Edible Mushrooms

There are literally thousands of mushroom varieties worldwide. Of those, perhaps 2% are known to be safely edible, and perhaps 2% are known to be outright deadly. Another 3% (approximate) are considered dangerously poisonous, and about another 3% are safe for most people if prepared correctly but harmful if eaten carelessly. Somewhere in between, lie the other 90%. Unidentified, untested, many unnamed and unstudied, most not particularly tasty, nor interesting or plentiful enough to try.

The 2% on each end of the extremes are the ones we seem to see most often. The poisonous ones have been identified precisely because they are fairly common, or because they look very much like an edible variety. The edible ones have likewise been identified precisely because they are common enough to have been tried many times, and cataloged and studied, and usually because they are large enough to bother with.

Most “poisonous” mushrooms aren't deadly. They'll just make you sick. Perhaps a little queasy, or maybe really yucky, possibly curled up in fetal position moaning in agony but not outright deadly.

Most edible mushrooms should be cooked before eating. Some are considered safe when raw, but the majority are used after cooking.

Many edible mushrooms can cause reactions in sensitive people. A few are known for causing allergic reactions. Reactions can vary, so if you experience a reaction after consuming mushrooms, wait at least a week to let it clear out of your system before you try it again. If the reaction was severe, or potentially severe if it worsens (such as hives that go into your face or mouth, which may be a precursor to anaphylactic shock), then it is wise to avoid that particular mushroom in the future.

There are perhaps 50 fairly common edible mushroom varieties that will pop up in search results over and over, and on which you can find a reasonable amount of individual information. About another 50 will show up scattered here and there in the listings, but with insufficient data to even make an accurate identification.

Most poisonous “look alikes” really aren't look-alikes. There are distinctive differences which clearly show which is which – but you have to match all features, and know the mushrooms individually.

There is no single set rule that will tell you that this group is edible and that group is not.

Even within a species, the individual varieties differ – one may be edible, others may not. So you have to learn the identification markers for each mushroom – about 5-6 elements for each one. That takes time to learn, so if you are a budding mushroom hunter, you'll want to stick to a single variety until you learn it very well, then learn to identify another.

Mushrooms have never been a neutral thing in my life. People around me seem to either love them, or hate them. And then there are the true fanatics, who love every mushroom, and who seek out new varieties to try, as though mushrooms are the holy grail of food. Ok, so they feel about mushrooms like I feel about chocolate. I get that!

I was a mushroom hater. I have learned to tolerate them, as I have begun to eat more and more types of mushrooms. Growing them will do that to you. Honestly I had no idea there were so many popular mushroom types – nor so many that could be harvested by mushroom hunters in the wild.

You might ask what converted me? Strictly the health benefits. I had Crohn's Disease. I adjusted my diet, took several herbs to heal my bowels, eliminated processed foods and chemical additives, and made great progress. But I was only able to heal partially, due to some other health issues which had crept in while I had Crohn's. Stopping the Crohn's turned out to be easier than healing all the damage.

Turns out, mushrooms provide a range of benefits that just happened to be ones that I needed. Some of the suggested benefits center around minimizing damage from chemicals in our diet, and healing auto-immune disease (Crohn's is an auto-immune disease, and is invariably accompanied by a range of other auto-immune illnesses). Mushrooms seemed like a wise idea.

In all my life, the only mushrooms I had ever tried were those sad white button mushrooms that pass for food. I have no great opinion of them even now. Other mushrooms proved to be more palatable, and less reminiscent of slimy little bits of slug.

The more I studied, the more I learned about the various mushrooms, their individual healing strengths, and their useful nutritional value. I also learned about mushroom markets, salable products, and the types that sold well. I discovered rare and valuable mushrooms, and common commodity mushrooms. Since we were seeking a means of profiting from our farm, mushrooms looked like a good option there too, if we could devise a way to bypass the complexities that everyone else thought were a necessary part of producing sustainable mushroom crops.

I now encourage people with health problems to eat mushrooms. Not for any miracle cure, but simply because they are good food that helps individuals maintain or achieve better health. I am still rather ambivalent about most mushroom varieties when they are served on a plate in large enough pieces to identify the variety, but I've made a truce with them, and no longer detest them. I sort of envy those who love mushrooms.


This Organization and Website are dedicated to the Preservation, Cultivation, and Wise Use of Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms. We do NOT assist with cultivation or preservation of recreational mushrooms.

Mushrooms may cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. Some mushrooms are more likely to do this than others. Please research possible reactions prior to use. We are not responsible for how you choose to use our information, and do not claim that mushrooms are completely safe to consume.


We do not make any claims as to the efficacy of any mushroom product to treat or prevent any disease or condition. We are not medical professionals and will not provide advice on alternative medicine use for any mushroom. Please consult a doctor or alternative practitioner prior to using any mushroom product for treatment of any disease or illness.


We cannot guarantee that any spawn, spore, or kit product will grow or produce mushrooms. Gardening of any kind is a chancy business, and success depends upon adherence to instructions, and may be influenced by weather, environmental factors, and other controllable and non-controllable factors. As such, we cannot guarantee your success, and advise that if you are uncomfortable with purchasing instructions from us under these terms, that you refrain from purchase.

We do promise to answer your questions, and offer reasonable assistance if needed, and to correct any errors if a mistake is made on our part.

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