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10 Things You Should Never Eat in the Wild


10
Mushrooms
The mushrooms on the left are real morels, while the ones on the right are false morels, which can be very toxic. ABERRATION FILMS LTD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, DeAgostini/Getty Images
The mushrooms on the left are real morels, while the ones on the right are false morels, which can be very toxic. ABERRATION FILMS LTD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, DeAgostini/Getty Images

Yes, there are many edible mushrooms growing in the great outdoors. Experts say there are several thousand edible species in North America alone. But there are many poisonous ones, too — some 250 species in this same continent [source: Oder]. Unless you're a mushroom expert, it's best to leave these fungi alone and pick up your 'shrooms in the grocery store. Even if you think you've got a pretty good grasp on which ones are edible and which are not, keep in mind that there are more than a few poisonous mushrooms that closely resemble popular edibles.

One example is the green-spored parasol. This is the most commonly ingested poisonous mushroom in North America. Why? When young, green-spored parasols resemble those white button mushrooms we see on pizzas, in salads and at the market.

Then there are the prized morel mushrooms, which have an evil twin in toxic "false morels"; ditto with the tasty chanterelles, which look an awful lot like the poisonous jack-o'-lantern mushrooms. So be safe and don't nosh on any mushrooms you find growing wild [source: Oder].


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