Mushrooms go pink for cancer

Mushrooms will again turn pink on supermarket shelves in October as the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA), Pick ‘n Pay and Yucca Packaging join forces to help raise awareness of breast cancer during Breast Cancer awareness month. 

Between October 3 and 23, special pink punnets will ‘mushroom’ onto Pick ‘n Pay’s fresh produce shelves in support of the fight against breast cancer. R1 from each punnet of 250g whole white button mushrooms and 250g sliced white button mushrooms sold will be donated to the breast cancer support group, Reach for Recovery. 

 “October’s National Breast Cancer month offers an outstanding opportunity to get involved in raising funds to help survivors of breast cancer and those battling with this disease,”adds SAMFA’s, chairperson Ross Richardson. 

“Many research studies have already indicated that consuming more vegetables and whole grains may reduce women’s chances of developing breast cancer.  Now new breast cancer research studies, conducted around the globe stretching from western Australia to California seem to confirm another dietary link: Research seems to indicate that mushrooms have breast cancer-fighting properties that could establish them as important partners in the battle to win this fight. 

It is because of these findings that SAMFA and mushrooms are adding their voices to National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“By creating an awareness of the potential cancer-fighting properties of white button mushrooms as indicated by the research, and combining it with a fund-raising drive to assist breast cancer support group Reach for Recovery, we can make a real difference to the well-being of breast cancer survivors. Our October 2010 pink punnet promotion raised a whopping R232 524.00 for Reach for Recovery and we are looking forward to topping that during this year’s initiative.” 

Says Beulah Jankelowitz, the National Coordinator of the breast cancer support group Reach for Recovery (R4R), “Breast Cancer is a scary diagnosis which does not discriminate between race, religion, colour or creed. The good news however, is that if you detect and treat breast cancer in its early stage, you have a very good chance of fully recovering. 

“We are most grateful to SAMFA, Pick ‘n Pay and Yucca Packaging for their generosity as it is this kind of financial support that allows us, as a group of volunteers, to continue providing practical and emotional support to breast cancer patients and help thousands of women in needy communities throughout South Africa.  The funds raised last year went to the funding of silicone prostheses for women who cannot afford to purchase them and it also allowed us to harness sufficient staff to support survivors, patients and their families and extend our work further into needy communities throughout South Africa.”  

So, look out for the 250g punnets of whole white buttons and sliced white buttonsin their pretty pink packaging on Pick ‘n Pay’s shelves from October 3.  By purchasing a few mushroom punnets you will not only provide much needed funds to Reach for Recovery, you will also personally benefit by providing your body with essential vitamins and antioxidants recommended for a healthy, disease-preventing diet.

(Press release, September 2011)

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