Poisonous Mushrooms Identification Myths

If you are new to the mushroom picking it is really important to educate yourself from mushrooms guide books and consult experts if it’s possible. There are so many non-edible and poisonous mushrooms species and you have to be very cautious when you picking them by yourself.

To help avoid sickness, poisoning or even death, don’t rely on myths to help identify poisonous mushrooms. These folk tales or local stories could be very dangerous, as many of them are inaccurate or false.

If you have any doubts on mushroom edibility just remember the age-old saying: If doubt, throw it out!

Common myths about poisonous mushrooms identification

  • Myth: Mushrooms can be detoxicated with cooking.
  • Truth: This is an unreliable assumption. You won’t destroy toxic by cooking/boiling/heating because the toxic is mostly thermostable.
  • Myth: When mushroom goes blue or dark after picking or cutting it, it is poisonous.
  • Truth: Even the edible ones can change the color of the cap or the stem. It changes its color due to an oxidation. It’s perfectly normal for some species.
  • Myth: If you can peel the mushroom, it is safe to eat it.
  • Truth: Even the poisonous mushrooms can be peeled.
Poisonous mushroom

Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaricus) looks lovely and it’s often seen in the commercials and illustrations, but actually it is poisonous and psychoactive

  • Myth: Poisonous mushrooms smell bad and taste bad/bitter/sour.
  • Truth: Even the poisonous mushrooms can have a pleasant smell and nice taste. In fact, some of the edible species have the unpleasant smell or sour taste. Finally, not all the people have the same perception of smell and taste.
  • Myth: Warms, insects, and snails don’t eat poisonous mushrooms.
  • Truth: What could be deadly to a human, it isn’t necessarily deadly to a bug.
Poisonous mushrooms

Boletus Satanas, one of the most common poisonous mushrooms.

  • Myth: Feed mushrooms to small animals like chickens or squirrels, if they eat it, it is not poisonous.
  • Truth: Those animals are maybe resistant to toxic, but that doesn’t mean you are. Especially relevant is to keep in mind that mushrooms which are commonly safe for human consumption, could be fatal for your pets.
  • Myth: All the white mushrooms are edible.
  • Truth: Wrong! For example, several deadly and poisonous species in the Amanita genus are white.
  • Myth: Every mushroom is edible when young.
  • Truth: The toxicity of mushroom doesn’t depend on its maturity. If it’s poisonous when mature, it is poisonous in every stage of its growth.
  • Myth: All poisonous mushrooms have a pointed cap.
  • Truth: The shape of any part of a mushroom plays no role in its toxicity.
  • Myth: Cook a mushroom and put a silver spoon into water. If the spoon goes black, the mushroom is poisonous.
  • Truth: In fact, some poisonous species will not turn the spoon black.

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