On today's episode Phil interviews
Vitamin D is critical to your overall health and is a major contributor to the immune system. And while receiving the right amount of vitamin D comes with a fair share of benefits, a lack of this important nutrient can mean bad things for your customers.
At Monterey Mushrooms, we expose our “high vitamin D” mushrooms to a precise wavelength of ultraviolet light within the UV spectrum. Naturally occurring ergosterol (previtamin-D) within the mushrooms is converted to ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) once exposed to UV light. Monterey
Mushrooms high vitamin D mushrooms provide 400 IUs (10 mcg) which is 50% DV per serving. A serving is about 5 medium mushrooms - so eating just 10 mushrooms a day gives you 100% of FDA’s daily value recommendation of vitamin D.
Cooking with mushrooms specially labeled “High Vitamin D” is one of the easiest ways to add this important vitamin to your customer’s diet. Mushrooms make a terrific complement to many meals, like adding them to dishes you eat every day. Add sauteed mushrooms to avocado toast, burgers, steaks, salads and eggs!
All Monterey Mushrooms’s sliced white and baby bella mushrooms in 8-ounce and 16-ounce packages are high in vitamin D as are packages of 8-ounce portabellas. So, get yours today and recommend them to everyone you talk to.
Welcome to Lost in the Supermarket. Today, everything you need to know about high Vitamin D mushroom. And with us, we’ve got the experts. Lindsey Occhipinti, Marketing Manager and Holly Burriesci New Product Development Manager for Monterey Mushrooms. Thank you both for joining us today on Lost in The Supermarket..:
Thank you. Thank you Phil. We're happy. So Holly, let me start with you. Why is vitamin D so important for our bodies?Speaker 3:
That's a great question. Vitamin D is, it's so essential to so many functions of our body. It actually is used in over 200 like mechanisms of our body. And the key ones that are recognized is of course bone health. That's been the very traditional, the association with vitamin D, but through science and recent studies we've learned how involved it is with our immune system and also muscle strength and balance. It's just plays a key role in keeping our body functioning well and also helping us to stay healthy and well.Speaker 2:
So the other thing that I find interesting is, and correct me if I'm wrong, is the mushrooms are the only produce item that actually contains vitamin D.Speaker 3:
that's correct. So it's really an interesting fact. I think that mushrooms actually aren't a vegetable or fruit. And so that's why it stands apart. It actually, its DNA is more similar to the human DNA than it is to say fruits and vegetables. So even though it's included in the produce department, it's actually like its own independent critter in a sense. And because of that it has a DNA similar to humans. It also has the same response to sunlight as our skin. So when we go out in the sun and we have our skin exposed to sunlight, yeah , we produce a vitamin D and machines do the same exact thing. And so this is a kind of a unique relationship between mushrooms and humans. So when we want to eat a non animal-based like source of vitamin D, if we want to get that into our diet, mushrooms are the only option for people who are looking for a food that can provide vitamin D that is not , uh , an animal source.Speaker 2:
So Lindsey , of being in charge of marketing, you are in constant contact with consumers, with retail dieticians , with, you know , uh , people who work in supermarkets. What are, what are some of the questions that you getSpeaker 4:
about vitamin D and mushrooms? We often get questions about how we expose mushrooms to UV lights or, or what that process looks like for us. It's actually post-harvest. It's at the time that we're packing the mushrooms. So we've recently created a video to help explain that process. I would say that that's our number one question is how is it done?Speaker 2:
And also, Holly, back to you, I'm certainly this past week, lots of studies coming out about how people , um , really need to increase their immunity levels , uh, to make sure that they're as strong as possible. And vitamin D is , is one of those very important aspects of immune health, isn't it?Speaker 3:
