How To Ensure You Do Not Pick Poisonous Mushrooms

By Subodh / August 1, 2015

Mushrooms are a favorite choice of platter, for many! The fleshy spore- at least the edible types are replete with nutrients and taste awesome when cooked in various ways. You can use mushrooms to make soups, curries, salads and even pizzas. While the taste of mushrooms can leave your taste buds craving for more- be aware that not all of them are safe. It may be difficult to identify poisonous mushrooms from the safe variants at times. Consequences of eating poisonous mushroom variants can be fatal and so it is essential that you know ways to choose and eat edible, safe mushrooms.

mushrooms

  • Buying Mushrooms From Proper Places– When you buy mushrooms from organic food stores and shops where these are sold in airtight containers and you can see the mushrooms from outside, you are more or less safe. Still, it is important to check for date of packaging. On these packs, you will also find the last date for safe consumption.
  • Checking The Condition– It is quite important that you check the condition of mushrooms while buying. This is more applicable when you buy mushrooms from the local vegetable market or farmer’s market, etc. Any variant of mushrooms that show signs of decay or rotting should be discarded. This is easier to detect when you buy white mushrooms, but variants with multiple hues or brownish color are also sold.
  • Be Cautious About Wild Mushrooms– Some people, especially those into trekking and wildlife exploration love collecting wild mushrooms. Some of these mushrooms are edible, but assessing their safety can be quite tricky. You may want to gather some knowledge about safety of wild edible mushrooms before collecting them for consumption, as it is. There are plenty of online resources on the topic and you should go through a few to enhance your knowledge. However, do not go by random social media groups or posts- as there can be misleading or vague information.

Learn About Safe And Poisonous Mushroom Species

There are thousands of species and subspecies of mushrooms and you may not be able to gather knowledge on all of them! However, it is still important that you learn about the most poisonous ones for safety.

  • The green-spored parasol is a poisonous mushroom species that resembles white button mushrooms. The former grows widely in California and parts of North America in fall and summer. This variant also resembles an edible mushrooms species called shaggy parasol.
  • False morels are toxic and they resemble edible Morel mushrooms. Similarly, jack-o’-lantern mushrooms resemble chanterelle mushrooms.
  • You will do better by evading consumption of parasol shaped mushroom variants, notably those with bright colors and spots on the flesh.

There are many such variants of apparently edible looking harmful mushrooms and with time and research you can enhance your knowledge in the topic.

Where It All Leads To?

Whether you collect mushrooms grown in wilderness or buy packed organic mushrooms for eating, ensure you cook them in the safe ways to eliminate risk of contamination. It is not at all advisable to eat such mushrooms raw, in salad or any dish. Wash mushrooms in warm water to reduce risk of contamination. Before adding them to dish, you may boil them or stir fry. This will further reduce chances of toxins affecting your body. However, keep in mind that really toxic mushrooms remain harmful no matter how you cook them. It would be prudent that you do not store edible mushrooms in the refrigerator for a long time after buying.