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Eating Wild Mushrooms: A Dangerous Game for the Untrained [AUDIO]

The “foraging” craze that’s grown popular, which is looking around for wild-grown food that includes mushrooms, can be hazardous unless you’re an expert.

Flickr User Mikecogh

You can see wild mushrooms anywhere, sometimes they crop up right there in my backyard. But Manager Bruce Ruck, of New Jersey Poison Control, says to resist the temptation to try them.

“The best rule of thumb is, unless you are a mushroom expert and are trained in mushroom picking, we suggest do not do it.”

There are about 5,000 species of mushrooms that grow in the United States. About 100 of those are poisonous. Most poison-related deaths occur from consuming mushrooms belonging to the genus Amanita, so-called, “Death Caps, Destroying Angels and Fool’s Mushroom. But there are other varieties that can also make you very sick.

If you get in trouble with anything you or your family ingests, poison control’s available around the clock at 800 222 1222. According to Ruck, “there are old mushroom pickers and bold mushroom pickers, but there are no old, bold mushroom pickers.”

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