It certainly is. And , uh , there's just oodles and oodles of studies as you, as you alluded to that. So the key, the key is that vitamin D is a key. There are so many , uh, like diseases and ailments, things that have been associated with low vitamin D. so while it's not always known , like what causes it or how it works, there's just a wise, I think doctors, everybody supports. It's very wise to ensure that we have at least , uh , that critical level of vitamin D in our system. And a lot of people aren't getting that because it's, it's a , we would normally get it through sun exposure and just less and less people, people just are not getting out and exposing their skin to the sun the way like may have done through in the past with lifestyles that were more outside today, our lifestyles are more indoors.Speaker 2:
Everybody's inside on their computer and we're not getting a lot of sunlight from her computer screens. So, you know, we , we talked about , um, immunity. What are some of the other impacts of vitamin D deficiencies?Speaker 3:
There have been associations with , uh, even , uh , diabetes. Um, a lot of syndromes. The, there are certain mechanisms where vitamin D has been shown to kind of stop certain cell on tumor growth. There's still a lot more to learn about that. I like how it is related, but there are too many sicknesses that don't also come with showing that people have a low level of vitamin D are more susceptible to a lot of these ailments that they're suffering from the osteoporosis bone health , uh , fracture, especially with older age. And those are , um, relationships with vitamin D is associated there . Um , muscle strength that people who are athletes, they deplete their vitamin D. so even if they're getting a lot of vitamin D, even athletes can get their level of vitamin D low. So they're very conscientious typically about replenishing their vitamin D.Speaker 2:
interesting. I had no idea from the athlete's standpoint. Um, so Lindsey , when I go into supermarket today, I see more varieties of mushrooms than I've ever seen in my life. Where, where do all these varieties come from? And are they different? Um, not only is as far as taste and shape and color a boat, what makes , um, these, these new varieties of mushrooms? So popular?Speaker 4:
Yes, bill , their nutritional makeup varies by variety, which is very interesting for mushrooms. And one thing that, one common misconception out there that we try to myth Boston often in our, in our marketing is that if you're looking for a vitamin B specific mushrooms, you actually have to look on the label for that and make sure that it's there. Because not all mushrooms contain high levels of vitamin D. so the way that we package our high vitamin D mushrooms is we call it out on the graphics on the label, but we also back it up with the nutrition fact panel so that consumers can see the percentage of vitamin D that they're receiving in that package.Speaker 2:
And Holly, when I look at a package of mushrooms of notice vitamin D two and vitamin D three, what's the difference?Speaker 3:
Oh, that's, that's another interesting question though . Thank you. And vitamin D two and vitamin D three are very closely related and the vitamin D two is going to come from the mushroom. That's the mushroom source of vitamin D. and in from [inaudible]Speaker 2:
they're like salmon and so on.Speaker 3:
Fatty fish and then the organs of brine mackerel , um , sardines. I think some of the varieties, I don't tend to eat myself, but also I like beef liver and pork livers . It's really only very specific meats that can provide that, these three. But regardless of that, the body then takes, whether it's B, two or D three, it takes those and they are transported to the liver and they get converted. And then from there into ergocalciferol and then from there they go to the kidneys and they get changed into other formats , uh , for the body to then , um , like retransport to other parts of the body and use it. So regardless of starting with D two or D three, the body's getting to use that as like a precursor, like a pre vitamin that it's then going to change into a hormone format of that ergo calciferol and, and then transport it out to where it's needed in the body.Speaker 2:
So I'm going to ask a question that might sound a little silly, but can we consume too much vitamin D and how much should we be consuming on a daily basis?Speaker 3:
