Is there anything better than actually growing your own food? The ability to master this art is not only exciting, but it also offers a real sense of freedom and non-conformity. For years people have been gardening and growing their own vegetables for the purposes of saving money, relaxing, or just planning for the future. Yet there are some people who are not inclined to grow their food as much as they like to scavenge for their food. In a survival situation, having the ability to identify suitable foods in the wilderness can be the difference between life or death. Of the many foods that can be hunted for in the woods, none is more dangerous than mushrooms.
We have all heard the horror stories of people mistakenly eating poisonous mushrooms and then falling over dead. While mushrooms are a great source of nutrition, it is important that you understand what you are looking for when searching the woods for this little delicacy. There are several ways that you can distinguish safe mushrooms from the dangerous mushrooms.
Keep in mind that there are many variations in the mushroom realm. Environmental conditions can alter the look of many mushrooms so it is important that you take the time to properly learn about mushrooms before actually trying to collect any for your own consumption. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you spot potential dangers in the mushrooms you might be interested in.
Does the Mushroom Have Warts of Scales?
This is a common sign that the mushroom you are looking at is potentially dangerous. The cap of the mushroom will often have a discolored look in certain areas. The universal veil that covers the mushroom when it is young often causes this. Take note of this characteristic.
Does the Mushroom Have a Bulb Around the Vase?
This too is a remnant of the universal veil but it is also a clue that the mushroom is harboring more than just a nice flavor. This bulb can be difficult to spot because it is usually buried under ground. Gently dig around the mushroom in question to detect the presence of a bulb on the stem.
Does the Mushroom Leave a Pore Print?
This test can best be done with a dark colored piece of paper. Place the mushroom upside down on the paper and then remove. If the mushroom leaves a white powder on the paper, you would be wise to leave it alone. This is called a pore print and it indicates the presence of toxins.
Look at the Gills
Another area to look for potential danger is under the mushroom itself. Mushrooms have a gill section under the cap. If the gills are small and/or white, this is a sign that the mushroom could be dangerous.
Knowing how to properly identify a mushroom will help you tremendously in your hunt for edible mushrooms. It is very important that you take the time to properly educate yourself on this topic before trying to find and consume your own wild mushrooms.
It is also important to remember that there are many types of mushrooms that mimic other mushrooms. These mushrooms could look very similar but one could be dangerous whereas another is safe. The only way to properly understand this area of food hunting is to educate yourself on the many different species of wild mushrooms.