EghtesadOnline: Iran produces 150,000 tons of mushrooms annually and there is no shortage of this product in the country, director general of Greenhouses, Medicinal Plants and Edible Mushrooms Office with the Ministry of Agriculture said.
Gholamreza Taqavi added that per capita mushroom consumption in Iran is one kilogram per year, ILNA reported.
In an earlier interview with Financial Tribune, he said the number of mushroom cultivation units in Iran had been on the rise in recent years, going up from 612 in the fiscal 2012-13 to 1,110 last year (March 2017-18), creating direct jobs for 7,716 people.
As reported by IRNA, there have been several reports of death and poisoning due to consumption of poisonous mushrooms in parts of the country. According to the latest reports, hundreds of people have been poisoned and hospitalized in western provinces and at least eight people have lost their lives, according to Financial Tribune.
Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of National Emergency Services, told the Persian daily Shargh that seven of the fatalities were in Kermanshah Province and one in Lorestan Province.
Considering the high precipitation in recent weeks, self-growing mushrooms mostly in western provinces have led to careless consumption by some locals.
Taqavi told IRNA that mushrooms produced by licensed production units are healthy and risk-free.
“Distinguishing poisonous self-growing mushrooms from healthy ones in the wilderness is difficult and needs lab work. So it is strongly recommended that consumers avoid buying mushrooms in bulk from peddlers,” he added.
More than 20 types of mushrooms are cultivated for commercial purposes in the world, while China, the US, the Netherlands, France and Poland are the top five producers of edible mushroom globally.