PSA: Please Don't Eat Wild Fungi You Find Outside

Illustration for article titled PSA: Please Dont Eat Wild Fungi You Find Outside
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Listen, I’m not your mother, but please stop eating wild mushrooms—anything you find on the ground outside, really. It might be free, but it might also kill you.

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I’d like to think this is something you learn as a child, but apparently some people have forgotten this valuable lesson. So, again, and say it with me: spit out the moldy fungus you found growing outside an apartment complex this humid, humid summer. Who the heck raised you?

Today NJ.com reported that a dozen people have been hospitalized in New Jersey in the past month and a half from eating poisonous mushrooms. (The New Jersey Poison Control Center reported 38 mushroom poisonings in 15 counties, with the ages of victims ranging from 9 to 70.) According to the Washington Post, a family in Annandale, Virginia saw some tasty-looking fungi in their courtyard, picked it, ate it, and consequentially experienced such intense stomach pain, that they were hospitalized. Those mushrooms were later revealed to be chlorophyllum molybdites, also known as green spored Lepiota, and colloquially as “false parasol” or the “vomiter.” THE VOMITER.

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One time’s a fluke and two’s a coincidence, but three’s a trend, am I right? Just a few hours later WJAC, a local news station in Pennsylvania, reported that a sweet boxer dog named Grace in East Conemaugh Township, about an hour-and-a-half from Pittsburgh, died because she ate death cap mushrooms, which often look like regular ass mushrooms.

Watch your dogs, and yourself. And while you’re here, don’t eat tide pods, either.

Opinions only sometimes my own. Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

I don’t eat wild mushrooms, and I don’t eat ‘locally harvested wild mushrooms’ or anything similar I find on a restaurant menu. I don’t trust myself or some busboy a resturant owner sent off into the woods not to make a mistake and pick the wrong mushroom, especially when deadly species look so close to edible species that even experts and experianced mushroom hunters make mistakes pretty frequently.
I survived the “Destroying Angel”