Value of berries and mushrooms
The economic value of berries and mushrooms can be assessed with gathering income. The gathering income of berries has been approximately 10 million euros although annual fluctuation is significant. The gathering income of mushrooms has been around 1 million euros annually. The annual export value of bilberry and cowberry has been altogether ca. 13 million euros since 2010.
Social value is constituted by the number of people participating in picking of berries and mushrooms. In 2010 about 58% of the population picked berries and 40% picked mushrooms. The numbers increased slightly in 2000–2010. Social value is also derived from picking incomes and part-time employment during gathering season.
The health impact of berries and mushrooms is twofold. Picking of berries and mushrooms is good exercise and thus improves physical health. Time spent in nature has been studied to have many positive effects also on mental health. Additionally, the health impact is gained by eating berries and mushrooms. Berries are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms are also good sources of fibre and their proteins include all essential amino acids. Both berries and mushrooms have low energy content which results in high nutrition quality.
Berries and mushrooms have an important role in Finnish traditional cooking as well as in folklore.
Outdoor recreation statistics 2000 & 2010. Recreational use of forests. Finnish Forest Research Institute.
Törrönen, R., Riihinen, K., Sarkkinen, E. & Feodoroff, R. 2013. Selvitys marjojen terveysvaikutusten kliinisestä tutkimusnäytöstä. Itä-Suomen yliopisto, OSKE Osaamiskeskusohjelma, FoodFiles. [In Finnish]
Fineli – Elintarvikkeiden koostumustietopankki. Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos. [In Finnish]
- Updated (19.01.2015)