During autumn, mushroom season begins, a highly coveted food that offers multiple possibilities in the kitchen. In addition, fans of mycology at this time can enjoy a walk through the countryside, basket in hand, to collect this food.
However, it is essential to know how to distinguish edible mushrooms before risking to catch one that is toxic, especially, taking into account that there are some poisonous mushrooms very similar to edible ones. Therefore, when in doubt, it is best not to take them or have the help of an expert.
How are mushrooms harvested?
Most of the mushrooms that can be found in the field are edible, although few have a taste that is appreciated in the kitchen. Boletus, chanterelles or thistle mushrooms are some of those that are usually used and those that are collected at this time.
To do this, you have to follow a series of indications and tips, such as those explained by Organization of consumers and users:
- Avoid collecting mushrooms on roadsides or in areas that may have been fumigated.
- Never pluck a mushroom from the ground. The correct thing is to cut it with a knife at the base of the foot to remove it whole, so that the fungus can continue to live.
- Bring a small paintbrush or brush to clean the mushrooms at the time of harvest and thus prevent dirt from entering the mushroom.
- Put the mushrooms in a wicker basket so that the spores are scattered on the ground during the walk, favoring the germination of future mushrooms.
What mushrooms are edible? How can they be preserved?
The edible mushrooms that can be found in the field are the following, ordered by the OCU according to the intensity of its flavor. Among them, there are wild mushrooms and others cultivated, as well as imported varieties.
- Thistle mushrooms
- Saint George mushrooms
- Field eel
- Cow tongue
- Trumpet of the dead
- Gray woodpecker
- Blue foot
- Violet foot
- Heather mushroom
- Falso Boletus
- Thistle missing arrow
To preserve mushrooms at home, whether purchased or from the field, it is also necessary to follow a series of recommendations, as this is a product that spoils quickly.
The first thing to do is clean them, remove the dirt and wipe them with a damp cloth. They should not be washed directly with water, as they lose their flavor and deteriorate.
If they are not going to be consumed quickly, it is better to freeze them to avoid spoiling. They can also be dried to preserve them, although you must be careful not to expose them directly to the sun’s rays. Later, to consume them, you have to leave them in water until they are rehydrated.
If they are going to be cooked directly, it is best to keep them in the fridge until the moment of handling, but do not leave them in an airtight container, as they could rot.
When a toxic mushroom is ingested, the effects for salus are very varied, depending on the type of mushroom that has been ingested and, depending on the time it takes for symptoms to appear, they can differ, depending on the TO FATHER, different types of poisonings.
On the one hand, they are poisonings with a short latency period, that is, they appear within 6 hours, they are the least serious and the most frequent:
- Gastrointestinal syndrome. It is an irritation of the stomach and intestine accompanied by vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, asthenia … It is caused by the ingestion of mushrooms of the species lactarius, russula, boletus, tricholoma and agaricus.
- Neurological or muscarinic syndrome. It causes delirium, cholinergic symptoms, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, mydriasis, muscular hypertonia, seizures … It is caused by species of the genus amanita, especially the musucaria variety.
- Hallucinogenic syndrome. Hallucinations are its most obvious effects, but also behavioral alterations, aggressiveness, seizures, tachycardia, mydriasis … It is usually due to voluntary consumption, seeking psychotropic effects, of toxic species of the genus psilocybe, paneolus or stropahria.
- Cardiovascular syndrome Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, red skin, palpitations, dry mouth, arrhythmias, and hypertension. It is due to the interaction of the corpinus, coprinus, and claviceps species with alcohol, if it has been taken between 4 hours before and 3 days after the mushrooms.
- Hemolytic syndrome. It produces hemolysis, which occurs with dark urine for a few days and, exceptionally, in the most severe cases, hemoglobinuria, low back pain and even kidney failure
On the other hand, they are poisonings with a long latency period, that is, they appear after about 6 hours after ingesting the mushroom and that, in some cases, can be delayed up to 10 or 15 days:
- Giromitran syndrome. It produces gastrointestinal disorders, arrhythmias, hypertension, disorders of consciousness, even coma. Later it can also lead to kidney and liver disorders. It is caused by the consumption of giromitra esculenta and giromitra gigas.
- Intoxicación nefrotóxica. It causes nephrotoxicity, accompanied by kidney failure. It is caused by species of the genus cortinarius and can be fatal.
- Hepatotoxic intoxication. It starts with gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Later, there is an apparent improvement, but a few days later severe liver failure occurs that may require a liver transplant. It is due to the consumption of some species of amanita, such as phalloides, virosa or verna.
- Rhabdomyolysis. It is manifested by progressive muscle weakness, to the point of causing cardiac arrest. Produced by the knight’s mushroom.