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Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 3, 2005 - 04:09pm PT
Dmitry: My comments didn't concern why one was eating the mushroom...just what often happens when the picker's mushroom identifying skills aren't honed.

TradlsGood: I don't think I know any more party people who have enjoyed a wide variety of synthetic fun than any other person who went to school in SF whilst raves were all the rage. Sure, lots of them were chemists and whatnot, but the stuff that the were taking came from who-knows-where. The QC data was a friend-of-a-friend story. That guy was probably out of business before I finished junior high. Never been my cuppa tea for the very reason that I said above.

Trad climber
Chita, Russia
May 3, 2005 - 04:14pm PT
Thanks for the warning, David.
I am sure that it's warranted and well meant.

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
May 3, 2005 - 04:36pm PT
Ahh, this reminds me of a night I spent at the SAR camp in Tuolumne. Stories about random mushrooms consumed and blacking out on the shores of Tioga Lake.

Or maybe the time a couple ate random mushrooms and all of us could see them starting to lose it.

Oh yes . . .
David Nelson

San Francisco
May 3, 2005 - 06:40pm PT
As long as we are talking poisonous mushrooms, it is fun to ponder why they are so poisonous.

Remember, mushrooms are fungi. This kingdom is mostly composed of multicellular organisms (the yeasts are the unicellular fungi) whose bodies are comprised of linear chains of cells, rather like a train. The mushroom is the fruiting body, ie, the reproductive structure, but represents a very small fraction of the total of the body of the mushroom. Fungi are rather fragile, can't bite or run away, and so have developed a variety of mechanisms to ward off competitors, usually soil bacteria. The most famous mechanism is the secretion of molecules that kill the competing bacteria, and the most famous of these molecules is called penicillin. Common bread mold is penicillium, and the Scotsman Alexander Fleming, upon returning to London from a vacation in Scotland, noted some of his bacterial colonies were destroyed by fungi. Luckily for us, before he tossed them, he realized that the fungi had killed the surrounding bacteria.

The Amanitas kill us for probably the same reason as the penicillium helps us: chemical warfare in the world of fungi. Ain't life grand?

Trad climber
Wheat Ridge
May 3, 2005 - 09:43pm PT
TradIsGood remarked, "Avoid advice like some of what you see above. For example, boletes do not have gills, they have pores."

So the structure that functions as the gills on other mushrooms on the boletus is called the pores. It is in the same location, so I hardly think this would confuse anyone. Your gripe is purely academic. Like I said, this structure is yellow and spongey.

Now there is just something not wholsome about this man posing like that.


Trad climber
Gunks end of country
May 3, 2005 - 11:47pm PT
zardoz, meant no offense. Those are clearly boletes. But who knows knowledge level of Klaus. And I suspected that insects could eat 'shrooms poisonous to humans, would have been surprised if it weren't true, but could not point to an example from my limited knowledge. Further, like someone else posted, what looks like a species in one area could have subtle differences in another. Do not have to change continents to get that differentiation.

Melissa, do not know you, but you put up funny posts. Sometimes my humor is too subtle (or not funny, or whatever). No aspersions intended, just lame humor. And what you did or didn't do at parties isn't any of my business. But I am not donating my liver. It is too old for anyone to want anyhow.

Klaus, you could probably learn how to grow Oyster mushrooms or Shiitakes on the internet. Hundreds of sources out there. Well actually you could learn on the internet how to grow them at home. Keep the oysters outside though. You don't want them growing on your framing.

Trad climber
Wheat Ridge
May 4, 2005 - 04:06am PT
I'm with you on the general caution one should take in hunting mushrooms. I let my wife do the determinations, as she has done this her whole life. I don't intend to become an enthusiast myself. I did have a mushroom book at one time with nice color plates to show you each species. One day two guys I knew showed up at my house and pretty much jokingly demanded the book, as they were off on a hunt themselves in a field of cow manure. I glumly handed the book over, not wanting them to pick the wrong ones.

Trad climber
Brooklyn, NY
Nov 6, 2005 - 11:12am PT
My understanding is that the only positive way to identify mushrooms is to knock their spores out and compare them under a magnifying glass. Identifying them by eye is not reliable. And the potential consequences are remarkable: serious to mortal liver damage in a matter of hours after ingestion.

I love to eat wild mushrooms. Top chefs say there are only five-six really good ones: morels, chanterelles, truffles, cepes, porcini, shiitakes. I've had some of the others (hen-of-the-woods, oyster, black cap, puff balls, etc.) and find them of lesser culinary interest. Luckily, all of the above are easily available commercially. At this point I would never eat a mushroom I found. It's just not worth the risk. Still it's always been something I wanted to learn about. There is a guy in the farmers market who has baskets of beautiful wild mushrooms he's gathered off his land. Some sell for $25 per 1/2 pound!!!! We bought some once on a lark. They weren't very interesting.

Best, Kim

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 6, 2005 - 04:31pm PT
Every year here in mushy Oregon we end up shipping a half dozen folks off at a time to other states in the hope of an emergency transplant which I believe most don't get. They are usually immigrants from Asia or Eastern Europe whose families said the mushrooms were a dead ringer for the ones they ate at home, but weren't once they all sat down to dinner. The doppelgangers were instead poisonous and quickly destroyed their livers. Caveat Fungi...
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