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Mushrooms in my backyard – are they safe to eat?


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#1 Nomina

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 06:29 PM

Hi everyone,

With all the rain we have been getting in NY, my backyard has sprouted a ton of mushrooms. They smell delicious and I would like to eat them but I don't want to eat something poisonous. Does anyone recognize these and can they be eaten?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 ScoopKW

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 07:06 PM

I wouldn't eat them if you offered me a billion dollars.

Even mycologists die from misidentifying mushrooms. I wouldn't trust the advice of ANYONE who comments based on two pictures.

Throw them out. Buy some mushrooms if you're in the mood. Mushrooms are cheap. Life isn't.
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#3 ScottyBoy

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:05 PM

I immediately said "this is a dangerous topic".

Do not eat.

It is amazing that mushrooms that look very similar too ones grown in farms or foraged by a professional are very toxic.

A friend got sick from one small bite of a shroom resembling a button with a wider, flatter cap.

Mushroom Poisoning.

Edited by ScottyBoy, 22 October 2011 - 08:08 PM.

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#4 rooftop1000

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:06 PM

I have an awsome mushroom "fairy ring" in the middle of my yard in NJ....not gonna eat 'em


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#5 dcarch

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:23 PM

You may have only one chance to find out.

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#6 andiesenji

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:38 PM

Don't eat those for sure.

Even experts have been fooled by lookalike mushrooms. The results are extremely bad.
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#7 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:14 PM

Don't eat them. Take them to your local extension office for a tenative ID, but even professionals are wrong (as others have pointed out) and it's pointless to play with your health that way. North America has so many toxic mushrooms that it's not even remotely safe to try those.
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#8 minas6907

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 10:11 PM

Mushroom Poisoning.


Thats amazing the similarities between edible and poisonous, especially the picture of the jack-o-lantern and the chantrelle's.

Edit: Hey, thats neat, those jack-o-lantern mushrooms glow in the dark.

http://en.wikipedia....arius_33857.jpg

Yummy.

Edited by minas6907, 22 October 2011 - 10:14 PM.


#9 Mjx

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 01:04 AM

Hell no! There are some mushrooms that are pretty unambiguously okay or not, but these aren't among them (and I do eat certain wild mushrooms). I know this echoes what everyone else said, but I don't think this particular 'No' can be overstated.

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#10 Trev

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 03:21 AM

Don't even think about it!
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#11 sparrowgrass

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 04:48 AM

Mushrooms are as much fun to identify as wildflowers. Get yourself a couple of good mushroom books* (I find the books are much easier to use than internet pix, but there are good sites on line, too). Learn the vocabulary, learn how to do a spore print, check your ID's in several books, and THROW THEM AWAY IF YOU ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE of what you have. Some mushrooms will kill you, some will just make you wish you were dead.

Don't let that stop you from enjoying the hunt--just know that you might be getting your mushrooms from the store, after a day in the field looking at pretty mushrooms.

As mjx said, there are some that are easy to identify, but I tend to avoid any that look like the one in your picture--that is, like an umbrella. Most of the ones that are easy to identify, like morels and oysters, are not umbrella shaped. Most of the toxic ones ARE shaped like umbrellas.

*Peterson and Audubon field guides are good, and your state natural resources office may have a good book--Illinois and Missouri both have excellent color field guides with big pictures. I work for Extension--your chances of finding a mycologist thru your extension office are kinda slim. We call the state mycology club when we have an ID question. Of course, at work, I tell folks not to eat anything--don't need to be sued if they have an allergic reaction, or pick a deadly 'shroom by accident and toss it in the pot with good ones. :shock:
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#12 Tri2Cook

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 05:24 AM

I'm going to have to jump on board with the rest and agree they should be tossed. I only forage very obvious mushrooms, chanterelles, lobsters and matsutakes, that I was taught to identify by a professional and I sometimes still get a bit hesitant when it's time to eat.
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#13 dcarch

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:45 AM

"----I only forage very obvious mushrooms, chanterelles, lobsters and matsutakes,--"

And morels?

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#14 Tri2Cook

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:39 AM

"----I only forage very obvious mushrooms, chanterelles, lobsters and matsutakes,--"

And morels?

dcarch

I probably would but they don't often show up in big numbers around where I live. I'm not quite dedicated enough to roam around for hours for 5 or 6 mushrooms... although I have when matsutake hunting.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#15 Paul Bacino

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 12:32 PM

I have the Audubon-- Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. Looks like-- That Mushroom would fall into the " Mushrooms with Attached gills " many of which are poisonous.
Its good to have Morels

#16 weinoo

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 12:48 PM

Yesterday's NY Times had this article: Nature Adds Water, and Everything Mushrooms.

