Tim says that with wild mushrooms, in particular, unless you have a crystal ball and can look into the future and life cycle of them, you can’t know if it’s a fully matured and healthy button mushroom, or a baby toxic mushroom that will soon be very large and lethal. Tim says the safest and most effective way to determine which mushrooms are edible, is to place the mushrooms on multi-colored sheets of paper and let the spores fallout. Then, once the spores drop and land on the paper, you can explore them under a microscope. Because the spores are as unique as a fingerprint, they can be compared to known toxic spores in the area.
Tim concludes that every year thousands of individuals are hospitalized for ingesting toxic funguses and plants and consequently suffer from ailments like rashes to kidney failure and everything in between. He says that modern medicine successfully treats most self-poisoned cases. However, the medicine’s surprising effectiveness has conversely triggered an emboldened approach that’s causing newbie foragers to scrounge up questionable sources of food, and to devour them stupidly.
Tim also dives into foraging for calorie smart, safe plants and proteins that replenish and rebuild the calories you spent while on the hunt for them. “Consider foraging and survival as a small business. If you’re spending more than what you’re making in sales, your business model is flawed, and you will soon close up shop”, Tim quips.
Take a listen to this week’s survival installment with New York Times Best Selling Author, Tim MacWelch (audio player is below).
For more on Tim or to find out about his survival classes visit www.AdvancedSurvivalTraining.com. Tim is also Outdoor Life's Survival Blogger and you can check that out at www.OutdoorLife.com/survival and he now teaches online survival classes at www.OutdoorLifeU.com.