One grower who I consulted with could not fill all of their orders. Their mushrooms were of excellent quality,
so the demand was beyond their capacity. I was able to give them some ideas of how to increase their capacity. Most of their mushrooms
were in good strong clumps and with virtually no stems, so they were able to just trim off the substrate and package them in their
natural clumps. The clumps gave some protection to avoid breakage of the blades.
You may notice that the mushrooms
in the first photo are almost white, the last two have definite color on the top of the caps. Oyster mushrooms lose color as they
mature. Mushrooms that have color, but are lighter than others are not necessarily older, however. If you are in a store with many
trays from the same grower, it is a good bet that those with the darker color are younger, but if the trays came from two growers
and one group is darker, it is not necessarily younger.
Now for the sad tale (or should I say tail). It is the greatest national embarrassment, the first photo
is from a large supermarket in the United States. The other two photos are in third-world countries. One is from Colombia, the other
from Russia. If you are not aware that Russia is third world, I can tell you that it is common for wages there to be no more than
the equivalent of $50 per month. With that wage, they must take care of their needs, including warm clothing and heating in a climate
that can be colder than -40 degrees for weeks at a time. So third world countries are surpassing the U.S. in quality products.