11/17/2011 09:20 am ET | Updated Jan 17, 2012

My Adventures In Mushroom Poisoning!

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure.

I was poisoned. I don't think I was deliberately poisoned. The mushroom guy at the farmers' market and I merely failed to communicate...about his poisonous produce. So, perhaps it is more accurate to say that I suffered terribly after consuming a poisonous mushroom. Here's how it went down...

There is a vendor at my local farmers' market--who shall remain nameless--who sells foraged mushrooms. Having read about foraged mushrooms on this very blog, and being a city dweller, I was excited by this opportunity to try something unusual. That day's offerings were honey mushrooms. They were small and adorable and had that sweet little name. It was suggested that "a good way to eat them is to cook them for 10 to 15 minutes on high heat."

I ate them raw.

After some vomiting, a two-day stomachache, deductive reasoning, and some desperate Googling, I learned that honey mushrooms can upset your stomach when you eat them raw and are often confused for other, more dangerous, mushrooms. This was information I would have liked to have known, oh, two days earlier before I virtuously added chopped raw honey mushrooms to my lunchtime salad.

Just to be safe, I called the Poison Control Center to see if I should check myself into the hospital or not. When assured by an expert that I was fine, I started feeling better.

The good news: I think the Poison Control Center may be the last remaining organization where an actual human answers! The bad news: The woman I spoke to said she stopped eating mushrooms after taking the job.

But not me.

Notes to self for future reference:

• When those folks at the farmers' market give cooking instructions, it's probably a good idea to listen.

• When it doubt, Google it...before you eat it.

Even with such a misadventure, I'll still be frequenting the farmers' market and buying the freshest organic produce I can get my hands on. I'll just cook it first!


Maya Rodale is the author of numerous historical romance novels. She lives in New York City with a rogue of her own and their dog, Penelope. Find her on FacebookTwitter, or at


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