Integration of mushroom production into circular food chains
Edible mushrooms are cultivated mainly on ligno-cellulosic plant materials, thereby turning agricultural wastes to high-quality products. In this review, several ways in which mushroom cultivation could help in the transition towards a circular agricultural economy are discussed, including food, feed, and compost production. The production processes of different mushroom species are also described and an overview of the global mushroom market and its history are given. Resource use efficiency could be maximized by using spent mushroom substrate as feed for invertebrates, such as insects or earthworms, which produce high-quality compost and can serve as food or feed for other livestock. In the context of an increasing world population, as well as limited resources and agricultural land, mushroom cultivation could fulfill the need for protein-rich food and for the recycling of nutrient-poor agricultural wastes.