Friday, September 27, 2013

Foodie Fridays

AH says "Oops, one last thing about this 'shroom...."
Key artwork for the ShroomGate incident in Arizona Highways

Here at BEING, we usually write about fun and tasty things to eat, but today's post is about what NOT to eat - the Fly Agaric Mushroom! Our FUNGI FRIDAY ALERT is specifically aimed at informing the 123,000 nationwide subscribers of Arizona Highways magazine who are about to receive the October issue containing an "okay" to eat a certain mushroom that can be psychotropic when consumed raw...a little fact they neglected to mention in its "Nature Factoid" article. Oops.

Most of us are taught from childhood on not to eat unidentified bugs or plants, especially mushrooms, unless you're with someone in the know...a mycologist, for instance, or your earthy Grandpa.  Even so, trusting the editorial advice of AH - a glossy nature, travel and photography magazine - the story might have caused an eager chef to toss the potentially trippy little mushroom into a gourmet slo-food salad, with unexpected (and possibly terrifying) results for the Ladies Who Lunch or, heaven forbid, the rare toddler who eats everything Mommy eats. Scary.

Honestly, one has to wonder what caused the foggy thinking that allowed the writer to make such an error in the first place (although he does recommend use of a field guide to make sure you get the right mushrooms...apparently just not the one he's been reading, which would be helpful to know). But, we do praise the magazine for its quick action in sending out a special postcard alert to all of its subscribers to warn them of the error, and pulling the printed copies from newsstands; a corrected e-version will be available to non-subscribers wishing to purchase this month's issue.

Here is the key point in the actual warning, which is also featured on the AH website:

"The fly agaric mushroom should not be consumed in its raw form because of its unpredictable psychotropic and physical effects."

Unsurprisingly, in following with all of this, one of the magazine site's top questions in the Comments section today is:
"Where can I find some of these mushrooms?"

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