Why You Need To Stop Buying Pre-Packaged Mushrooms

The art of storing fruit and vegetables for long-lasting freshness is a task that is likely to prompt confusion and trigger inevitable frustration. While mushrooms are technically neither a fruit nor a veggie, they certainly aren't exempt from this. There are a variety of mushrooms typically available to you in the grocery store. In some cases, you will find shiitake mushrooms, very common in soups and Asian dishes, with a light brown color and the classic umbrella-shaped mushroom cap, according to Simply Recipes.

You will also likely find portobello mushrooms, which are the big boys. They have a noticeably larger and wider cap and are a darker brown color. In most cases, you will usually find the common white mushroom, also known as button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms. Per Serious Eats, these are the fungi you can best enjoy raw, as opposed to other varieties, and you will often get them conveniently sliced in shrink-wrapped packaging.

While definitely convenient, packaged mushrooms may not be the best option for your grocery list.

Pre-packaged mushroom disadvantages

First of all, when purchasing pre-packaged mushrooms, you won't have the opportunity to examine them closely. You should be able to feel for firmness and check for any impurities, like sliminess or musty smells, according to Serious Eats. Sifting through the bulk bin will allow you to assess the quality of the fungi, and you will usually get more bang for your buck this way, according to Kitchn.

Additionally, buying your mushrooms pre-packaged has the same effect as storing them in a plastic bag, which you should also avoid. According to CulinaryLore, mushrooms are composed of 90% water and don't possess any sort of protective skin, allowing a much faster evaporation rate. As a result, pre-packaged fungi are at a much higher risk of going bad as the moisture and, thus, the humidity will collect in the contained area.

So, on your next trip to the produce department, consider grabbing a handful of mushrooms from the bulk section so they'll stay a little longer in your fridge.