Poisonous mushrooms to avoid

Poisonous mushrooms to avoid

Though many wild mushrooms can be enjoyed safely, others pose a threat to your health.

Never consume the following mushrooms:

Death cap (Amanita phalloides). Death caps are among the most poisonous of all mushrooms and responsible for the majority of mushroom-related deaths worldwide. They grow in many countries around the world (22Trusted Source).
Conocybe filaris. This mushroom grows in Europe, Asia, and North America and contains the same toxins as the death cap. It has a smooth, cone-like cap that is brownish in color. They are highly toxic and can be fatal if ingested (23Trusted Source).
Autumn skullcap (Galerina marginata). Also known as the “deadly Galerina,” autumn skullcaps are among the most poisonous of mushrooms. They have small, brown caps and grow on rotting wood (24Trusted Source).
Death angel (Amanita ocreata). Related to the death cap, the death angel grows along the West Coast of the United States. This mushroom is mostly white and can cause severe illness and death if eaten (25).
False morels (Gyromitra esculenta and Gyromitra infula). These resemble edible true morels, making them especially dangerous. Unlike true morels, they are not completely hollow when cut (26Trusted Source).
In addition to the mushrooms listed above, many more types of poisonous mushrooms exist.

If you are ever unsure whether a wild mushroom is edible, do not eat it. Some mushrooms can cause severe sickness and even death.

A popular saying among mushroom hunters is, “There are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters. There are no old, bold mushroom hunters!”

SUMMARY
There are many types of poisonous wild mushrooms that should be avoided. Never eat a mushroom that you aren’t completely sure is edible.

Edible mushroom tips and precautions
For your safety, it’s critical that you only hunt mushrooms if you are experienced in identifying edible varieties.

If you’re interested in mushroom hunting, sign up for a class taught by a mushroom expert to learn how to properly identify safe varieties. Classes are offered through colleges, universities, and mycology clubs, such as the North American Mycological Association.

It should be noted that it’s a bad idea to consume wild edible mushrooms that grow in urban settings, along busy highways, or in areas where pesticide exposure is likely. Fungi absorb pollutants like car exhaust and chemicals from the environment (27Trusted Source).

When foraging for mushrooms, always bring along a mushroom hunting guide that includes edible mushrooms that grow in your area. It will help you properly identify safe varieties.

Always avoid picking edible mushrooms that are past their prime. Signs that a mushroom should not be picked include decaying flesh, insect infestation, or a rancid smell.

When you’re mushroom hunting, bring along either a basket, mesh bag, paper bag, or small backpack to store your haul, along with a small knife to harvest mushrooms.

Cleaning and storage
Advice regarding whether to clean wild mushrooms by running them under cool water and removing excess dirt with a soft brush varies.

Some experts insist that washing mushrooms prior to storage leads to quicker spoilage, while some foraging enthusiasts recommend cleaning mushrooms before refrigerating them.

Regardless of whether you clean your mushrooms before storing them, keep them in a container with good airflow, such as a paper bag. Do not store mushrooms in plastic bags or tightly sealed containers.

Fresh, wild mushrooms should last a few days in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen or dried, which can significantly increase their shelf life.

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