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We're in the Pink!

Sandton – February 10, 2014


The Mushroom Pink Punnet campaign, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month raised R 414,473.00 for breast cancer support group Reach for Recovery (R4R) during October 2013. Over the 4 years of this initiative between the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) and Pick n Pay just over R1, 5million has been collected to sustain the work of R4R.


“It is with great pride and gratitude ,” said SAMFA chairperson Ross Richardson at a celebratory breakfast this morning, “that we support the community outreach work that these remarkable R4R volunteers - all breast cancer survivors – do every day of the year. And we are thrilled to announce that this 4-year old partnership between ourselves and Pick n Pay, supported by thousands of generous South Africans who purchase mushrooms in pink punnets during October, has raised a total of over R1, 5million over the period.


Beulah Jankelowitz, the National Coordinator of R4R also expressed her associations thanks to SAMFA and Pick n Pay. "Reach for Recovery is made up of volunteers and we cannot thank SAMFA and Pick n Pay enough for their ongoing financial support. They help us to continue making a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients.”


As always, the funds raised through this campaign will predominantly be used to purchase silicone prostheses for women who can’t afford them.  However, the extent of the funding allows R4R to create support materials that assist survivors and their families and it also extends their work further into needy communities throughout South Africa.


The campaign was conceptualized when research increasingly started to indicate that women who eat an average of one mushroom per day (around 10g) have half the risk of breast cancer. “This research, explains Richardson, “has been backed by further studies around the globe and South Africa’s mushroom growers are proud to help build an awareness of the potential cancer-fighting properties of white button mushrooms. We are also delighted to be able to make a real difference to the work of R4R.”


"Eating mushrooms would be an easy intervention. It could provide a cost-effective whole-food option for cancer risk reduction."  
Dr Shiuan Chen, Director, Department of Surgical Research, City of Hope.


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  1. Researchers at the University of Western Australia discovered in their study that women who ate at least 10 grams of white button mushrooms per day were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
  2. Research done by Professor Shiuan Chen, Director of Surgical Research at City of Hope Hospital in California indicates that natural compounds found in white button mushrooms inhibit aromatase enzymes in the body (proteins that stimulate the production of estrogen and which can promote the growth of some cancers, including breast cancer). So indications are that the consumption of white button mushrooms will help reduce the amount of estrogen the body produces, and subsequently reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  3. Mushrooms may also help prevent cancer by providing natural antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals (naturally occurring chemicals that can damage cells’ DNA and initiate the cancer process) and help to repair damage that has already occurred. In some laboratory studies, mushrooms displayed even more antioxidant power than tomatoes and carrots.


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