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Pick Your Harvesting Grounds Carefully

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I have been studying mushrooms for about ten years now on and off. People pick them from parks and the side of the road regularly. Picking mushrooms near roadways is a terrible idea. You have brake dust from cars which contains lead, exhaust fumes and other harmful pollutants. A lot of public parks are built on top of old trash dumps. Just be careful where you are harvesting your mushrooms. People spray pesticides, herbicides and all types of crap everywhere. Try and go somewhere where all this isn't prevalent. Allan Rockefeller says not to worry to much about heavy metals and other things unless you are harvesting from the same area over and over again. You can get cumulative dose toxicity this way as the toxins build up in your system over time. Not trying to scare anyone just be smart about it. 

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Agree there are some places I would never harvest from. Old railway yards. Golf courses. Grave yards. Love Canal. Any land within a mile of a DuPont factory.

But..it is hard not to harvest something like this at road side.



There was six pounds of Pleurotus osteatus and the Dryad Saddle on a dead Elm stump on a highway, road side in Northwest Ontario. I briefly worried about exhaust fumes, rubber, road salt and decided that I am not going to live long enough to care (62 YO).

The Oysters made delicious mushroom jerky and the Dryad was added to  an Asian veg stir fry.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Dryads Saddle in my opinion is okay...I like the little nubs or smaller ones though. The flavor and texture aren't my favorite but they are medicinal. I wanna try pickling them or doing something else interesting with them. They are so abundant around me that I will find some way to consume them eventually. 

I harvested and ate Morel when I was a beginner from the side of a Railroad track. It smelled terrible there too. Pretty dumb but it is what it is. My brother works on an old timey railroad and the pollution near there is awful. The newer trains are probably a lot better but they transport all types of super toxic substances on them and derail more often then you would think. Diesel fumes also are pretty harmful and that's what a lot of them run on. Better than fly-ash and coal dust though lol. 

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Years ago I found a bunch of Morels alongside a railroad track.  I started picking them until I noticed that the weeds around the tracks were dying.  Obviously, the area had been sprayed with weed killer, and that is why the morels had come up.  They were associated with trees that were damaged by the spray.  Of course, I tossed the morels that I had picked.  This is another reason not to pick mushrooms alongside railroad tracks.

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