The Potentially Deadly Mushroom That the Finns Can’t Get Enough Of

Gyromitra esculenta, or the False Morel, is a Spring mushroom that contains the toxin and carcinogen gyromitrin, which makes it illegal to sell and cook in countries around the world. In Finland, however, it is considered a delicacy.

False Morel mushrooms have historically been consumed in northern Europe for centuries, but as chemistry and medicine evolved, it became somewhat of a forbidden fruit due to the dangers of consuming even small amounts of gyromitrin. Symptoms associated with the ingestion of this known toxin and carcinogen include severe headaches, vomiting, nausea, extreme dizziness, diarrhea and, if the damage to the liver is too serious, even death. Their sale in countries like Sweden and Norway was made illegal years ago, but in Finland people still eat it with gusto.

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Author of Book on Mushrooms Lets Mushrooms Eat His Book, Then Eats Mushrooms

When it comes to promoting a book on mushrooms, I think it’s safe to say that no one will top biologist Merlin Sheldrake’s marketing campaign anytime soon.

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Future is an intriguing book on the fascinating life of various fungi, written by biologist Merlin Sheldrake. But at the end of the day, it’s still just a book on mushrooms, and most people just aren’t drawn to that sort of literature. But Sheldrake came up with an ingenious PR campaign to promote his book that drew the attention of the art world and the general public, not just of fungi enthusiasts. He let his book on mushrooms be devoured by pleurotus mushrooms and then ate those mushrooms himself.

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Indiana Grocery Stores Let You Pick Your Own Mushrooms

Looking for super-fresh mushrooms? Head on over to a Kroger grocery store in Indiana, where you can pick them yourself.

Instead of selling already picked and packaged button mushrooms, Kroger grocery stores in Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana, give customers the chance to pick them by hand from a compost stand. Sure, you have to get your hands a little dirty, but at least you know they are as fresh as can be.

Photos of the unique pick-you-own stand at Kroger were first posted on Reddit a few months ago, and got mostly positive reactions from users of the popular news sharing website, while some expressed concerns about food waste, since the pictures showed a lot of already picked mushrooms left on the compost stand by picky customers. However, as one user pointed out, there’s really no waste with mushrooms, as the staff can just make new compost out of them and grow new ones.

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Natural Canvas – Artist Etches Beautiful Illustrations on Mushrooms

If you like unique art mediums, you’re going to love Corey Corcoran’s work. The Boston-based artist uses mushrooms as canvases for his original illustrations.

Creating really good illustrations is hard enough on paper, but on the surface of Ganoderma applanatum (also known as Artist Conk mushroom) is even harder. You can erase a mistake on a piece of paper, but once something is etched into the skin of the mushroom, it can’t be undone. But that doesn’t seem to bother Corey Corcoran, on the contrary, it’s probably one of the things that attracted him to this weird choice for a canvas. He has to be very precise when engraving the fruits of his imagination into the mushroom, using the changing shades of brown to create truly unique works of natural art. The size of his works ranges from six inches to two feet, depending on the mushroom canvas, and the theme mostly revolves around plant life, insects, and people.

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