FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2009



Free Union County seminar on mushroom facts, history, and health benefits


Westfield, NJ – Mushrooms are delightful, mystifying and intriguing, and now a raft of new studies is revealing their many health benefits, too.  Union County residents can get the facts at a free seminar, “Focus on Fungi: Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits,” scheduled for Tuesday, September 29 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County in Westfield.

The event is free but pre-registration is required by contacting the Extension at 908-654-9854 or emailing

Dr. Karen Ensle, a nutrition expert and head of the County Extension department, will discuss mushroom history and provide basic facts about their nutritional value.  There are about 3,000 edible mushrooms and among those, about 700 are known to have medicinal properties.

Some mushrooms are rich in dietary fibers associated with lowering cholesterol and promoting heart health.  Some are also high in anti-oxidants, minerals and nutrients that appear to help prevent cancer and boost the immune system.  The niacin content in some mushrooms is also associated with helping to prevent or delay cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County provides the community with science-based information on nutrition, food safety, home environmental health, family well-being, agriculture and 4-H youth development.   It is supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders with offices in the County services building at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.