Hot Chocolate--Why mushrooms?
I believe hot chocolate should be a time to relax & de-stress. I chose to include the Reishi mushroom because it has been used for millennia in chinese medicine to relax the mind and bring the body into balance. So the mushrooms actually enhance the naturally relaxing experience of hot chocolate!
I came up with mushroom hot chocolate because I’m always cooking with mushrooms and love developing recipes. I couldn’t find a mushroom hot chocolate so I decided to make my own. I modified my Mom's 'Bienek Family Hot Chocolate' recipe to include the Reishi mushroom, known to enhance relaxation without adding a mushroomy flavor.
This hot chocolate is also dairy free, so vegans and people with dairy allergies, like myself, can enjoy it.
"It's rich, nutty, and smoothly coats my mouth. It has just the right balance of sweetness; hot chocolate is usually too sweet for me." -Zak Weinstein
My story is about mushrooms because mushrooms inspire me! It all began when I got involved in a myco-restoration project. Myco-restoration is a type of ecological restoration which introduces mushrooms to the environment. That’s because fungi are "recyclers" in an ecological sense, and some species can even break down pollutants in our environment, thereby restoring nature.
I began to wonder, ‘if mushrooms can ‘heal the earth’ so to speak, can they heal us as well?’
I started growing edible mushrooms, everywhere. I grew them at home, with students, students at the community colleges I teach at. My life changed when my father-in-law got cancer, I started to look into scientific evidence for several medicinal mushrooms which have been used to treat cancer as well as a number of diseases. I want to do something in health and mushrooms just felt right.
I source quality ingredients from local and organic farms. Our hot cocoa powder is fair-trade certified, so even though we cannot purchase from a local source we do what we can to ensure the human rights of farmers around the world.
So far, I have a website domain (healingearth.us) and am working with a graphic designer to make the labels. I have been talking to farmers and have found some which can supply ingredients. I have contacted farmers markets and food co-ops to sell my product.
Reishi - Ganoderma complex including (Ganoderma lucidum, G. tsuga, G. orgense) is what is called an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a natural substance which is known to be non-toxic and helps the body adapt to stress as well as bringing balance to the endocrine(hormones) and immune systems.
I'm asking for your support because I need your funds to start selling Mushroom Hot Chocolate!
Funds from the Kickstarter will pay for renting space in a commercial kitchen (10%), purchasing ingredients(25%), business insurance (25%), product development (5%), Kickstarter fees (5%), shipping (10%) and the remaining licenses required (20%) to send you a box of hot chocolate.
I would like to acknowledge my beloved sister Grace Winkel (http://www.imjustpeachy.com) for branding, logo design, and product labels, and Raven & Rose productions for producing the video. I would like to thank my dad, Henryk Bienek for taking me morel mushroom hunting when I was a child, and my Mom, Irena Bienek, for making me homemade hot chocolate on cold winter nights in Michigan. I wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of my family and friends!
Thank you for your support and remember, enjoy life always!
(Polish saying - To your health!)
Chen, C., Li, P., Li, Y., Yao, G., & Xu, J. (2016). Antitumor effects and mechanisms of Ganoderma extracts and spores oil. Oncology Letters, (12): 3571-3578. doi:10.3892/ol.2016.5059
John W. M. Yuen and Mayur Danny I. Gohel (2005). Anticancer Effects of Ganoderma lucidum: A Review of Scientific Evidence. NUTRITION AND CANCER. 53(1): 11–17.
Hasnet et al (2004). Anti inflammatory activity on mice of extract of Ganoderma lucidum grown on rice via modulation of MAPK and NF-jB pathways. Phytochemistry, (115): 125-126.
Li-Xin Sun, Zhi-Bin Lin, Xue-Jun Li, Min Li, Jie Lu, Xin-Suo Dua2, Zhi-Hua Ge, You-Xin Song, En-Hong Xing and Wei-Dong Li (2010). Promoting Effects of Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides on B16F10 Cells to Activate Lymphocytes. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology (108): 149–154.
Jingsong Zhang, Qingjiu Tang, Changyan Zhou, Wei Jia, Luis Da Silva , Long Duc Nguyen , Werner Reutter , Hua Fan (2010). GLIS, a bioactive proteoglycan fraction from Ganoderma lucidum, displays anti-tumour activity by increasing both humoral and cellular immune response. Life Sciences (87): 628–637.
Dejan S. Stojkovic, Lillian Barros, Ricardo C. Calhelha, Jasmina Glamocˇlija, Ana C´ iric´, Leo J. L. D. van Griensve4, Marina Sokovic´, and Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira (2014). A detailed comparative study between chemical and bioactive properties of Ganoderma lucidum from different origins. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 65(1): 42–47.
Watchel-Galor, S. (n.d.). Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. (2nd ed.). CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. ISBN-13: 978-1-4398-0713-2
Risks and challenges
This is a new start up with many risks involved. We live in a fungi-phobic society, which often has a negative connotation of mushrooms. Some people think portabella or psychedelics when I say mushroom, unaware of the diversity of edible mushrooms and complexity of flavor profiles. To combat this challenge, I will educate people about the many benefits of culinary mushrooms through Healing Earth's "Mushroom Club", blog, and workshops. I have volunteered my time teaching a mushroom workshop to Girl Scouts and plan to volunteer at similar local organizations to educate youth. A project like this takes time and patience and dedication. Please know that I am doing everything I can to prepare as I begin teaching a class at the local community college.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)