A Sydney man tried to eat “flood mushrooms” which cropped up in his yard during the torrential rains, and then got seriously ill. It’s a lesson to us all not to eat random mushrooms ever, please.
Jonathan Herrman made a Facebook post to warn people away from making his same mistake. Thus, here begins a wild fungus-focused tale.
“Do NOT, EVER try mushrooms from the garden/wild if you don’t have expert knowledge,” Herrman wrote.
“They can KILL and there is no known antidote for the poison found in several species, amatoxin.”
He then went on to explain exactly why he chowed down on the no good very bad shrooms.
“The current rains brought a lot of ‘plain, white’ mushrooms to our lawn,” he explained.
“Now suspected to be lepiota venenata. There are many lepiota ‘shroom species. Many are edible, some are not… at all.”
Then, he described his “stupid moment/Darwin Award category”.
“I thought – here’s an easy food supply, but I will be careful,” he said.
“First rubbed some on sensitive skin, waited, licked, waited and then took a thumbnail size bite. No discernible taste difference to an ordinary mushroom.
“Two to three hours later it went south pretty quickly.”
He then described symptoms so horrendous that they’ve almost put me off the pre-packaged Woolies button mushrooms. According to Herrman he experienced simultaneous, violent diarrhoea and vomiting as well as sweating and a running nose.
TBH that sounds like me after most nights out but many times worse.
“My body was doing everything it could to dump everything it could,” he said.
He then rang up the Poisons Helpline who asked if there was an oak tree near by. There was, and it turns out that mushrooms which spring up around oak trees tend to be the most dangerous. Filing that away in my foraging knowledge just in case the Hunger Games actually happens.
Herrman had to be taken to hospital by his partner, where he was given an anti-emetic, put on a saline IV drop and had his blood taken. He spent two nights in the hospital and went through two litres of saline drip. Yeesh.
“I’m lucky to still have my liver/kidneys (organ failure and transplant is one outcome of mushroom poisoning) if not my life,” Herrman wrote.
Food Safety Australia also shared a warning to any curious, hungry Aussies back in February about the dangers of wild mushrooms.
Deathcap mushrooms (the clue is in the name there really) are appearing much earlier than normal thanks to the rain. While they look like normal mushrooms, they’re really poisonous and can cause liver and kidney failure or even death.
So look, as tempting as it might be to nibble on nature’s abundant crop of post-rain mushies, please don’t. It’s not very cottagecore to end up seriously ill in hospital.