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Tricks, Tips And Myths About Mushroom Collection And Consumption

As autumn has entered, the forests and fields of the different regions of Spain are filling with mushrooms ready for harvest. A habit to which more and more people are joining , but where it is convenient to know precisely which product to take since a bad choice can lead to food poisoning , as well as a bad action against the environment.

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), dependent on the Ministry of Consumption, has wanted to meet the many people who these days come to collect mushrooms. Remembering the need to ” identify them correctly ” as well as to follow a series of tips for their collection, preparation and consumption, the institution has developed a precise guide that leaves no room for loss.

Of course, making it clear that the text is for the people who collect them for ” private domestic consumption “, the AESAN recalls that the producers who market them “have the obligation to respect food safety standards that ensure the safety of the product” .

This is how mushroom picking should be
In this way, starting with the collection and transport, the agency recommends not taking any product that cannot be identified, not even if it is near contaminated areas such as cities, gutters or industrial areas. In addition, it is important to carry them in a basket with holes so that their spores are spread to the surface so that the species continues to develop.

Do not store them in plastic bags, do not pick the youngest or the most mature or collect after a frost or heavy rain, it helps them taste the best possible . In addition, when it comes to respecting the environment, it is important not to damage the environment, take only the necessary ones , know how much is the maximum number allowed by law and know if a permit is necessary to access restricted areas.

What to do to consume mushrooms properly?
Once they get home, AESAN points out that it is important to clean them under cold water , not submerged, since that way they will absorb less water. It is also advisable to keep at least one copy so that in case of poisoning it can be identified.

On the other hand, if it is the first time that they are consumed, it is important not to ingest too many since they can be harmful depending on the person. In addition, it is convenient to cook any species , never eat it raw, to avoid toxic substances.

What do I do if a mushroom has made me feel bad?
For its part, after ingestion, if a mushroom has made our body feel bad, the AESAN reflects that it is important to go to a medical center to have as much information as possible. In addition, if it were an intoxication, calling 112, the National Toxicology Institute (915 620 420) or going to the emergency room can save a life.

The institution recalls that the symptoms vary according to the species , although the most normal are gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Sweating, dizziness, vertigo, agitation, hallucinations or redness of the skin may also appear, among other symptoms.

Myths about mushrooms
Finally, AESAN closes its guide with eight false beliefs about the world of mushrooms, their collection and consumption:

  • It is false that poisonous ones lose their toxicity by boiling or cooking them. There are species that endure heat treatment.
  • It is false that if we cook them with a silver object, garlic or onion and they blacken they are toxic. This is due to the species and its compounds.
  • It is false that all those that grow on wood are edible. The galerina marginata fungus can be deadly.
  • It is false that poisonous ones change color when touched or cut, as this also happens with edibles.
  • It is false that those consumed by animals are not poisonous since they can die later or be harmless depending on the bug.
  • It is false that the good taste or smell is a symptom of food. Canaleja (amanita phalloides) tastes good but can be deadly.
  • It is false that mushrooms with ring and back are always toxic. The egg yolk (amanita caeserea) has these characteristics and is highly appreciated.
  • It is false that mushrooms that grow in shady or muddy areas are toxic, while those in meadows, sunny and sandy areas are edible.

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