Feel like you can’t keep up with all the latest news about mushrooms? You’re not alone. The fungi kingdom is front and center in the fight against climate change, with myriad uses far beyond the kitchen. Scientists continue to find new — and sometimes strange — ways that fungi interact with the rest of the organisms on Earth. And that’s only the beginning. There’s so much happening! 

We rounded up the jaw-dropping headlines we can’t stop talking about, along with a few delightful recipes we have on regular rotation this month. Read on to learn more. 

Yes, Mushrooms Can Help Fight Climate Change — Here’s How

From carbon sequestration and sustainable fashion (more on that below) to earth-friendly homes and… final resting places. Is there anything mushrooms can’t do? There is so much potential in the pipeline for mushrooms. Can you imagine building a home made from mycelium bricks? 

Read: From fashion to burials: How fungi can help fight climate change

The Weirdest Mushroom Headline of 2024 

Even scientists were shocked by this discovery: In a lush region of India, a live frog was found with a small mushroom sprouting from its leg! The frog, found in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, seemed to be healthy and thriving, and the tiny mushroom also looked intact. While fungal infections (think: athlete’s foot or thrush) are common in many species (humans included), this is the very first time a mushroom has been found growing from a live frog! 

Read: Mushroom sprouting from live frog in India leaves scientists stunned

Could Your Next Luxury “Leather” Item Be Made from Mushrooms? 

By now you may have heard that fur has made a return to some runways, but on the flip side, mushroom “leather” and other mycelial materials are, too. Touted as an alternative to animal hides with a much lower environmental footprint, mushroom leather has already been used by some high-end brands! From yoga mats and sneakers to handbags, it seems that mushroom leather and other “fabrics” are catching on. Would you wear mushroom leather?

Read: The mushroom revolution that's bringing change

What It Takes to Find the World’s Most Expensive Mushrooms 

To Italians, truffles are a traditional food. But now other cultures are catching on to their exquisite flavor — and exorbitant price tags. That’s changing not only the costs but also the practices behind this beloved fungi. Did you know truffles can now be cultivated? 

Read: Global truffle mania puts Italy's Umbria region at the center of a booming luxury food business

Why is a Small Pennsylvania Town the Global Mushroom Capital? 

A single county in the Keystone State produces more than 500 million pounds of mushrooms annually — over half of the entire US crop of mushrooms. It started in the early 20th century, and today there are some sixth-generation family farms! But why? Location, location, location, as the saying goes in real estate. Before refrigerators, this area of Pennsylvania was optimally located on a north-south corridor, making it easy to transport mushrooms up and down the East Coast. 

Read: How a small area in Chester County became the ‘Mushroom Capital of the World’

What Are the Most Popular Mushrooms? 

Unlike wild mushrooms, cultivated ones can be grown all year round, so that’s why you always see common varieties in your local supermarket. According to the Mushroom Council, the most common types are white button, followed by cremini, portobellos, enoki, oyster, maitake and shiitake.

3 Mushroom Recipes to Make This Month 

NYT Cooking | A Really Great Polenta Finishes Off Strong: Infused oil gives a final kick to this dish with roasted-until-golden mushrooms and charred tomatoes. Recipe

Food & Wine | One-Pot White Wine Pasta with Mushrooms and Leeks: This creamy, savory pasta dish comes together in just one pot — it combines savory sautéed mushrooms and leeks with cream, lemon juice and white wine to create a rich sauce. Recipe

Cookie and Kate | Roasted Mushrooms with Quinoa: Juicy roasted mushrooms, herbed quinoa and a lemony, crunchy finish. What’s not to love? This is a great weeknight meal. Recipe

×