Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mushroom Reality Check

www.democratherald.com - October 16th, 2011

People seem to associate wild mushrooms with toxicity but dangerous mushrooms are uncommon.A good number of mushrooms are edible, but most are not. Most inedible mushrooms are harmless, but unpalatable. Most toxic mushrooms will only make you feel sick, but a few are deadly.

There’s no easy way to look at an unknown mushroom and determine its toxicity or edibility. That’s why you are warned repeatedly about eating wild mushrooms — simple toxicity or edibility field marks don’t exist. There’s no substitute for caution.

You must thoroughly identify the mushroom species, without a doubt, and then find out if it’s safe from a qualified source. Many people have learned how to identify at least a few edible mushrooms. But if you don’t know exactly what species you have, you can’t even consider eating it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, many edible mushrooms can be toxic if not prepared properly, which usually means thorough cooking.

With that cautionary note, the mushrooms above are some local mushrooms. A single picture in the newspaper isn’t good enough information for you to make an identification in the field.  The Grisette and Fly Agaric are members of a group that includes some of the most dangerous mushrooms out there. The Grisette happens to edible, but there are toxic look-alikes. The Fly Agaric can make you sick.


Paula @ Spoons 'n' Spades said...

I agree, Mia. I very often get mushrooms growing in the garden under the trees, but I wouldn't dare eat them!

Mia said...

It's better to be safe than sorry. :)

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