needed when eating wild mushrooms
Many delicious and nutritious mushrooms can be found growing in the wild. But not all mushrooms are safe for eating.
Anyone contemplating picking and eating wild mushrooms must make absolutely sure they can recognise those that are dangerous.
danger to those who enjoy picking and eating things that
are found ‘naturally’ is the Deathcap Mushroom
(Amanita Phalloides). This mushroom is found in
many parts of the world. In 1918, 31 children in Poland
died after eating a prepared meal of these mushrooms. It
is believed that about one in five people who eat them
Mushrooms contain a powerful toxin (poison) which blocks
many of the body’s natural functions. Cooking, freezing,
or drying canot destroy the toxin.
When a deathcap
mushroom is eaten, the affected person may feel all
right for up to 24 hours. The first sign of trouble is
usually watery diarrhoea. This may appear to settle but
is followed by serious illness, usually resulting in
kidney or liver failure. Death can occur 7 to 10 days
after eating a single mushroom.
mushrooms are easily recognised. (See Picture) They have
a white to greeny-white cap, white gills and a swelling,
or cup, at the base of their stem. They grow in the root
systems of trees, especially oak trees.