Fruit or Fungus?

I'll just go ahead and start out by being controversial. I can't help myself... I decided to call my new company “Santa Cruz Mushrooms.” I know a lot of mushroom growers like to use the word 'fungus' or 'fungi' in their name, and I can respect that. The fungus connection is very cool, and that isn’t lost on me. Some of my favorite growers use the word, fungus, or fungi (or some variation) in the name of their mushroom farm. You must admit that it's kind of cool that mushrooms are a form of fungus, but are they really?

The truth is, that mushrooms are not fungus. I know that I'm going to get some pushback on this, and that's OK. Mushrooms are not really organisms as such. The actual fungus is the mycelium that produces mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruit of that organism. Now it may seem like I'm splitting hairs, and it’s just a matter of semantics, but hear me out; There really is an important distinction, let me explain…

A tree is a tree, and an apple is an apple. Trees are made of wood, apples are not. Some trees produce apples, and some trees do not. We all know that apples are not made of wood, and that they are not trees. It may sound like I'm being silly, but the relationship of trees to apples is much the same as the relationship of fungus to mushrooms. They are the fruit of the mycelium that produces them for the purpose of reproduction. Not all fungi produce mushrooms just like not all trees produce apples, or any kind of fruit for that matter.

So, you see, if apples are not made of wood, it's easy to understand that mushrooms are not made of fungus. This is actually very good news! You're not eating fungus when you consume mushrooms. Since mushrooms have become more popular with people who are paying more attention to their diets, it doesn't hurt to make this distinction between the two. Let me know if you disagree or if you have feedback. I look forward to hearing from you. 


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