Mushroom is a great delicacy in many households. In Kenya people are starting to consume mushrooms. Most people get them from the supermarket. Some of the mushrooms grow in the wild like in woody forests but some of them are planted by people. Different communities harvest and consume them. There are many kinds of mushroom that can be grown in Kenya. The most popular ones are the termite mushrooms which grow on anthills. Mushrooms have been planted by small scale farmers in Kenya since the early 60s. Some of the mushrooms are poisonous and it is always a challenge to get great varieties. One of the advantages of growing and consuming mushrooms is that they have a high nutritive value and they taste great. Some people say that they taste like meat.
They have a lot of protein, fiber and vitamins and they are low in cholesterol and fat. They are a great health food that doctors advocate for. Another advantage is that there is a high demand for these commodities. People rare more health conscious in Kenya than they were before. They are consuming different type of food. Mushrooms are preferred because they slow the ageing process by increasing the longevity of the cells, they lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and control chronic fatigue syndrome, control cancers and liver disintegration disease, improve immune system, activate the helper ‘T’ cells and improve overall wellbeing. Mushroom growing needs narrow land. Subdivision of land and population growth has made traditional crops like maize, tea and coffee unprofitable. Mushroom growing does not depend on the weather since it’s grown in rooms.
The oyster mushroom has a white or yellow or grey color. The color depends on the strain, lighting and temperature conditions. Some of the mushrooms cluster together while others grow alone. The Shiitake has a broad, hemispheric expanding cap. It is black brown at first becoming light brown in age. This mushroom grows in saw dust, rice straw and bran. Growing shiitake utilizes saw dust, chips, rice straw, and bran. This variety is rich in Niacin Thiamin, Riboflavin, Crude protein, Fiber and Fat. The mushroom contains a chemical ingredient called “LENTINAN” which reduces cancer and slows down the HIV virus. The Agaricus is the most common mushroom in the Kenyan Market. Their color is white or brown and the size is either small or very big. They look like domes and they have a lot of fiber, free carbohydrates crude protein, fat, carbohydrates, and high in energy. Their flavor is enhanced through cooking their medicinal values are that they improve the immune system, improve body functions and clear then digestive tract.
Some mushrooms species are poisonous like the Amanita. People should steer clear from unfamiliar mushrooms because they may be deadly. Most traditional people know what mushrooms are edible and it is always advisable to seek help and clarification from elderly members of the community. This is an ideal business venture because it does not require a lot of facilities and tilling of land. The source of market is restaurants and people buying for personal consumption.