As beef prices rise, some turn to green mushrooms

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – Beef prices are up more than 15% from the same period last year, according to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor. This has some shift to fleshy mushrooms.

“We can produce a high protein product from waste,” said Andrew Reed. He’s with Mossy Creek Mushrooms.

In Jefferson City and South Knoxville, two mushroom growers grow more with less: a smaller footprint that uses fewer gallons of water, compared to a beef ranch.

“Mushrooms are a fantastic meat substitute,” said Ryan Herrmann. He works at Everything Mushrooms on the south bank of the Tennessee River. You’ll find it near Suttree Landing Park and the Hi-Wire Brewery.

These two companies give a different meaning to “farm to fork”.

“Lower amounts of air conditioning, lower amounts of water we use,” Reed said.

And a big water saver. Monterey Mushrooms, with a large plant in eastern Tennessee, says it takes 660 gallons of water to raise the beef needed for a burger. For a mushroom patty, that would be less than two gallons.

“Extremely minimal. Less than a flower bed, less than tomatoes, ”said Herrmann.

With all this talk on empty grocery store shelves in recent weeks …

“People were trying to do more things than they can do at home that might not be so dependent on the supply chain,” Herrmann said.

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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