Alabama Mushroom Society


This is a Chlorophyllum molybdites, the vomiter, it won't kill you, but you'll wish it did.

1. How to avoid poisoning

Eating foraged mushrooms is a time-honored tradition across the globe. However mycophobia is present in a lot of cultures, including here in the Southeastern US. But if we can safely identify toxic mushrooms and rule them out, we're on our way to having access to the loftiest realms of culinary ingredients.
While there are SOME ways to detoxify certain mushrooms, we're going to avoid that and just focus on safety.

avoid these, unless you're an expert

For identification beginners, or intermediate folks, we strongly suggest you avoid the following genera:
Amanita (mushrooms with white gills, a skirt or ring on the stem and a bulbous or sack like base called a volva), Chlorophyllum (green gills and spores, commonly found in fields), Cortinarius (will contain a fibrous cortina attaching the cap edges to the stipe in young specimens, these are often confused with Blewits [Clitocybe nuda]), Gyromitra sp. (which look like little brains and are considered one of the morel 'look-a-likes'). Omphalotus sp. (the Jack-o-lantern mushrooms are considered the closest look-a-like to Cantharellus [chanterelles]). There are many more that could make this list, but these are some of the most common.
And of course, don't eat ANYTHING unless you are 100% certain of it's identification.

Cortinarius sp. See the rust-colored fibers on the stipe?

This is a young Omphalotus illudens that sure does look a LOT like a chanterelle from above.

Dont trust Old wives' tales

There are a lot of "old wives' tales" regarding the edibility of mushrooms. Do not trust the safety of your health and well-being to them. These tales are often region-specific and unscientific.
An example is that we can eat any mushroom that an animal like a squirrel can eat. FALSE. Squirrels have evolved several enzymes to break down some of the most toxic mushrooms to humans. This false information could easily lead someone to consume a deadly-toxic mushroom.
When taking your health into your own hands, confident identification to the Genus, and often species level, is critical. When in doubt, throw it out.

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