Moshi moshi to everyone! A warm Japanese “Hello" that inspired the creation of the Mushi© brand. The brand name is also short for mushroom.
Raquel and João were responsible for creating the Mushi© brand, which is based on the traditional Japanese method of growing mushrooms on logs so that the client can “take the flavors of the forest to home".
The brand started in a greenhouse “by the Tejo river", trying to make a stand among Portuguese and European eco-consumers. According to Raquel, “the plans for the future are to fly beyond and grow the project, combining sustainable agriculture, education and environmental awareness.
Mushi© is now looking for a piece of land that she can call its own, to grow and create roots".
Curious? Get to know Raquel and João and their project from the heart.
Once upon a time…
… Raquel and João became the face and soul of the Mushi© brand.
Raquel Antunes is a biologist and has a PhD in science. She has already worked in the area of innovation and in the protection of biotechnology inventions.
João Santos is a manager and entrepreneur in the field of trade in horticultural products.
Their destiny changed when Raquel realized that in her life, there was not enough space for natural elements, such as “the sun, the wind, the smell of the soil,…".
But the real fuel was a documentary she saw about mushroom production on logs, which stimulated her curiosity to enroll in training. Thus, she managed to meet “true farmers, people with immense knowledge about nature, who inspired her and made her feel like a biologist again”. In a short time, she managed to get the Antunes family to start consuming shiitake mushrooms, which she produced. In addition to the family, she started supplying friends, friends of friends and so on. Word pulls word. Then she noticed that there was already interested clients in “producing their own mushrooms in parsley and basil.”
Courageous, Raquel made a decision and, decided to leave the office and went to work and, using personal savings, built a greenhouse, with the support of João, “life and dream companion”.
Thus begins a new adventure in their lives: Mushi ©.
In addition to Raquel and João, Mushi is a family project, because according to Raquel, “the project is far from being done by two, and relies on the irreplaceable collaboration of the whole family, the best backoffice in the world.”
With Mushi© happening, life changed for both of them.
“Today we live a simpler and more peaceful life, and we try to contribute to a healthier lifestyle, making known the wealth and wisdom that Nature hides. Once a scientist, a scientist forever … The greenhouse is now the laboratory, and nature its science! ”
… “a family project with an artisanal essence, cultivated every day with love and dedication. The brand grew from a desire to share the richness of a natural lifestyle and to bring nature closer to us. ”
… the fruited part of ”wood-decomposing fungi, which naturally develop in the logs. Thus, through a completely natural process, without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides, mushrooms of great quality, flavor and authenticity are born, with high nutritional and gastronomic value”.
The project consists on…
… growing mushrooms on tree logs using the traditional Japanese method and by investing in the concept of grow your own to bring the flavors of the forest to home.
Raquel and João develop natural mini-wood logs ready to produce tasty shiitake mushrooms*. “Healthy, fun and easy to use, the mushroom logs are perfect for lovers of slow food, natural flavors and for those passionate about the beauty and magic of nature".
Mushi© sells fresh shiitake mushrooms, as well as medicinal infusions based on dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, so that “you can enjoy all the flavor and properties of shiitake in a cup of tea!” This production is limited to the spontaneous mushroom production in the greenhouse.
For those most interested, Mushi© provides training sessions and workshops on the traditional Japanese method of producing mushrooms on logs.
Mushi© is a small project, which faces daily the typical inherent problems of working in a small scale…
… such as the management of procedures such as supply and distribution, which is not easy when dealing with living material. According to Raquel, the main challenge has been the introduction of a new and different product on the market, mainly because there are prejudiced concepts about mushrooms’ consumption.
Mushi ©’s strategy to solve their biggest problems, goes through…
… show the concept and the faces of the brand and the entire production process, through participation in events of products and sustainable food, in order to win and retain our consumers.
For Mushi© sustainability is…
… “the brand’s greatest commitment, through the preservation of nature and traditional knowledge, that is why they respect a form of ecological production and the promotion of a healthy and natural lifestyle and fair consumption practices. All the work done is aimed at minimizing human impact on the environment and ensuring that the cultivation system works in the most natural way as possible. All Mushi products are produced by hand and all materials are recycled and recyclable. ”
Mushi© is in the area of food sustainability…
… for several reasons, such as:
The greenhouse used by the brand was built using 100% recyclable thermal plastic, providing thermal stability and reducing the need for heating in the winter or cooling by irrigation in the summer. In its construction, there was also a concern to protect it from prevailing winds, from dry winds in summer and from cold winds in winter.
The wooden logs where mushrooms are grown, according to the traditional Japanese method, come from cleaning local forests.
The vertical stratification of the logs, inside the greenhouse, allows to optimize the use of water for irrigation. The water is not wasted as the reminiscent water is channeled to aromatic herb crops. Aromatic herbs are used both for consumption and for natural weed control.
Shiitake is the fungus used for cultivation and it provides from certificated organic farming. It is a wood-decomposing fungus, which develops naturally in the trunks.
”Mushrooms are recognized for their nutritional value, namely Shiitake. Almost without calories (20kcal on average per 100g) and low in fat, mushrooms still have a considerable amount of protein, and in comparative terms, their nutritional value can be compared to that of milk and meat, being significantly more nutritious than most vegetables. They are, therefore, a protein alternative with greater efficiency in production and less environmental impacts than food of animal origin. ”
Mushi© suggests that, in order to raise awareness for food sustainability, globally…
… there is a need of profound changes in consumption patterns, through the reduction or substitution on meat consumption, by embracing new diets with a greater vegetable base, with greater efficiency in production and less environmental impacts than animal foods. The consumption of seasonal products and local production are also ways of contributing to a greater impact of food sustainability.
Mushi ©’s final message to everyone:
Nature is not a place to visit. It is our home.
Get to know Mushi© on:
*The shiitake mushroom is one of the key elements of traditional oriental medicine, nicknamed the “elixir of life” in the Ming dynasty. The species used (Lentinula edodes) is a wood-decomposing fungus, which grows naturally in logs. Thus, mushrooms of high nutritional and gastronomic value are obtained through a completely natural process that respects the biology of the species. This mushroom contains lentinan, a compound approved in Japan as a medicine, namely in the treatment of cancer, for several decades, and whose scientific studies have been demonstrating the numerous therapeutic properties. It is a recognized nutraceutical, namely in strengthening the immune system, as an antioxidant and in lowing cholesterol.