Episode 81: High-Vitamin D Mushrooms with Lindsey Occhipinti

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The Produce Moms Podcast

TPM Podcast Lindsey Occhipini

With the gloomy winter months upon us, especially here in the Midwest, we can all use more vitamin D.  Thankfully, we have innovative farms like Monterey Mushrooms who have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replicate vitamin-D rich sunlight indoors for a much higher concentration of the vitamin normally found in mushrooms. 

TPM podcast Monterey mushroom quote

Monterey Mushrooms has grown from a single farm in 1971 to producing mushrooms on nine farms across North America. Monterey Mushrooms strive to provide fresh, locally grown mushrooms to everyone’s favorite grocery stores and restaurants.  Lindsey Occhipinti is the marketing manager at Monterey Mushrooms. She has spent nearly a decade working in the fresh produce industry and specifically focused on mushrooms. 

Monterey Mushrooms harvest a large variety of fresh mushrooms including White Button Portabellas, Oyster, Shitake, Brown beech, White beech, King Trumpet and Portabellini®. 

All the mushroom varieties from Monterey Mushrooms can be used to make diverse and tasty meals in the kitchen, including meatless dishes. Mushrooms make a great side dish or topping to any meat. Lori suggests cooking them with garlic and shallots. You can reduce your salt intake by cooking with mushrooms. Mushrooms are versatile enough to complement almost any meal that you craft. 

Try introducing mushrooms to your family in creative ways by adding them to your family’s favorite dishes. At home, Lindsey replaces a chicken breast with a portabella cap in her favorite chicken marsala recipe. Using Monterey Mushrooms will reduce your reliance on vitamin D supplements as mushrooms are a natural source.  

“What we’re really trying to do is accomplish what’s done out in nature. So in rough terms what happens in nature in 20 minutes, we have figured out how to do in about 20 seconds .” – Lindsey Occhipinti (14:27-14:43)

The high vitamin D content of Monterey Mushrooms is produced from an expedited process where the ergosterol is converted to vitamin D through a post-harvest process involving the exposure of the mushrooms during packaging to a precise wavelength of ultraviolet light. 

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. MontereyMushrooms 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.

Most Americans are not getting the necessary amount of vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for absorption in the body of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which helps to maintain bone strength.  

Beyond being essential for bone health, vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in diabetes, colon, prostate, and breast cancer, hypertension, depression, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.  In general, vitamin D is critical to overall health and is a major contributor to the immune system.

Unfortunately, dietary sources of vitamin D are limited to certain types of fish, animal livers and eggs and fortified foods. 

Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that naturally contain vitamin D. 

Now, through exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, Monterey Mushrooms can naturally increase the stable level of vitamin D within mushrooms to well above 50 percent of the FDA’s recommended daily value.  

Monterey Mushrooms has made it easy for you to consume “high in vitamin D” mushrooms. Look for a vitamin D enhanced label found on select packages of Monterey Mushrooms’ white buttons, baby bellas, and portabella mushroom caps. Where can you buy these? We have you covered! Follow this link https://www.montereymushrooms.com/where-to-buy-high-vitamin-d-mushrooms.

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! 
  • Reach out to us – we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here
  • Want to learn more about Monterey Mushrooms, then follow them on their website here.

TPM Podcast Lindsey Occipini

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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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