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Do not eat the deathcap

By Skidbladnir 7 January 2008 29

Above right: Fully-opened Paddy Straw Mushroom (Healthy to eat), Volvariella speciosa),
Above left: Immature deathcap mushroom Very Deadly, Amanita phalloides)

According to the ABC Online article, people who can’t tell the difference between mushrooms have been busy poisoning themselves.After recent rains, mushrooms are in bloom all over town, so be aware that they can grow in the same areas and look very similar, as shown above (photo courtesy of the Botanical Gardens).

More famous people than you who have been killed by them include: Roman Emporer Claudius, Charles VI (Holy Roman Emperor), and Pope Clement VII.So ladies and gentlemen, don’t become a statistic.

Handy hint: If you don’t know exactly what it is, don’t eat it.


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29 Responses to
Do not eat the deathcap
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EvanJames 5:42 pm 12 Jan 12

Because my cardboard box is inside, away from the spores! I have been eating a very fine succession of Swiss Browns from my cardboard box since October, although I’m not seeing any new ones sprouting. Think the box is exhausted.

Jivrashia 4:30 pm 12 Jan 12

EvanJames said :

I’ll keep growing my mushrooms in a cardboard box, I think.

But then how do you prevent spores from deadly mushrooms floating into your cardboard box and sprouting?

EvanJames 2:41 pm 12 Jan 12

Wow. That picture is scary, I’d have no clue which was which. The Chinese who died thought they were Straw Mushrooms, and going by the picture above, why wouldn’t they?

I’ll keep growing my mushrooms in a cardboard box, I think.

Calochilus 2:06 pm 12 Jan 12

Surprisingly, it’s dead easy (pardon the pun). If the witer of this clip had read the original article, he too would spot the difference immediately. He might not have misquoted the original author either.
For those of you who can’t, then do your homework and read the article, the differences are highlighted . There is no excuse for making an error. After 27 years of pointing out the differences to people who have eaten (or whose kids have eaten) a mushroom that has given cause for second thoughts (over 400), I’ve yet to find an adult who , when shown the difference, goes away with any uncertainty.
It all boils down to not eating ANY mushroom that you cannot positively identify as edible. A subtly diffferent message to the handy hint.
For those of you who are truly paranoid, one of the common field mushrooms found in Canberra (Agaricus xanthocarpus) cause vigorous vomiting if eaten by a susceptible person. So far I’ve met 3 people (in A&E), one of whom had been eating the same mushrooms from the same spot for 15 years previuosly with no ill effect. I eat them and enjoy them .

Skidbladnir 2:52 pm 06 Jun 08

Reality, I think the African version of the Avenging Angel turns blue, and there’s bunch of toxic american mushrooms that are now cosmopolitan species, which also turn blue.

Blue bruises are not a guarantee of safety.

realityskin 2:30 pm 06 Jun 08

if the stem goes blueish/purple, they are safe to eat 😀

Thumper 1:53 pm 06 Jun 08

Seriously, you’d have to be an idiot to eat shrooms….

Renal failure is not my idea of a fun time.

Absent Diane 1:27 pm 06 Jun 08

i love mushrooms (for culinary purposes). Would never eat wildies though and have never done (or plan on) the magic variety. It just seems far to risky for me.

Skidbladnir 1:06 pm 06 Jun 08

@lion:
The “blue tinge” is a cyanic reaction to bruising, which most people hunting psilocybin associate with their shrooms (especially those hunting azurescens or cyanescens)

The bad news is the blue tinge isn’t actually an indicator of psilocybin content, just a fairly common chemical reaction within some mushrooms.
There are apparently a few spectacularly deadly mushrooms that do the cyanic trick also.

@ant:
Even cherry-picking the best mushrooms from a patch full of worms and bugs isn’t an indicator of non-toxic varieties.
Worms and insects aren’t all affected by the toxins, so just keep on muching regardless.

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