How to identify poisonous mushrooms
Summer is the time for rest, vacations, forest walks. The advantages of "quiet hunting" have been known for a long time, tens of thousands of Petersburgers every weekend head to the forest, armed with baskets and penknives. And the sad statistics - the number of mushroom poisonings - sound especially alarming every year. So what reliable ways are there to tell an edible mushroom from a poisonous one?
The answer will be categorical: there is only one really reliable way - knowledge. But there are just a lot of misconceptions on this score. This is a supposedly blackening silver spoon, and a blue onion, and an unpleasant bitter taste. Although it is clear that the spoon darkens from sulfur compounds, the bulb also turns blue for good reasons, and the most poisonous mushroom on the planet, the pale toadstool (for an adult to die, it is enough to eat half of the cap) has a neutral sweetish taste. These are no longer even delusions, but a whole mythology that poses a significant danger to those who believe in it. Let's go in order.
We have few deadly poisonous mushrooms. The largest of them is death cap (Amanita phalloides) - a mushroom, the appearance of which should be remembered very well. The cap of an adult mushroom with a diameter of up to ten centimeters is colored greenish, but there are also practically white specimens, the mushroom as a whole is quite changeable. Of the obligatory signs: a filmy ring on the leg, the remains of a common bedspread on the ground, a pure white color of the plates. And in general - be more attentive to all mushrooms of white and green color.
It is the pale toadstool poisoning that is the cause of most of the "mushroom" deaths in Russia. For several years now, the Voronezh region has been confidently leading in this sad statistics, where mainly visitors from the Caucasus and Central Asia are poisoned. Some consolation for our readers will be that for the Leningrad region the pale grebe is a significant rarity, for many years of observation I have not come across it even once.
But we have more than enough fly agarics. Beautiful mushrooms of spectacular colors are also dangerous to humans. First of all, it is worth remembering that fly agarics (Amanita) - This is a genus that includes tens and hundreds of species of completely different "appearance".
Most famous among them fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), the look of which is familiar to everyone from childhood. When eaten, it leads to poisoning, but, as a rule, not fatal. The action of the alkaloids contained in the fly agaric resembles intoxication, a significant dose can lead to much more sad consequences.
Handsome and panther fly agaric (Amanita pantherina), characterized by a wide brown-brown cap.
But porphyry fly agaric (Amanita porphiria) is much smaller, but also causes food poisoning.
Edible fly agaric we only have one, this fly agaric (Amanita rubescens), it has an unusual sweet pulp taste that not everyone likes. A characteristic feature of the mushroom is the flesh turning pink on cut and break.
In the presence of many tasty and guaranteed edible mushrooms in our forests, it is hardly reasonable to fill baskets with fly agarics, even pink ones. In addition, skills and experience are required to confidently identify fly agarics, and a mistake in this case can be expensive.
Other poisonous mushrooms are also found in our area, but it saves that it is almost impossible to confuse them with edible ones, if you have at least a minimum of observation. One conclusion can be drawn: never take a mushroom that is unfamiliar to you. In case of the slightest doubt, pass by, this is not the case to take risks.
In recent years, doctors have seen a surge in mushroom poisoning of a special kind, mainly among young people. These are hallucinogenic mushroom poisonings. The fact is that some mushrooms, when consumed, cause characteristic poisoning, which causes disturbances in the functioning of the brain. You want to be stupid, but to carefully read the description of the appearance of the mushroom, read literature, look at pictures - there is no time and desire for this. And dozens of species of mushrooms, including many poisonous ones, fall into the stomachs of seekers of dubious adventures.
And if the definition is correct, there is nothing to rejoice in - in the most popular psychotropic mushrooms of the genus Psilocybe recently, substances have been found that lead to irreversible effects in the cerebral cortex. Do you need it?
Obviously, you should not put any nasty stuff in your mouth, it is better to drink decent vodka in good company. At least there will be less work for doctors.
As for the confident determination of the mushrooms of our latitudes, here you can advise several relatively reliable methods. First of all, look at the underside of the cap, where the so-called hymenophore is located - the spore-bearing layer. The hymenophore of cap mushrooms is of several types: in the form of folds, plates, spines, tubes. It is the tubes that are on the underside of the cap of the most tasty and nutritious mushrooms - white, boletus, boletus, butterdish. Inedible mushrooms among tubular mushrooms are extremely rare, and, as a rule, have a bitter taste. Thus, it is unlikely that mushrooms of this type will be poisoned.
It is also relatively safe to pick mushrooms that grow on wood. Poisonous among them can also be caught by you, but they all have a bitter taste or an unpleasant odor. So collecting honey agarics is a completely safe activity. However, I will emphasize again: all advice should be treated with a certain degree of caution, and the only reliable way to distinguish an edible mushroom from a poisonous one is knowledge.
For interested readers, I can recommend such authors as M.N. Sergeeva, L.V. Garibova, G.I. Serzhanina, Yu.G. Semyonov. Modern "mushroom" publications, as a rule, are adequately illustrated, contain accurate and detailed descriptions of the species. Decent foreign literature also comes across. In the virtual space, mushroom pickers will also find a lot of interesting things for themselves.
Full of baskets for you!
Typically, toxins are quickly absorbed into the skin and can cause irritation. Fans of "quiet hunting" should always have with them a table containing a description of all Basidiomycetes. If you have symptoms of mushroom poisoning, call an ambulance and get first aid.
First aid at home:
- induce vomiting
- give the patient a large amount of water with absorbents: activated charcoal or Enterosgel, the dosage is calculated based on body weight.
False champignons how to distinguish
For most people, it will be a greater pleasure to go to the forest and enjoy the process of picking mushrooms than to go to the store and buy a ready-made canned product. The feeling when I found a group of small mushrooms between the leaves is incomparable. Champignons are one of the most common types of mushrooms. They can be found almost everywhere: in the forest, in the garden, in the field, in the flowerbed, in the yard. They grow in both May and November.
The only thing that contributes to their appearance is heavy rains. Today champignons grow not only in the natural sphere, but they are also grown on an industrial scale. In the field of culinary it is a valuable product because it tastes good enough and does not need to be processed too long, which helps to save time. The appearance of the mushroom is not very different from other types, but it still has some peculiarities. The shape of the cap is conical with edges curved inward. It looks like a ball in adulthood, and when the mushroom is already aging, this ball seems to open up. Champignons are so popular among mushroom pickers that they, being sure that it is him, can confuse them with the so-called fake champignons, since they are located in the same area as the real ones.
Recently, more and more often we have to deal with fakes. And this applies not only to industrial goods, but also to food. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous manufacturers. Every time you ask yourself how not to be deceived and buy a quality product? At the same time, the labels, unfortunately, do not always carry reliable information. And with honey in general, everything is more complicated.
The fact is that we are used to buying this product directly from those who are engaged in beekeeping, and, accordingly, there are no labels. At the same time, we hope that the quality of honey purchased from them will be better than that sold on store shelves.
To be sure of buying a real, high-quality product, it is worth knowing a few primary signs that will tell you that this is a fake or still high-quality honey.
So, in front of you is most likely a fake if:
- Honey has a pronounced amber sheen and crystal transparency. These signs indicate that, most likely, the honey was exposed to heat, which means that its beneficial properties have been lost.
- Honey is packaged and sold in copper, plastic or galvanized cans. Storing honey in the above container is dangerous, since in addition to the fact that it will most likely deteriorate rather quickly, it can also form toxic impurities that are dangerous to the body.
- When tasting honey, you experience a bitter, sour or caramel taste. Certain types of honey are an exception.
- Honey foams. In fact, this is fermented honey, devoid of all the beneficial properties. Foaming can be caused by such factors: insufficient honey maturation, storage in unsuitable conditions, repeated pouring of honey, frequent stirring, violation of filtration technology.
- The honey is unnatural white in color and has no aroma. Most likely, a lot of sugar was added to such a product.
- Layering of honey is observed (when there is a liquid on top, and a thick consistency below). The reasons may be as follows: non-observance of the temperature regime, storage in conditions of high humidity, the presence of overheating of honey.
- The weight of a liter jar of honey is less than 1.4 kg (excluding the weight of the jar itself). This factor indicates that the product is not ripe.
If you still bought honey, then you can additionally check at home in the following ways:
In general, the best test is ask the seller to do one of the above tests... If he does not want to carry out any manipulations, then most likely something is wrong with the honey. And, of course, who, if not beekeepers, know how to check honey. Buy honey from those who themselves will gladly offer to verify the authenticity of their product.
How can you tell an edible mushroom from a false one?
Unfortunately, there are no exact criteria for such a selectiontherefore there is always danger. Here you can give only a few tips that can save you from making the wrong choice:
- As a rule, false specimens that have twins do not grow in their place (i.e. boletus, aspen do not grow under their own tree, honey agarics grow on the ground, etc.)
- Most inedible species, for all their attractive appearance, have a strong, repulsive odor.
- Each mushroom separately must be carefully examined and, with the slightest doubt, in no case should it be collected.
- If you are new to this business, consult with experienced mushroom pickers, and better observe the process.
- When you do decide to hike on your own, do not be lazy and prepare from a theoretical point of view. Study the relevant literature, look at thematic sites.
Classification of mushrooms
The mushroom world is divided not only into edible, inedible, conditionally edible and poisonous species, but also classifications. The criteria divide mushrooms into three types according to the structure of the cap:
1) spongy or tubular - on the reverse side they resemble small tubes or a washing sponge
2) lamellar - based on the name, they demonstrate the presence of plates
3) marsupials - are wrinkled caps and are most often a breed of morels.
Edible and inedible: how to distinguish
Even before harvesting mushrooms, it is important to understand how to distinguish between edible and inedible rows.
Fortunately, most varieties are edible and completely safe. These include:
Each of these species has individual properties and characteristics.
May ryadovka is characterized by a creamy color, which begins to turn white over time. On the other hand, white plates turn gray over time. By its taste and aroma properties, the pulp of this mushroom resembles fresh flour.
It is quite simple to recognize a twisted row. Often these mushrooms grow together so closely that it becomes very problematic to separate them from each other. This explains their characteristic name. The hat of this variety is fleshy, but brittle at the same time. The grayish-brown pulp has an elastic and fibrous texture, a pronounced flour smell, as well as a delicate and pleasant taste that does not leave indifferent any gourmet.
Earthy ryadovka is widely used in the cooking of many European countries. The color of the cap can vary from gray to grayish brown. Its pulp has a dense texture and white color. Pronounced taste and aroma properties are not typical for it.
The poplar row is one of the largest species. Its color is predominantly yellowish or terracotta with noticeable lightened edges. The firm flesh is usually whitish in color.
As for the inedible varieties, these include:
Eating them leads to serious poisoning, so take extra care when harvesting the mushroom harvest.