The San Jose, Calif.-based Mushroom Council is set for a busy summer and fall.
On the foodservice side, the council is joining Universal Studios in Florida to provide more nutritious foods to hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The park will feature mushrooms on every menu part — from appetizers to sandwiches to entrees — at its full-service, sit-down restaurants, including the award-winning Mythos Restaurant.
The council says Universal chefs have been working to create dishes that are hearty, yet nutritionally-based.
“Park guests will be able to order meaty options that fill them up, but won’t slow them down,” the council said.
The menu will coincide with the busiest time at the park, which features popular attractions like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The council also will be working with schools to promote its “swapability” concept, where food preparers substitute mushrooms for 20% or more of the ground beef in offerings ranging from tacos to lasagna.
The concept was scheduled to be discussed at the School Nutrition Association’s annual conference in Denver in mid-July.
The swapability concept also will be promoted at retail.
Once again, the council will make a $50,000 contribution to the City of Hope cancer center in Duarte, Calif.
Each fall, many mushroom grower-shippers participate in the pink-till program that calls attention to the fight against breast cancer.
For several weeks each fall, participating shippers distribute mushrooms in pink tills.
Some grower-shippers said the program not only helps fight cancer, but it raises mushroom sales.
“For us, it’s been very worthwhile,” said Paul Frederic, senior vice president of sales and marketing for To-Jo Mushrooms, Avondale, Pa.
The company has participated in the program for several years.
Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms Inc., Gonzales, Texas, already was talking with its material suppliers in early summer to arrange for the pink tills for its 8-ounce white and baby portabella mushrooms, said James Sweatt, director of sales.
This will be the company’s fourth year with the program.