About the explosion of mushrooms in New York City this year. Due to the near-biblical rains. The article states:

While some edible mushrooms are so distinctive that even a novice can pick them without fear — giant puffballs, or chicken-of-the-woods, a yellow-orange explosion that appears on logs (and does, indeed, taste like chicken) — mycologists recommend that amateurs not eat questionable specimens without confirming their identity using a guidebook and spore prints. This includes the varyingly hallucinogenic species known to grow in the New York area, most of which are legal to possess.


You could always go to a class at the New York Botanical Garden, or give the New York Mycological Society a call.

Just don't eat the damn things without being absolutely certain.
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#17 Nomina

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:51 PM

Thank you for all the responses. I hoped they were one of the easily identifiable kinds but since it doesn't seem to be, I will just leave them alone. They took over my garden :sad:

#18 LaCook

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:31 AM

I ask myself the same thing every week, but the answer is always NO, you can't eat them, because even if they look exactly like a safe mushroom, they might not be that. The only way to know for sure is to KNOW THE ANSWER YOURSELF beyond a doubt. If you have to ask, don't eat it. Maybe take some classes from your local university's ag center or something. I've never done that, so I don't eat mushrooms from my yard, but they sure look good, and I think they would partner well with some snails in my yard, too :)))

#19 sparrowgrass

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:19 PM

I am self taught, and not dead yet. I do have a botanical background, but mostly I bought books, picked mushrooms and tried to figure out what they are. The Peterson guides have a list of 'lookalikes', dangerous or unpalatable mushrooms that look like safe ones. My guideline is, if it has a lookalike that will kill me, I am not eating it.

If you are a 'what the hell, just do it' sort of a person, mushrooming is probably not for you. If you take your time, use your books, do spore prints, and toss any that you are not absolutely sure of, you will be all right.

If you find several different kinds of mushrooms on your field trip, keep them separate. Some of the bad ones are toxic enough to rub off on other shrooms, or little bits could get confused with the good ones. A big flat basket is the best carrying case for foraging. It keeps the mushrooms intact better than a bag.

The first time for ANY unfamiliar mushroom, eat only a small amount--a teaspoon full, maybe. Anybody can have an allergic reaction, and mushrooms can certainly trigger allergies. Wild mushrooms generally should be well cooked, in a an open pan. Some (inky caps and maybe some morels) destroy an enzyme that allows you to process alcohol, so you cannot drink when you eat them, and this effect lasts longer in some folks than others. (I love inky caps, and they are a mushroom that is really easy to identify. So I skip the booze for a couple days.)

Wild mushrooms are good for you--they get you out into the fresh air and sunshine, even if you don't find any for dinner.
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#20 rlibkind

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:02 PM

It's not a mushroom guide (it's a novel), but I commend any would-be mushroom forager to read John Lanchester's "Debt To Pleasure".
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#21 highchef

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:47 PM

Are there any cows about?;)

#22 Mallet

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:56 PM

Now that we've gone through the requisite dire warnings and prophecies of doom, would anyone care to speculate on an ID?
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#23 ScoopKW

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:40 PM

Now that we've gone through the requisite dire warnings and prophecies of doom, would anyone care to speculate on an ID?


Definitely not porcini. :biggrin:
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#24 nibor

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:12 PM

Now that we've gone through the requisite dire warnings and prophecies of doom, would anyone care to speculate on an ID?

We don't know where she lives. That would be needed to even start guessing.

#25 Mallet

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:29 AM

We don't know where she lives. That would be needed to even start guessing.


You mean more specific than NY?
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#26 Paul Bacino

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:51 AM


Now that we've gone through the requisite dire warnings and prophecies of doom, would anyone care to speculate on an ID?

We don't know where she lives. That would be needed to even start guessing.


And a reference to size.
Its good to have Morels

#27 Mallet

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:24 AM

Based on the size of the dirt specks on the picture, and the numbers visible through the paper, I'd guess the mushroom caps in the pictures are approximately 2-4 inches in diameter.
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#28 Nomina

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 01:51 PM

Hi everyone,

I live in Long Island, New York. The mushrooms sprouted in my garden and there are so many that it is kind of scary. My mom picked those. It wasn't until after I posted that I actually went to go look at them. They grow in clumps and in all sizes. I can't tell you diameter since I threw those out. Would a picture of the growing clumps help?

#29 JBailey

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:06 PM

What's the worst thing that could happen? We either get another post from Nomina a week after the mushrooms are eaten or one from the doctor or family members confirming it was not a good decision...
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That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

#30 nibor

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:32 PM

I would encourage Nomina to take a course from a local expert. It is possible to pick mushrooms without dying, and it is a ton of fun. When I was a kid in Michigan we had ate several species of mushrooms that we gathered from the woods behind our house. The trick is to only eat species that you know are OK, and most importantly, that don't have near-idential poisonous counterparts in your area. I learned what to pick from my dad, who learned from his dad. Grandpa came from Lithuania, where people commonly gather mushrooms. I would be curious to know how my Lithuanian grandfather learned which Michigan mushrooms were OK, but he has been dead (not of mushroom poisoning!) for over 40 years. Waah.