Are Mushrooms the Future of Wellness?

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Even before the onset of the pandemic, which has increased the demand for all manner of so-called organic immunity elixirs, wellness-minded Americans were warming to mushrooms. To be clear, mushrooms don’t cure Covid-19, but they are thought to provide a host of other benefits, from serving as an aphrodisiac to bolstering one’s defenses to toxins. As Ligaya Mishan explains in her essay for T’s Fall Men’s issue, Eastern cultures have long been enthusiastic about edible fungi, both in culinary and health contexts — mushrooms are rich in umami, the Japanese “fifth taste” that denotes savoriness, and woody species such as reishi are often prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine — while the West has been more ambivalent. Today, though, American cooks .en.

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