Mushrooms are many things to many people. From a side dish to a renewable energy source to an illegal drug that’s being used to treat anxiety in the terminally ill, fungi have passionate followers. We’ll talk food, medicine, culture and the science of mushrooms with food writer Eugenia Bone.

The Weird World of Mushrooms 25 May,2012forum

Eugenia Bone, author of "Mycophilia: Revelations From the Weird World of Mushrooms" and president of the New York Mycological Society

  • Brittany

    Wonderful discussion! Just a minor correction. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is produced by plants and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is made by animals, including people.

  • Adara

    I’ve always hated eating mushrooms, but here’s the catch: I love the flavor (hate the texture). Do you have any advice or types of mushrooms/dishes I can explore? 

  • Mya R.

    When friends first took me mushroom hunting, the first mushrooms they taught me were the ones to avoid. They also taught me the rule “When in doubt, throw it out.” By all means, go out, look, hunt. But do not eat a mushroom if you are not certain of its identity.

  • Sam

    With a history of wise people using mushrooms to gain visions around the world like Maria Sabina, what does the author think of hallucinogenic uses of mushrooms? Aside from being safe, does she think that the visions have any actual value in regards to revealing something about ourselves or the world, or are they just random brain cells firing off?

  • Amanda

    I used to cook them as a snack when I was a litle girl.  Odd I know but Butter, salt, yum.

    Recently stopped eating morel and porcini because of the worms.  Nothing scarier than lifting a paperbag heavy and squirming from the fridge.  How do you tell if they have them.

  • Ann c. L.

    I had a friend who taught botany at U.C.Berkeley and one Christmas she created a hallway bulletin board in the dept. which was albout flying mushroom eating reindeer. Also several years ago I did research on amanita muscaria for a time travel novel I was writing concerning the present and 2700B.C. Soma was an important part of the story and I found that many people believe that this mushroom -amanita muscaria was the Soma which is given credit and praise in the Rig Veda for inspiring the Vedas, hence most Eastern religions. Mushrooms are also linked to inspiring Taoism, not to mention spirtuality in the Western Hemishpere.   

  • Michelle

    Great program, Thanks. Just came in and not sure if you already discussed this question. How do you clean portabello mushrooms before adding various marinades? I have making these at least once a week and have been told not to rinse or soak them only to rub cap with damp cloth but I am concerned about the worm issue. I get my shrooms from the local farmers market at an organic stand.

  • Jazzzgrl

    Great topic! LOTS in the Russian River area. We had chantrelles on our property- yummy meals for years!  We took our kids on forays with WAM, Wild About Mushrooms. KIDS are great mushrooms finders with their good eyes, natural curiosity and low to the ground perspective. One of our favorite family memories is going w WAM to the Sierras and eating sauteed  cheese stuffed morrels.

  • Chemist150

    Something that may help her interpretation of the psilocybin experience is it’s affect on the brain.  Some drugs (pharmaceuticals included) have an affect on the short term memory.  Psilocybin in combination with other drugs will produce more pronounced effects on the short term memory.   What happens is a short circuit or delay to the short term memory.  When information enters the brain, it goes to short term memory which check the long term memory.  The delay to the short term memory allows the information to reach long term memory first so when the information reaches the short term memory and checks the long term memory, it’s already there!  Déjà vu.   One can extrapolate on the effects.  A mild effect would give one a sense familiarity which gives rise to a sense of belonging and acceptance. Use the information as you see fit.

    • Ann C. L.

      Chemist150 – Thank you much. Have to say that I think what you just offered is probably one of the most interesting pieces of info to come out of recent findings on the brain that I have ever seen. And I’ve never seen/heard anyone else give this before.(It’s certainly clarifying for that wonderous, mysterious experience we’ve given so many interpretations to over the centuries.) I intend to look into this. Thanks again!

  • Chef Bob

    Along with responsible use of forests, sustainable farming of specialty varieties can offer fungi for our plates, palettes and nutrition. One of America’s pioneers in these methods is right here in the Bay Area, Gourmet Mushrooms Inc. of Sebastopol.

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