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:
And of course, don't eat ANYTHING unless you are 100% certain of it's identification.
DON'T 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 IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT.