Wild mushrooms, part 2: Myths and misconceptions.

Discussion in 'Herbalism - Medicinal, Practical, and other Uses' started by Correy, May 21, 2016.

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  1. Correy

    Correy Expert Member

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    As mentioned at the part 1 of the "Mycology" thread (here: http://mysurvivalforum.com/threads/mucology-or-dealing-with-wild-mushrooms.590/), there are some guidelines as to how to first approach the knowhow of foraging wild mushrooms, but there are also certain myths around it:

    Misconception no1: "All poisonous mushrooms are bitter or caustic in taste", this is false, many poisonous mushrooms including Amanita phalloides have a normal taste.

    Misconception no2: "If we see small animals like insects, snails or turtles eating these mushroom then they must be edible", this is also false, because these animals have a very different digestive system from ours. The only case where this rule could apply would be with animal that are very evolutionarily close to us, such as domesticised mammals and primates.

    Misconception no3: "All poisonous mushrooms turn blue or black when in contact with a silver spoon" or "All poisonous mushroom can coagulate milk or egg yolk". This only applies to a few select mushrooms and not all poisonous species, so it's not a good method to rely on if you want to tell the poisonous mushrooms apart.

    Misconception no3: "It's ok if I pick a poisonous one, I'll cross-check them on my lap top at home". Even if you have one poisonous mushroom in your satchel/container, it's very likely that the poisonous substance will diffuse to the nearby mushrooms an render them poisonous as well. So if you have doubts about a mushroom leave it be, and if you like making collections anyway, keep your unidentified mushrooms away from the ones you wish to eat later.
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member

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    all I know about mushrooms is there are far more that will kill you than are edible.
  3. Correy

    Correy Expert Member

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    Depends on where you live though and if there's people who forage a lot or not.
    In places where there's a lot of mushroom enthusiasts you'll have a lot of competition to find edible mushrooms and you might stumble upon the unidentifiable mushrooms that they left behind and fall for it yourself.

    There are areas where there's a lot of morrels and oyster mushrooms, both of them very recognisable... and then there's areas with lots of A. muscaria and phalloides. You might want to shy away from areas with lots of known psychoactive mushrooms, as you might have stumbled upon a "mushroom farm" and those always come with not-so-nice people carrying guns.

    There's also areas where an edible type of mushroom might taste worse than expected, and that depends on the soil and trees they grow around as well as the overall local climate. So if you still live in a pre-apocalyptic setting, and you have friendly people around, you can ask around which mushrooms they pick, because usually seasoned mushroom enthusiasts have gone through all the forest and seen what grows and where.

    Rookies that don't have a veteran to teach them and try do learn from the internet are usually advised to treck instead of foraging mushrooms for the first few trips, and having a camera (or a phone) taking photos of what they find, and report back any weird mushrooms that they didn't recognise.
  4. Endure

    Endure Expert Member

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    Mushroom foraging is pretty tricky. You have to know for certain the mushroom you're picking is edible or not, and there are a lot of venomous almost identical to edibles. Also, some mushrooms like the Amanita Fulva that will cause an indigestion eaten raw, or the Parasol Macrolepiota Procero, that are great edible mushrooms, but is not safe to pick a lepiota smaller than 12 cm and with red skin, because these are poisonous.
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  5. Correy

    Correy Expert Member

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    True, one needs to both know what they are picking as well as how to cook it. Morrels are quite popular because the guidelines are simple, all you have to do is sautee them and they are rendered edible. It's not as simple with lesser known/popular mushrooms, because it entails someone having tested out many recipes to make something tasty out of them.
  6. BeautifullyBree

    BeautifullyBree Active Member

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    People in my area that have property make a big deal about mushroom hunting. The market for them is high, and so is the price. I've never been and have always been interested in going mushroom hunting one time.
  7. franky

    franky New Member

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    There is no 100% certain way how to recognize if a mushroom is edible or not. But what I have noticed from reading some mushroom manuals and from eating various mushrooms is that the general rule of thumb is that usually mushrooms that look really pretty and are in bright colors are the most poisonous ones and should be avoided. This includes all the mushrooms from the Amanita genus (ones that look like an open umbrella and sometimes have white spots), the most known ones being fly agaric and the death cap.

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