Mushroom hunting turns deadly in Italy
- Get a guide — a real live guide. There are experienced mushroom hunters and food foragers who offer guided tours. They will show you where good sources of wild foods are, how to identify nonpoisonous, edible foods, and how to properly harvest them.
- Be 100 percent sure that food you forage is safe. If you aren’t sure, don’t eat it.
- Forage with a friend.
- Buy a guidebook to help you identify edible plants.
- It’s better to stay away from mushrooms unless you are 100 percent sure they are safe, even if you’ve identified them in a guidebook. They can be particularly deadly.
- You can take wild mushrooms to some experts who will identify them for you (like this guy in Pennsylvania). If you are going mushroom hunting, hunt down one of those experts before you hunt down any mushrooms.
- Dress appropriately. Wear sturdy, protective shoes. If you’ll be going into an area where plants will be close together, consider long pants and sleeves to avoid getting scratches from other plants.
- Stay away from foods on the sides of heavily traveled roads. They may be heavily loaded with exhaust fumes and other toxins.
- If you’re going to eat foods that you’ve never eaten before, always have some Benadryl or other antihistamine with you just in case you discover that you are allergic to something. This is one reason why having a friend with you is important. If you do have a severe reaction, you have someone to help you.
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