooms can have a slight toxicity when eaten raw. In short, it’s not good for you.
My question was: how cooked do they have to be? So I called the helpful staff there at Fungi Perfecti and was told mushrooms need to be cooked to at least 160 degrees. Portobellos need an even higher temperature: 400 degrees. Apparently mushrooms (not a vegetable, they are fungi, so they are their own animal) have very large proteins (and other compounds too) which our bodies can’t break down. Cooking reduces their size, making us able to assimilate the mushroom’s great qualities, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, reduces cholesterol, and immune enhancer just to name a few (see the chart at: http://www.fungi.com/mycomeds/info.html).
The danger in eating them raw? Well unless your diet is really high in fiber, they’ve been know to cause colon impactions. Our bodies just don’t know what to do with them raw. Thank you, Julia from Fungi Perfecti, for sharing your valuable time and knowledge with me.
Which brings me to the Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragout recipe. Turned out lovely and tastey, and my colon did not have a fit…have a look at the list of mushrooms it called for:
- Lobster mushrooms
- Pom Pom
- Cinnamon cap
The recipe called to dehydrate them, which I did, but if I ever make this recipe again, I will pull out the old frying pan and convert my stove top from it’s dish draining duties and give it back it’s old job.
PS: go to this link to see something that will blow your mind!