Monday, August 1, 2011


I usually feel like frozen meals boasting mushrooms do not contain nearly enough mushrooms.  But I will have to retract that statement in light of the Healthy Choice Portabella Marsala Pasta.  Instead of lamenting the lack of mushrooms, I feel as though I must lament the lack of *other* vegetables, which I do really believe to be of paramount importance to my own sense of fullness and healthiness upon my completion of a frozen meal.  Baby portabella mushrooms are listed as the second ingredient in this meal; again, an impressive amount of mushrooms.  But the only indication of any other vegetables were the flecks of green peppering the meal; a look at the list of ingredients tells me this must be parsley, which is listed far down on the list. 

I was surprised that the information on the package indicated that this meal contains 30% of one’s daily amount of vegetables.  After all, mushrooms aren’t even a vegetable, right?  That prompted a Google search of “Are mushrooms a vegetable?,” which led me to the following

(A) mushroom (is) not a true vegetable in the sense that it does not have any leaves, roots, or seeds, and really does not need any light to grow.

So, these are the things that lead to classification as a vegetable?  I have oft-cited that there was an early American Supreme Court case that determined that tomatoes were “technically a fruit, but legally a vegetable” so that they would/would not be subjected to some particular tariff.  I’ve always loved this little fact about ‘maters.  You’ll have to scroll far down in the Wikipedia article to find the information, but it’s there.  

I suspect there is nothing quite so legalistic as the the Tariff Act of March 3, 1883 challenging the mushroom’s classification as a vegetable in the sense.  However, mushroom’s misclassification goes beyond the botany of fruit vs. vegetable.  Mushrooms belong in an entirely different living *kingdom*, as you may recall from middle school biology class.  While tomatoes will always belong to the Plant kingdom, regardless of fruit or vegetable status, mushrooms belong to the Fungus kingdom.

That’s right.  Fungus.  Yeah, I know we knew that already, but it still creeps me out a little when I say it out loud. 

Enjoy your fungus. 

Calories:  250
Fat:  6 g
Sodium:  500 mg
Notable good nutritional content:  20% Phosphorus / 50% Manganese / 40% Selenium / 20% Copper
Notes on cooking:  one 4-5 minute single shot
Notes on packaging:  clear plastic tray, reusable/recyclable

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see you're back to blogging again.