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8 poisonous foods we commonly eat

June 10, 2013, 9:15 a.m.
Death cap mushroom

Photo: Photo: Archenzo/Wikimedia Commons

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8. Mushrooms

No list of poisonous foods would be complete without mention of mushrooms, and specifically, Amanita phalloides, the deadly (and dastardly delicious) “death cap” mushroom. Responsible for a multitude of mushroom poisonings, along with its cousin, Amanita ocreata, better known as the “destroying angel.” The Amanita genus in general is responsible for about 95 percent of all mushroom poisonings, with 75 percent of fatal poisonings attributed to death caps and destroying angels.

Our fascination with funghi goes way back and we continue to poison ourselves with various members of the mushroom family. Why? Because they are amazing to eat, while at the same time, it's hard to differentiate between those that are good and those that are deadly. If you have a fondness for foraging, take Matt Hickman's advice: be totally neurotic.