Heavy Metal Contamination Of Wild Mushrooms — 6 Things To Know

Harvesting edible mushrooms is rewarding. 

Harvesting edible mushrooms that are contaminated with impurities is disappointing and potentially dangerous.

One of the most common questions I receive from concerned foragers is this: 

“I hear that mushrooms bioaccumulate all kinds of substances.  How do I know that the edible mushrooms I’ve harvested are safe for consumption?”

This is an issue that requires a lot of attention.  Fungi, like many living organisms, can harbor all kinds of contaminants, including synthetic chemicals (e.g., pesticides and herbicides), radionuclides, and heavy metals. 

While many factors remain outside the personal control of foragers, several actions can be taken to mitigate harm caused by these contaminants.

To shed light on heavy metal contamination, I created a video in which I answer 6 important questions.  Information in the video includes:

  • The most problematic heavy metals.
  • Habitats that are known to be contaminated.
  • Edible mushrooms that hyper-accumulate heavy metals.
  • Specific parts of mushrooms that are most likely to concentrate heavy metals.
  • Cooking techniques we can implement in the kitchen to reduce contamination.

…and lots more.

The following video is one of over 80 exclusive videos featured in Foraging Wild Mushrooms — a four-season online course designed to help you confidently and successfully forage wild mushrooms.  

Registration for Foraging Wild Mushrooms is open until Monday, May 24th at midnight.  After May 24th, registration will be closed. 

If you’ve ever considered harvesting wild mushrooms but didn’t know where to start, or where to go, or how to discern between edible and poisonous species, Foraging Wild Mushrooms will equip you with the skills necessary to ensure that your harvests are safe and successful. 

To get a sneak peek into the kinds of content found within the course, check out this video.

Please note that this video is available until Monday, May 24th, and will only be available to registered students afterwards.

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support.

—Adam Haritan

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