One thing that's really great about vitamin D is it takes a tremendous amount of vitamin D on a regular basis. In order to get to a toxic level, it's , it's almost impossible. You need something like a thousand times the daily recommended amended amount over a period of months before it can reach a toxic level. So it's very safe to take the, you know, like if you eat more mushrooms, that's really not going to be a problem. And if anyone has a concern, we always refer them to, of course, their doctor, their healthcare provider, to to talk to them about what's the good amount, the best amount for them to be consuming per day. And so that's one thing that's very safe to take vitamin D to consume these mushrooms at ed . Even a high level, the amount that's recommended through the FDA, and that's what's reflected on the labels is 800 international units or I use per day. There's another way that that's shown is for some reason vitamin D has two different units. The other one is microgram . So the recommended amount of micro micrograms per day is 20 micrograms of vitamin D and one serving of our mushrooms are high vitamin D. mushrooms is going to provide 50% of what's needed on that, on that daily basis basis for an average adult. And so if somebody eats 10 to 12 mushrooms instead of the standard four to five mushrooms serving, they they can accomplish , uh , taking in 100% of what's recommended for them for the day. I remember other foods don't have it, so unless they're eating the salmon or macro or sardines in that day, they really are not getting any food source of vitamin D. that's why these mushrooms are like this brilliant answer and just a delicious solution to how we can get vitamin D on a regular basis. I think I'm a big fan,Speaker 2:
so, so I don't have to worry when I order a pizza and ask for double the amount of mushrooms on it, I'm okay.Speaker 3:
I think that's a really great way to use pizza. Okay . I'm with you on that. Okay. Okay.Speaker 2:
So the other thing when we started talking, Holly , um, you know, we've talked about, you know, people being in their offices more , uh , not being in the sun as much. Isn't it even more important this time of year where, you know, we just changed over to the daylight savings time, so at least we have an extra hour of sunlight. Uh, but there's less sunlight, you know, out there then than there used to be. So we really have to make sure that we are controlling their vitamin D level , um, eating lots of Monterey mushrooms , uh, to help with that. How do people know , um, whether or not they have a D deficiency?Speaker 3:
Uh , the only way to truly know if someone has that deficiency is to have there you have a blood test performed to ask their doctor to perform that test, which can often be done at the same time that they're having their normal checkup and such. Also, people can, yeah, there are kits , you know, people just want their vitamin D natured. There are a lot of services out there. Know as they Google for that, they can find plenty of kits that can be sent to their home. All they do is a tiny little skin prick, you know , to get a couple drops of blood mail that back to the lab and they can learn what their vitamin D levels are. So it's very convenient and it's not too expensive either to do that.Speaker 2:
And I also noticed , um, that, you know, starting the first of the year where we have the new nutritional facts label for the first time, vitamin D is actually being listed on it.Speaker 3:
Yes. Which is exciting for us because we really believe in, this is a [inaudible] essential needs for people. People just simply aren't getting outside and getting exposed to the sun. When they do, they're wearing hats. Sunglasses are covering up, they're wearing sunscreen, sunblock and Southern , not even getting any positive impacts from being out in the sun. Often, you know, even when they are, and if many people are like us, where we're working inside during those sunlight hours, like you were talking about [inaudible] the days of the [inaudible] , the amount of sunlight in a day is much shorter, especially during this winter season. And we just don't get the opportunity to expose our son to that, get that nut , um , vitamin D produced in our skin. And so,Speaker 2:
and I would also think that obviously , um, the folks at , um , USDA and FDA feel the same way to change the nutritional facts label to , to start listing vitamin D on it. I mean, that's a major change,Speaker 3:
right? And we're, we're loving the opportunity to get them the word out about that, that people are becoming very aware that they need vitamin D because it is now shown on the nutrition facts label, which was exactly right . What the FDA, the USDA, what they're trying to accomplish because they've , they've seen that the studies are showing that uh , about 42% of people, I think that's a very conservative number, are deficient in vitamin D. so this is widespread around the world. People are deficient in vitamin D and because it's so associated with bone Hill and the immune system, our muscle strength , all of these things, it's critical functions of our body. That's why they've recognized that it's important for people to start looking for that on labels and to be more aware of their need vitamin D and they can do that through these new nutrition labels that are bringing vitamin D to attention.Speaker 2:
