Hunting for wild mushrooms is a fun recreational sport and can make for a lovely dinner. However many of these wild fungi are poisonous and could send you straight to the emergency room should you ingest them. Before you go ahead and eat any of these mushrooms, you must understand the dangers of these fungi.
It is always wise to study the specific species of mushroom you are looking to obtain. Search online for pictures of the fungus you find. It may seem like a tedious task just to eat a couple mushrooms but, it could end up saving your life. Another thing you need to be aware of is the ecology of your hunting grounds. Know your area. Find out which mushrooms grow in your region and at which time of year. There are many strains of species that are highly poisonous that look nearly identical to other mushrooms that are entirely edible. For instance, the Omphalotus olearius which is also commonly referred to as Jack O 'Lantern mushroom, is bright orange and has a peculiar conical shape. It is very poisonous and may not cause death but can lead to quite a ferocious tummy ache. There is another mushroom that looks almost exactly like the Jack O 'Lantern mushroom. The Chanterelle is also bright orange and conical in shape however, it is completely edible and very delicious. Even more unnerving, is the fact that these two mushrooms actually spawn and fruit around the exact same time of year. Just be careful when choosing which fungi to eat and if possible, consult your local wild life expert before preparing any of them for supper.
One of the most deadly mushrooms to watch out for is the Amanita phalloides. This fungus actually looks a lot like your common white mushroom. Although it matches a normal one off your table in color and texture, it is actually a lot bigger in size. However, You must be careful when identifying this fungus just by its size. If you are looking at a newly formed baby Amanita phalloides, it may actually look exactly like a common white mushroom in size. This phenomenon is why more people die from this mushroom every year than any other.