Collecting For the Table
- 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 by 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
- 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.
- Be suspicious of any mushroom with warts,
scales or raised projections on its cap. It could
be a poisonous Amanita.
- Look 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