A Blend of the Future and the Past
An Upward Trend
In the life of Mart Stoffele, the founder of Foodsporen, the mushroom extract has become an obsession after a life-changing experience. After working for about ten years in the event industry under intense hard work conditions, little sleep, and going all out, Mart became exhausted. Physically and mentally. After a doctor’s consult, he was diagnosed with depression, for which he took antidepressants for four years – with no progression. Until, during a trip around the world, he stumbled across a tiny store in Japan selling all kinds of Reishi mushroom products. “Since I was very sceptical at the time, my girlfriend took the lead and told the man behind the counter what my symptoms were. He gave us a liquid extract of the Reishi mushroom and told me to start taking the supplements immediately. Within two weeks, I noticed definite progress. Both mentally and physically. Another two weeks later, I was calling myself depression-free.” That a mushroom took care of Mart’s healing was something that awakened and intrigued him to this day. It even led him to study naturopathy, and that is where Foodsporen first began.
History tells us that mushrooms have been among us for over a thousand years. Going all the way back to the time of the Otsi (3,350 BC), where the birch mushroom was used for its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Even in Traditional Chinese Medicine, mushrooms have been used for as long as people can remember. “It is therefore normal in Eastern cultures for a doctor to subscribe certain mushrooms for ailments. Because they are thought to bring benefits such as anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering, inflammatory, soothing, anti-aging, and blood pressure-lowering properties.”
We at Foodsporen are incredibly grateful to our ancestors. They have always recognized and applied the knowledge of the healing powers of mushrooms. In the West, we almost lost this knowledge, but fortunately more and more people are becoming aware of the powerful healing power that Mother Nature has to offer.” At Foodsporen they therefore build on the knowledge of the past and continue it with new science and technology. For each mushroom, Foodsporen has developed a unique extraction method, which is focused on maximizing the harvest of the phytonutrients from the mushrooms. But also on keeping the polysaccharides (long sugar chains) intact. “In doing so, we use purely the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms, and not, as some providers do, the mycelium on grain.”
To illustrate the difference. In the past, liquid extracts (tinctures) were made by putting a particular plant, herb, or mushroom in an alcoholic solution of a certain percentage. These jars could stand for as long as 3-6 months until the extraction was complete. Today, there are many improved techniques. “We at Foodsporen even use ultrasonic sound frequency to vibrate phytonutrients (healthy components from plants and fungi) out of the cell walls. Through techniques such as spray drying, we make strong powder extracts of often 12:1! 12:1 in this case means that we make 1 kilo of powder extract from 12 kilos of dried mushrooms. That is very concentrated!”
“And I am very happy with Miron’s packaging. Especially because the liquid extracts from Foodsporen hardly oxidize in the bottles. When liquids oxidize, they are much more susceptible to bacterial and fungal growth. And not the mould growth that we want. In addition, the glass provides excellent protection for the many phytonutrients in our liquids and capsules. The shelf life of our products has also increased as a result.”
Mushrooms. The Key to a Healthy Lifestyle
“Mushrooms are little factories of healthy substances.” They are the organisms that compost. They give sugars to nature in exchange for healthy substances from the soil, wood or other plants and fungi. From those healthy substances they build their fruiting bodies. “So, mushrooms by themselves consist of numerous incredibly healthy substances. They contain a group of substances called polysaccharides. Of which the beta-glucan is the most interesting polysaccharides. These are essential sugars. These have immunomodulatory effects on our immune system. In addition, mushrooms contain numerous beneficial substances that have been shown to bring special health benefits. "In my opinion, mushrooms fit perfectly into a holistic approach to health. In which prevention is always better than cure."
Besides, mushrooms fit incredibly well into a sustainable world. Take the oyster mushroom as an example. It is just as nutritious as a kilo of steak, but where a kilo of steak takes 2,000 liters of water to produce, this mushroom takes only 2 liters of water per kilo. “Because mushrooms literally absorb everything from their environment, pesticides cannot even be used in the production. So always a clean product, which by the way, every batch is safely tested.”
Never Settle for Less
As with every step Mart takes with Foodsporen, he does extensive research on what is the best of the best. The best growers, the best extraction method, the best quantity of mushrooms, and so on. “But also the packaging had to be the best. Especially since we are talking about a health product that people will consume, nothing should be cut back on. During my research into the best packaging for Foodsporen, I came across Miron, which is the best on the market.”
“Initially, we quickly fell for the look of Miron glass. It is sleek, the color is beautiful, and it exudes quality. The choice was quickly made when we found out that our products are also better protected in the high-quality Miron violet glass. I have experienced the preservation of natural ingredients firsthand. And not unimportant, I also find the cooperation with MIRON very pleasant. The same young man always helps me, and this gives a pleasant and familiar feeling. Yet the most important thing is the quality, and we are very happy with that.”