“Bright” sides of mushroom production in sustainability. Examples of mushroom cultivation using by-products of forestry and agriculture that contribute to environmental sustainability. Bed cultivation of button mushroom using horse manure and paddy straw. Global mushroom production has increased 13.8-fold to 42.8 million tons over the 30 years from 1990 to 2020
Mushroom production can utilize various low economic value by-products generated in forestry and agriculture as resources instead of incineration. Therefore, it is suggested that mushroom production is a profitable business, especially for developing countries. Mushroom production needs to address both its “bright” aspects that contribute to sustainability as well as the “dark” aspects contravening such impacts. Unfortunately, despite its contribution to sustainability, global awareness is low and global mushroom production trends are stagnating. Active dissemination of information on the contribution to sustainability and health functionality of mushrooms, and sharing basic knowledge and experience with mushroom-related facilities through the strengthening of international mutual cooperation may help break this logjam. Introducing sustainability certification programs is also a good way to recognize and promote the environmental contributions of mushroom production. On the “dark” sides, the enormous number of spores from mushrooms cultivated in the closed environment cause health hazards to the producers, pollution to the facilities, and erosion of the natural genetic diversity. The identification and exploitation of genes involved in sporulation will be useful for developing more efficient and versatile spotless breeding. The development of materials with improved biodegradability help improve the disposal method of used heat-resistant bags and SMS, thus reducing the burden on the environment. SMS will be in the spotlight for its role as materials in the near future. In this way, although mushroom production has both a “bright” and “dark” side, trends and recent discoveries appear to be moving this sector toward greater environmental sustainability. Economic sustainability, however, is also an important issue.