While eating mushrooms just caused Alice to shrink in size in Lewis Carol’s trippy fair ‘Alice in Wonderland’, gorging accidentally on these vicious fungi can do you worse than that! Mushroom lovers need to understand that these seemingly harmless and tasty-looking morsels aren’t always safe as they often appear to be. Dining on a toxic variety of mushroom can leave you speeding for the emergency room in no time. While mushroom is widely favored for its delectable taste, devouring upon poisonous variety like the Jack-O' Lantern and the Green-spored Lepiota can lead to severe complications and at times prove to be fatal too. So, if you are someone who is a mushroom enthusiast and cannot imagine your food without mushroom, it would be a wise idea to check out with a local poison control center for more information on the toxic breed of this fungus. Educating yourself on the various breeds of this fungus may prove to be useful. Make sure you always use the mushrooms which you have identified as safe and remember to discard the rest. Read on to get some effective tips on how to identify poisonous mushrooms.
Tips For Identifying Poisonous Mushrooms
- Every time you pick a mushroom, look out for some trademark signs. Doing a step-by-step check may help to eliminate poisonous mushrooms. You should never pick little brown mushrooms or umbrella-capped ones with white gills.
- Always leave out the mushroom that has a bulbous cap or sac around its base, as these mushrooms are likely to be toxic. The rounded cap or ‘volva’ is usually the remnant of universal veil. This part of the mushroom usually stays under the soil. So, dig out your mushroom to check for such sacs before taking them for consumption.
- Another most common feature of a toxic mushroom is the presence of a ring around the stem. This ring or ‘annulus’ is a clear indication of the toxicity of a mushroom. Steer clear of any mushroom that comes with such rings.
- Generally, the spores are too small to be visible to the naked eye, but you can make a spore print that will show the color of the spores in mass. This color is an important identifying characteristic for many mushrooms, especially the gilled fungi.
- Always take care to remember the place from where you collect your mushrooms. False Morels, a particular type of toxic mushroom is usually found in the woods and is known to cause deaths at times. They have irregular, deformed caps and come in white, brown, red, black and grey colors.
- Before eating your mushroom, just bite into its fleshy cap and wait for 24 hours to see any possible signs of poisoning. Even the non-poisonous mushrooms can aggravate allergy at times. So, it is always safe to be doubly sure before consuming your mushroom.
- Rotten mushrooms that are too old or decayed are best avoided. It is advisable to consume only those mushrooms that are firm and fresh. Also, avoid eating wild mushrooms in raw form or in large quantities as these are difficult to digest.