Following are some thoughts when collecting
mushrooms for the table or pot:
- Stay away from LBM's ("Little Brown
Mushrooms"), they include many poisonous species that are difficult
to distinguish from edible species. Examine each mushroom you
pick carefully. Poisonous and edible mushrooms often grow side
- Don't eat any mushroom that is past its prime. If you
wouldn't buy it in a grocery store because of its condition,
don't eat it from the wild. Eating edible species that have
spoiled causes many mushroom poisonings.
- Don't overeat on wild
mushrooms. Mushrooms should be a portion of a balanced meal,
not the whole meal.
- Always eat sparingly of any mushroom species
that you haven't eaten before. It's always possible you will
have an allergic reaction to a particular mushroom species.
Put a few specimens of the mushroom you plan to eat in the refrigerator,
so that a mycologist can positively identify the genera and
species if it turns out a mistake has been made.
- When picking
puffballs, cut them in half vertically and examine the contents.
If the inside is not pure white and unstructured, don't eat
it. A puffball with an interior structure resembling the outline
of a mushroom may be an undeveloped Amanita button.
If the interior is firm but discolored or black, it may be
an over ripe puffball or one of the poisonous earthballs.
suspicious of any mushroom with warts, scales or raised projections
on its cap. It could be a poisonous Amanita.
for specific recognizable mushrooms. When you go out picking
berries, you collect strawberries or blackberries. You
don't pick every kind of berry you come across, mix them in a
basket, and expect some expert to tell you which are edible.
Follow the same logic with mushrooms.
- Use caution and common sense. If in doubt, throw it out!