Monterey Mushrooms launches new campaign

monterey logoMonterey Mushrooms recently launched a campaign to educate retail dietitians and shoppers about the importance of vitamin D to overall health and to share tips on how to get more vitamin D by eating mushrooms.

To educate culinary and health professionals about the importance of vitamin D, such as retailers and their dietitians, the company created an electronic resource guide book that is available now. 

“It’s a new year, a new decade, a new nutrition facts panel, and so we want to do all we can to educate people about the importance of eating a healthy diet loaded with fruits and vegetables – especially mushrooms,” said Lindsey Occhipinti, marketing manager for the company.

As of Jan. 1, the Federal Department of Agriculture requires food companies to replace the information about vitamins A and C on nutrition fact panels with vitamin D and potassium data.  

That’s good news for the mushroom industry because mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet lights are an excellent source of vitamin D. According to the Dietary Guidelines for America, vitamin D is classified as a “nutrient of public health concern,” because underconsumption has been linked in scientific literature to adverse health outcomes. 

“Vitamin C is no longer a nutrient the USDA is concerned about; however, people don’t realize the amount of vitamin D they need in their diets,” Occhipinti said.

Vitamin D is essential for absorption in the body of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which helps to maintain bone strength. In addition, vitamin D is critical to overall health and is a major contributor to the immune system. Natural dietary sources of vitamin D have traditionally been limited to certain types of fish, animal liver, and egg yolks. It's also frequently added to fortified foods, such as dairy milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereal.

Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that naturally contain vitamin D. Until now, that has been at very low levels of less than 2 percent of the daily value per serving. Now, through exposure to ultraviolet light, Monterey Mushrooms can naturally increase the stable level of vitamin D within mushrooms to 50 percent of the FDA’s recommended daily value.

Monterey Mushrooms worked with the USDA to create mushrooms with high vitamin D levels by replicating sunlight indoors which creates a much higher concentration of the vitamin than is normally found in commercially grown mushrooms. With the help of ultraviolet lights, mushrooms convert ergosterol into vitamin D, creating a vegan dietary source of this essential vitamin.

Mushrooms labeled "High Vitamin D" are the only natural, plant-based food that can help increase the amount of vitamin D consumed in a daily diet.  

All Monterey Mushrooms sliced white and baby bella mushrooms in eight-ounce and 16-ounce packages are high in vitamin D, as are packages of eight-ounce portabellas.

“Exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light is an extra step during the packaging process and it distinguishes us from other growers,” Occhipinti said. “We see it as an added value for shoppers, and we hope they will visit our website for recipes that show how easy it is to incorporate vitamin D into their favorite meals.”

Monterey’s vitamin D enhanced mushrooms are available now at supermarkets nationwide.   

For more information about the company, visit www.montereymushrooms.com 


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