Survival Food - Wild Mushrooms

Survival Food - Wild Mushrooms

It has been said that Mushrooms, although very tasty, have no nutritional value.  This is simply not true.  Morel mushrooms for example while being very low in calories, fat and sodium are high in Potassium, protein, and Vitamin D.  So even though you are not going to get much of a power surge from them, you will get rid of that empty feeling of hunger and they are good for you.

Given these facts, there are many non-edible (Poisonous) mushrooms out there as well.  These mushrooms can sicken or potentially kill you.

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The small amount of nutrition that you actually receive from a mushroom is not going to boost your chances of survival enough to offset the risk of making an error in identifying an edible mushroom.  In other words, mushrooms will not keep you from starving to death and are not worth the risk simply for satisfying your tummy's demand for food. 

We do not recommend that you eat any mushroom found in the wilderness unless you have had proper training in mushroom identification!

Be extremely careful when eating wild mushrooms!

Morel Mushrooms

Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales (division Ascomycota). These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance due to the network of ridges with pits composing their caps. Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in Catalan and French cuisine. Due to difficulties in cultivation, commercial harvesting of wild morels has become a multimillion-dollar industry in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in particular North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan where these highly prized fungi are found in abundance.


Puffball Mushrooms

Most giant Puffballs grow to be 10 to 70 centimeters (3.9 to 28 in) in diameter, although occasionally some can reach diameters up to 150 centimeters (59 in) and weights of 20 kilograms (44 lb). The inside of mature Giant puffballs is greenish brown, whereas the interior of immature puffballs is white. The large white mushrooms are edible when young.

The fruiting body of a puffball mushroom will develop within a period of a few weeks and soon begin to decompose and rot, at which point it is dangerous to eat. Unlike most mushrooms, all the spores of the giant puffball are created inside the fruiting body; large specimens can easily contain several trillion spores. Spores are yellowish, smooth, and 3 to 5 micrometers (0.00012 to 0.00020 in) in size.

The classification of this species has been revised in recent years, as the formerly recognized class Gasteromycetes, which included all puffballs, has been found to be polyphyletic. Some authors place the giant puffball and other members of the genus Calvatia in order Agaricales. Also, the species has in the past been placed in two other genera, Lycoperdon and Langermannia. However, the current view is that the Giant Puffball is Calvatia. Recently, some members of the genus Calvatia have been relocated into the genus Handke.

All true puffballs are considered edible when immature but can cause digestive upset if the spores have begun to form, as indicated by the color of the flesh being not pure white (first yellow, then brown). Immature gilled species still contained within their universal veil can be look-alikes for puffballs. To distinguish puffballs from poisonous fungi, they must be cut open; edible puffballs will have a solid white interior. Some similar mushrooms have a white interior (or yellowish) but also have the silhouette of a cap-type mushroom on the interior when cut open. These are young cap-type mushrooms and may be poisonous.

The meat of giant puffballs tastes very similar to tofu or melted cheese when cooked. To prepare, remove any brown portions and tough skin, which sometimes peels off easily. Do not soak in anything. Puffballs may be sauteed, broiled, or breaded and fried; they do not dehydrate well, but may be cooked and then frozen.


Boletus Mushrooms

Boletus edulis, commonly known as penny bun, porcino, or cep, is a fungus, and the type species of the genus Boletus. Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere across Europe, Asia, and North America, it does not occur naturally in the Southern Hemisphere, although it has been introduced to southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Several closely related European mushrooms formerly thought to be varieties or forms of B. edulis, have been shown using molecular phylogenetic analysis to be distinct species, and others previously classed as separate species are conspecific with this species. The western North American species commonly known as the California king bolete (Boletus edulis var. grandedulis) is a large, darker-colored variant first formally identified in 2007.

The fungus grows in deciduous and coniferous forests and tree plantations, forming symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations with living trees by enveloping the tree's underground roots with sheaths of fungal tissue. The fungus produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above ground in summer and autumn. The fruit body has a large brown cap which on occasion can reach 35 cm (14 in) in diameter and 3 kg (6.6 lb) in weight. Like other boletes, it has tubes extending downward from the underside of the cap, rather than gills; spores escape at maturity through the tube openings or pores. The pore surface of the B. edulis fruit body is whitish when young, but ages to a greenish-yellow. The stout stipe, or stem, is white or yellowish in colour, up to 25 cm (10 in) tall and 10 cm (3.9 in) thick, and partially covered with a raised network pattern, or reticulations.

Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in high regard in many cuisines and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Although it is sold commercially, it is very difficult to cultivate. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. Keeping its flavour after drying, it is then reconstituted and used in cooking. B. edulis is one of the few fungi sold pickled. The fungus also produces a variety of organic compounds with a diverse spectrum of biological activity, including the steroid derivative ergosterol, a sugar-binding protein, antiviral compounds, antioxidants, and phytochelatins, which give the organism resistance to toxic heavy metals. 


Coral Mushrooms

The clavarioid fungi are a group of fungi in the Basidiomycota typically having erect, simple, or branched basidiocarps (fruit bodies) that are formed on the ground, on decaying vegetation, or on dead wood. They are colloquially called club fungi and coral fungi. Originally such fungi were referred to as the genus Clavaria ("clavarioid" means Clavaria-like), but it is now known that clavarioid species are not all closely related. Since they are often studied as a group, it is convenient to retain the informal (non-taxonomic) name of "clavarioid fungi" and this term is frequently used in research papers.

Clavaria was one of the original genera created by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum of 1753. It contained all species of fungi with erect, club-shaped, or branched (coral-like) fruit bodies, including many that are now referred to as Ascomycota. Subsequent authors described over 1200 species in the genus. With the increasing use of the microscope in the late nineteenth century, most of the ascomycetous members of the genus were recognized as distinct and moved to other genera. Clavaria was still used for the majority of the basidiomycetous species until Donk reviewed Dutch species in 1933 (introducing the genera Clavariadelphus, Ramariopsis, and Ramaria in its modern sense) and Corner published his world monograph in 1950, introducing most of the remaining modern genera. DNA sequencing has since confirmed the diversity of the clavarioid fungi, not only placing species in different genera, but also in different families and orders. 

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