Why wouldn't they be?
I've found that mushrooms have been used in many of the recipes recommended on this website, but I've never seen a definitive yes or no on whether mushrooms are primal. Could anyone help me out here?
I have been growing my own shiitake mushrooms for about a year now and it's something that I couldn't possibly give up, both for their taste as well as their numerous health benefits! They're just amazing!
Why wouldn't they be?
Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.
Since mushrooms occur naturally in the wild, I suspect that humans have been eating mushrooms for a long time (probably with some trepidation.)
According to Wikipedia, "Edible mushroom species have been found in association with 13,000 year old ruins in Chile, but the first reliable evidence of mushroom consumption dates to several hundred years BC in China."
I don't know whether that fits the definition of Primal or not, and frankly I don't care. As you said, they're good-tasting and good for you.
OMG, you grow your own Shiitake?
Man, I really gotta get my butt in gear with this gardening thing, STAT! Yummmmmm....
i never even considered that they weren't primal. and if anyone said they were i'd probably just ignore it and eat 'em anyway. if you grow 'em and love 'em then i say eat 'em
i think i'll bbq some 'shrooms for dinner tonight with my steak!
mushrooms are definitely primal in the sense that they are living, un-processed, edible organisms. That said, to derive any sort of nutritional benifit from the mushroom kingdom, you must first cook them at a relatively high heat.
Like cellulose, mushrooms are composed of a cellular structure called 'mycochitin'. This is very hard for our guts to break down and requires cooking to do so. Eating raw mushrooms is much like eating a big dose of insolluble fiber. Not bad, but not particularly nutritional.
I worked for a gourmet/medicinal mushroom company for half a year (Fungi Perfecti, Shelton WA) and eating mushrooms raw for caloric/nutritional intake was one of the most common customer misconceptions.
Cooking of mushrooms becomes especially important when eating the common button, or agaricus, mushrooms. These typically come in 3 forms (all the same species, just harvested at different times/different strains) - white button, crimini, and portobello. This species of mushroom contains a family of compounds known as "hydrazines" - toxic, carcinogenic, and among other things, found in rocket fuel! The button mushroom industry is very reluctant to make this common knowledge, (and why shouldnt they? usually the only mushroom carried in ANY grocery in the USA is one of the 3 aforementioned agaricus variety).
Now, I like a big, fat protobello grilled up with olive oil and some salt/pepper just as much as the next person, but I limit my intake of this species to only a couple meals per year, and I make sure to cook the s**t out of them first. Hydrazines break down completely at high temperatures, (above 400 farenheit), but simply cooking them at all is healthier than eating them raw.
For a rather comprehensive and easy to understand breakdown of why it is important to cook your shrooms first, take a look here: mykoweb.com/articles/EatingRawMushrooms.html
So I guess the verdict: mushrooms = only 'fire-primal' :-)
They are one of the highest anti-oxidant foods you can get your hands on too (especially after cooking, if I'm not mistaken), especially shiitake and Portabella.
Great for warding off cancer!
Once again, the anti-tumor and other beneficial effects of edible fungus are NOT activated until you break down the mushroom's cell wall, made of chitin - this is the same substance that crustacean shells are made of. Cooking is the only way to access the majority of the beneficial effects of medicinal/gourmet mushrooms.
For a full list of the various medicinal effects of a variety of cultivatable mushrooms, check this out:
also, note that NOwhere on the chart visible in the link i posted above does it show the button species (button, crimini, portobello). These are just not very good for you!
Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply. I actually got my first shiitake block a year back from fungi-perfecti and have been creating my own since then! I'm just starting to get into agar strain isolation. It's fun stuff!!! Paul Stamets has been somewhat of a hero to me for a few years now, did you ever get to meet him?!