I was reading through Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest today while working on a review copy mailing. I don’t really know a lot about mushrooms—I have never been foraging and I don’t like them in my food—but I do know that it is an immensely popular activity in the Pacific Northwest. After reading through the introduction, I had a general sense of what mushrooms are, where you can find them, general guidelines for collecting, and how to avoid getting poisoned. I actually feel like I could do this (with some guidance)!
So, with safety in mind, a few tips on how not to get poisoned while out foraging for mushrooms.
1. Identify all mushrooms before picking.
2. Don’t pick mushrooms from a place that may have been contaminated with chemicals.
3. Make sure all picked mushrooms are fresh and in good condition.
4. Never eat a mushroom unless it is positively identified as edible by you or by someone whose judgment you trust.
5. Never eat raw mushrooms.
6. When trying a new species, only eat a small amount.
7. Eat wild mushrooms in moderation.
8. Use extra caution when foraging in a new location.
9. When in doubt, throw it out.
Kathryn Juergens, sales and marketing associate
Taken from Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest