Mushrooms chopped off National Trust menus to protect environment

Mushrooms have been chopped off National Trust menus, due to environmental concerns, in a move that has angered fungi growers.

The charity is taking mushrooms off the menu in most of its 300 cafes and restaurants, as campaigners want to protect peat bogs.

The move comes amid calls to boycott mushrooms grown in peat, which has been criticised by environmentalists, particularly in terms of carbon emissions.

Extracting peat from bogs releases CO2 into the atmosphere. According to The Wildlife Trusts, peat extraction from bogs for horticulture has caused 31 million tons of CO2 to be released since 1990.

The charity has urged consumers to “avoid mushrooms grown in peat” but this has enraged mushroom growers who say the campaign is endangering thousands of jobs.


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Most mushrooms on sale in the UK, in an industry valued at more than £500m, are produced using peat as it retains the water the fungi require better than any alternative.

A proposed government ban on peat-based products for professional growers will not be introduced before 2026.

The National Trust said it has searched for suppliers to provide mushrooms grown without peat but can’t find one that could do so at the scale required, so it has now decided to take mushrooms off its menus.

Padraic O’Leary, chief executive of Walsh Mushrooms Group, said: “There is no alternative to peat, which is a critical part of the growing process.”

The National Trust is calling for legislation to drive climate adaptation.

Climate crisisFood and farmingNature and the environmentPolicyRetailSupply Chain

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