I’m shocked that I actually have to have a conversation about this.
I can’t believe what I’ve been hearing in the news. Grown people getting sick after eating mushrooms out of their yards?
I thought everybody learned this when they were small—DON’T eat the mushrooms in the yard. As a matter of fact, don’t even touch them.
I’ve known this since I was, gosh, a 4-year-old running around barefoot on my family’s two acres of land in eastern South Carolina, where mushrooms are common.
My parent’s warnings didn’t stop me from having a little fun by kicking the ‘shrooms over as they sprouted up. I was fascinated by the hundreds of ridges on the underside of the mushroom’s “head” and by the fact the ants seemed to love these funny-looking, but potentially deadly plants.
Ever the curious one, I remember asking my mother about the mushrooms sold in the produce section during one of our Saturday trips to Piggly Wiggly, a popular grocery store chain in the South.
She explained the mushrooms in the grocery store were safe to eat, but the ones outside were not.
So I grew up thinking shunning wild mushrooms was common sense.
This weekend, several news outlets reported cases of people becoming seriously ill after ingesting mushrooms they’d found in their yards.
Apparently, his mind changed after he stir-fried them up and slurped them down with some noodles he’d prepared.
Soon after the meal, he and his wife began to experience stomach pains and vomiting.
The Post reports he was later transferred to Georgetown University Hospital for a possible liver transplant; that lovely meal of Amanita phalloides mushrooms, ominously known as death caps—almost cost this man one of his organs.
Fortunately, the victim recovered after doctors administered an experimental drug. His wife recovered without the drug. Both were released from the hospital.
An 82-year-old retired Maryland farmer ended up in the same hospital after he decided to sample the mushrooms in his yard.
Fortunately this man, too, avoided death with the help of the same experimental drug.
Experts say the recent rains in Northern Virginia have caused large numbers of mushrooms to pop up in the area.
The meteorological light show and thundershowers in Manassas Park last night no doubt helped the little plants continue to shoot up and out the ground.
So as tempting as they look, PLEASE, don’t eat the mushrooms!
Perhaps more importantly, teach your children not to each or, even touch mushrooms.
Take it from me. It’s an early lesson they won’t forget. I’m 27 years old and I still don’t touch them, thanks to what my parents taught me.
If you would like to learn more about local herbs and plants, there's a free program called Herbs and Wild Edibles at the Central Community Library on Mathis Avenue tonight at 7
Grab the whole family and make your way there. It's free for goodness sake, and the program is timely and well worth the trip.