DO verify 100% positive identification of the mushroom, including the location and season of growth.
DON’T use the mushroom if there is any shadow of doubt in your mind concerning the identity.
DO cook your mushrooms. Many edible mushrooms are safer if they are cooked, rather than raw.
DON’T eat raw mushrooms (or even taste them raw) or consume them with alcohol. The poisons in some mushrooms can create more damage if they are mixed with alcohol. Don’t even cook the mushrooms in wine or other alcohol
DO cut or bruise the mushroom, and watch for any color change in the flesh. Color changes can be part of the identification process, along with a close examination of the mushroom’s structures and odor. DON’T use mushrooms that are growing out of season. This is one of the global factors in mushroom poisoning cases. Never eat a mushroom looks that right, but it was growing at the wrong time of year.
DO be aware that some verified edible mushrooms may still cause digestive upset or illness in sensitive individuals.
DON’T eat anything with volva and stem rings (annulus), unless you’d bet your life they are not Amanitas. I know those parts sound dirty, but they are just technical names for ‘shroom parts. Stem rings look like the stem is wearing a mini-skirt, and the volva is a cup shaped structure at the bottom of the stem.
DO use caution with mushrooms that have a scaly or bumpy texture to the surface of their cap. More than 50% of these are dangerous.
DON’T eat it if you’re not sure about it! I already said that, but it’s worth repeating.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
Follow Tim on Twitter @timmacwelch
Take one of his survival classes at www.advancedsurvivaltraining.com
and check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles at Outdoor Life Magazine’s survival site, The Survivalist