ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poisonous Mushrooms

Updated on December 8, 2014

Not all Mushrooms are Good

In January 2012 two people lost their lives through poisoned mushrooms harvested and eaten in Canberra. They were tourists from China who were eating in a friend's club restaurant. Unbeknown to them the chef prepared their meal with a fatal poison gathered from nearby fields and known as the 'white-cap'.

They pretty much all look alike to the inexperienced eye of the unsuspecting. Apparently they resemble a mushroom commonly eaten and enjoyed in China. So how do you tell one type from another. Could this variety in the picture be a white-cap? Would you know if you saw it growing in a field?

We Do Pick Field Mushrooms in Canberra

Beautiful fresh mushrooms are hard to resist and many grow in my local park. They are often kicked to pieces, however, by those who believe they are not worth eating or just by vandals who could not care less. Sometimes I have walked home with so many in my hands that it was hard to hold them and many times found the need to take a bag.

They are large, typical mushrooms like those bought in the green grocer (picture from FreeDigitalImages,com). So where did that chef fail and why?

Wikipedia notes: "The pileus or cap of the original wild species is a pale grey-brown in color, with broad, flat scales on a paler background and fading toward the margins. It is first hemispherical in shape before flattening out with maturity, and 5-10 cm (2-4 in) in diameter. The narrow, crowded gills are free and initially pink, then red-brown and finally a dark brown with a whitish edge from the cheilocystidia " That makes it hard to mistake for one that is poisonous unless you know nothing about them.

Mushrooms are associated with trance and magic because of the potency some exhibit. Aside from the poisonous ones there are those that can be used to induce comas and other conditions on unsuspecting victims. Some people believe they are even inhabited by elves and fairies.

Do You Buy All Your Mushrooms?

Do you eat field mushrooms you pick yourself?

See results

How to pick them

Different Types

There are so many different types of mushrooms on the market that it is hard to choose between them. They suit different dishes and have completely different flavour although they all seem to have the same texture. Wikipedia notes: "A mushroom develops from a nodule, or pinhead, less than two millimeters in diameter, called a primordium, which is typically found on or near the surface of the substrate. It is formed within the mycelium, the mass of threadlike hyphae that make up the fungus."

Of the different types there are coral, gilled (although most are of this type), brain, button, and so on, each resembling the things they are called after. Cultivation has made it possible to just about grow any type in ideal situations to bring out the best of them. That also makes them rather expensive to buy. Micro-biologists are required to study the growth requirements for successful production.

Believe it or not there are magic mushrooms as well. People in some countries, such as Ireland, associate this fungus with lephrechauns and fairies. That is probably because they were considered to be potent and some do indeed act like drugs.

This from Wikipedia: "The mushroom effect is described as a "trip" because it is a long (4-6 hours) and powerful experience which takes you beyond normal perception and then back again. The active ingredient that causes this effect is called psilocybin. The mushrooms can be eaten raw or used to make tea."

That is possibly why the leprechaun is often depicted as being drunk or drinking. But gnomes are also included in these magical stories as happy, go lucky, drugged out fairies that can work magic on you if you are unaware or upset them in some way, It's amazing how ignorance leads to such delightful tales.

Grow Your Own

What is your preference

Do you prefer store bought or grow your own

See results

Still images from Dreamstime - click here

Please scribe a little comment before you go. Thank you, much appreciated.

© 2012 norma-holt

What's Your Take on This Lens?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mrsclaus411 profile image

      mrsclaus411 6 years ago

      I mostly buy from the grocery. I wouldn't know how to tell those mushrooms apart.

    • profile image

      momsfunny 6 years ago

      A very informative lens. We should be careful about picking up mushrooms just anywhere.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      Since I can't identify the poisonous ones, I just buy mushrooms from the grocery store.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Very valuable information. There have been numerous illnesses and deaths in my area from eating the wrong mushrooms. The climate here is perfect for many species and some of them can only be identified with certainty by looking at their spores under a microscope. It is really important to know what you're doing when eating wild mushrooms.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 6 years ago

      Very informative, thank you! Have always wanted to go gathering mushrooms but not been knowledgeable enough to risk it! Started growing our own in the garden as we love them sauteed. Blessed!

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 6 years ago

      I love mushrooms but have always been way to afraid to "find my own". My mother warned me early and often not to eat the yard mushrooms. It is probably a good thing she did LOL

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Excellent information! I don't personally eat a lot of mushrooms, but my family does. Sure wouldn't want to harm them in any way.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Excellent information! I don't personally eat a lot of mushrooms, but my family does. Sure wouldn't want to harm them in any way.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      great article, I'm what you would call an eater of the mushroom, I use to hunt for them during the hunt season in Iowa. Sure was fun. I always prefer my omelets to have mushrooms and even my pasta dishes too. Happy I found this, well done, does stink for the people who died from eating it from the chef however.

    • profile image

      espresso1020 6 years ago

      I have appreciate with getting lot of good and reliable, legislative information with your post.......

      Thanks for sharing such kind of nice and wonderful collection......

      If anyone else desire to get the full information about coffee with their equipments please click on these hypertext :-- koffiemolen | illy koffie | koffiesiropen | melkopschuimer| Dolce gusto cups | espresso glazen | espresso ontkalker

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Excellent lens! As a vegetarian I've always tried to eat plenty of mushrooms because of the levels of B12 they contain - I'd be very wary of picking my own though!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)