So Lindsey , let me switch over to the culinary side for a second. We , we talked a bit about, you know, the variety of mushrooms and, and so on. And one of the things that I'm noticing on menus in restaurants more than ever before and actually in supermarkets is something called the blend. Um, that I think was coined by the James Beard foundation. Uh, that what we're starting to see now are companies , um, as well as being able to do it at home, taking like a third of mushrooms and two thirds of ground beef, mixing it together and making burgers out of it , um, have tasted them. I actually think that it tastes better than an all beef burger. Uh, because of the umami flavor and so on. And also in this era where people are trying to reduce their meat consumption and increase their produce consumption. This sounds perfect.Speaker 4:
Yes, we loved the blend at Monterey mushrooms. Uh , the blend is basically taking finely chopped mushrooms and blending them with your protein of choice. Typically it's a meat, so grumpy for ground Turkey or ground chicken and making whatever you would normally make, just adding mushrooms in place of some of the meat. And , um, it's a real flexible way to cook. You can do 50% mushrooms, 50% meat , um, you can even do more for a sauce or something that doesn't have to hold together like a meatball or a burger Patty. Um , you can really increase the amount of mushrooms and decrease your meat intake, which helps you reduce the fat and the calories that your I'm taking in and the meal that you're preparing for your family. So it's a great way to reduce some of the bad and add some of the good and , and get those beneficial , um, nutrients from mushrooms like vitamin D or potassium or B vitamins or , um, the antioxidant, selenium and taste and place. Yeah ,Speaker 2:
I mean, the , the first , yeah, the first time that I had , um, the blend and this goes back, Oh, I dunno , a few years ago to James bear dinner, I was shocked. I mean, I just thought that the mouth feel of it and, and the taste of it was so much better. And then, you know, the , they talked about everything that you just talked about from a nutrient standpoint, as well as reducing fat and calories and so on. And you sit there and you go, wow, this is a simple, really smart idea. Um, so all the, all the people have to do is, you know, pick up some Monterey mushrooms, dice them up and , and mix them in. Uh , is there any particular mushrooms that worked better in the blend of variety of mushrooms than others? We've found that white mushrooms and baby Bella mushrooms are also known as Cru . Meanies and Puerto Ballas work the best in our personal experience in our test kitchen. And the reason that you haven't invited me to the test kitchen yet to have decided anytime. Great. So Lindsey , um, in addition to those recipes and the culinary assets that you've got, what about the information that retail dieticians need everyday in order to be able to help their shoppers understand about mushrooms and in particular about the vitamin D in mushroom?Speaker 4:
I'm glad you asked bill. We recently spent a lot of time developing a electronic resource, like an ebook specifically for retail dieticians to understand vitamin D and mushrooms. And so in that ebook we talk about the importance of vitamin D. we talk about how we expose mushrooms to UV lights to increase their vitamin D and we give them a lot of resources to help them educate their shoppers , um , in store and help MythBuster some of the common misperceptions and answer some of the commonly asked questions that they may receive from their clients in store. So that can be found on our website. We have a resource section on our website and retail dieticians can go there. And there's a filter at the top where they can say I'm a retailer, and then resources will pop up that have been carefully curated just for them.Speaker 2:
Perfect. Well, again, thank you both for joining us today on Western the supermarket. Thank you. It's been our pleasure. Thank you. So with that , uh, Holly, Lindsey , thank you so much for joining us today on lost in the supermarket. Lots of great information. And if people want to know more about Monterey mushrooms or vitamin D or any of the things that we talked about, where can they go?Speaker 4:
They can go to Monterey , mushrooms.com we have a blog on our website and we also have a recipe blog. So it's a library of recipes, including the blend and some recipes, even call out vitamin D and ways to easily incorporate high vitamin D mushrooms in your everyday meals.Speaker 2:
Terrific. Well, thank you both so much and I'll be looking forward to getting my invite to your test kitchen real soon. Thank you.