Mushrooms are a fantastic addition to any meal, adding flavor and nutrition. They’re a great source of antioxidants linked to numerous health benefits. Picking mushrooms can be challenging. There are various mushroom types, but not all of them are edible. Some mushrooms can be poisonous!
For this reason, knowing what you’re doing is essential before mushroom picking. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the dos and don’ts of picking mushrooms safely and what to look for when you’re out in the wild. Stay tuned!
Top 6 Dos and Don’ts When Picking Mushroom
1. Do your research
Before heading out into the woods, do your research on which mushrooms are safe to eat and which ones aren’t. It’s best to err on the side of caution and only pick mushrooms that you’re positive are safe.
Once you’ve narrowed down which mushrooms you’re looking for, familiarize yourself with what they look like so you can be sure you’re picking the right ones. Ensure you do research and understand which mushrooms grow in what seasons.
2. Don’t eat any mushrooms raw
All mushrooms should be cooked before eating, even if you plan to add them to a salad. Cooking them will make them taste better and help kill any harmful bacteria or toxins that might be present.
3. Do wash your hands thoroughly after handling any type of mushroom, poisonous or not.
Some people are allergic to mushrooms and may experience skin rashes after handling them. However, even for those who are not allergic, it is vital to wash your hands after handling any type of mushroom, and this will help to avoid any potential toxins from being transferred to the eyes or mouth.
4. Don’t eat mushrooms you have not 100% identified as safe.
Some mushrooms are deadly poisonous and look almost identical to edible varieties. Therefore, don’t take a chance unless you are sure the mushroom is safe to eat. You can use resources like mushroom-finding apps and books or seek out the help of an expert.
5. Do bring a knife and basket
You’ll need a sharp knife to cleanly cut the mushrooms from the ground. Avoid pulling the mushroom up by the stem, as this can damage the mushroom and the surrounding fungi. A small basket (preferably one with a wire mesh bottom) will help you to transport your bounty without squishing or bruising the mushrooms.
6. Don’t take mushrooms with alcohol
Mushrooms and alcohol don’t mix. Mushrooms contain a natural substance called chitin, which can cause nausea and vomiting when combined with alcohol. Alcohol also makes the effects of the mushroom more intense, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
Ensure you avoid cooking your mushrooms with wine, sherry, or other liquor, which can also lead to severe consequences.
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of mushroom picking, you’re ready to go out and find your batch of these versatile fungi. Remember to be careful and respectful of nature, and have a good time! With some knowledge and practice, mushroom picking can be a fun and rewarding hobby for anyone.