How to protect yourself by collecting mushrooms?
With mushrooms, you can cook an endless amount of not only delicious, but also nutritious dishes, mushrooms are dried and canned for the winter. Not surprisingly, lovers and professionals of “silent hunting” are massively picking mushrooms in the nearest (and not so) forest closer to autumn. At the same time, the number of poisonings by these gifts of the forest increases sharply. How to protect yourself from trouble by going to the forest for mushrooms, and how not to become a victim of low-quality mushrooms, we will tell in the article.
Please note that the material in question is edible mushrooms. If you do not distinguish edible mushrooms from poisonous ones, you better not collect any. Unless - under the supervision of an experienced mushroom picker.
Why do we love mushrooms?
Mushrooms are a valuable food product and their composition is unique. Mushrooms have a lot of water - 80-90%, and dry matter is represented mainly by proteins. Therefore, their other name is justified - "forest meat".
The composition of proteins includes almost all amino acids, including essential ones. Carbohydrates in mushrooms are much less than proteins. And they are different from plant carbohydrates.
Mushrooms have no starch at all. They contain glycogen - animal starch. Mushrooms have a specific sugar - mycosis or trehalose. Mushrooms also contain various fatty substances. And their digestibility is great enough.
Mushrooms contain various organic acids (malic, citric, tartaric, fumaric and others) and a wide range of vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, D, PP). Rich in iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium. They contain trace elements such as copper, zinc, iodine, fluorine, manganese.
Thus, mushrooms are a complete food product containing all the basic substances - proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and mineral salts.
By nutritional value, mushrooms can be divided into four categories:
- the first is a porcini mushroom, camelina and real breast;
- the second - medium quality mushrooms (boletus, boletus, butterdish, bruise);
- the third - brooms, russula, chanterelles, honey mushrooms;
- the fourth - low-value mushrooms (some types of russula, pink throat, summer honey agaric and others).
How can even edible mushrooms be dangerous?
Mushrooms are able to accumulate salts of heavy metals and other harmful substances in quantities dangerous to humans. With precipitation, the mushrooms get emissions from industrial facilities, exhaust gases from vehicles, various chemicals used in atomization in agriculture.
But the greatest amount of hazardous substances gets into the body of the fungus from the soil, where the mycelium develops. The most dangerous are water-soluble salts of heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic), radioactive elements (cesium-137, strontium), pesticides and herbicides. The latter are not destroyed by heat treatment and can cause serious harm to health.
By their ability to accumulate cesium-137, mushrooms are divided into the following types:
- Batteries (Polish mushroom, saffron milk cap, autumn nipple, goat, ringed cap, yellow-brown flywheel, bitter).
- Strongly accumulating radionuclides (the black boot, the yellow chanterelle, the pink wave, the green leaf, the birch, the black breast).
- Medium-accumulating radionuclides (autumn honey agaric, Russula ordinary, Boletus edulis, boletus, boletus).
- Weakly accumulating (winter mushroom, variegated mushroom, oyster mushroom, prickly raincoat, champignon, violet rowing).
General mushroom picking rules
Going for mushrooms, dress according to the weather, but with the obligatory condition of protection from insects, and most importantly - from ticks. For this, clothes should be with cuffs. Shirt with long sleeves. Pants tucked into boots (and socks). No slippers, sneakers, or the like. Headgear - required. Hair is bundled. Repellent (insect repellent) will also not be superfluous.
Going for mushrooms, take drinking water with you, come in handy. It is also better to go to the forest with an experienced mushroom picker.
It’s better to go to the forest in the morning. The sun does not have time to “heat” the mushrooms, and they will be able to survive until you clean them. Harvested mushrooms can not be stored for a long time.
It is best to pick mushrooms in baskets. So they will not overheat during the collection and will not deteriorate. Packing in a bag, you risk bringing home already spoiled mushrooms.
Mushrooms must be carefully twisted, without violating the forest litter.
The torn mushroom should be immediately cleaned of debris and earth, cut off part of the legs with the ground. Put them in the basket with their hats down (so that neighboring mushrooms do not break and clog). Mushrooms with long legs are best laid sideways.
It is important to choose the place of gathering. You cannot pick mushrooms near highways, industrial facilities, along railway tracks, near agricultural fields, landfills, cattle burial grounds and cemeteries. A safe collection area is considered to be a distance of 500 m from a country road and 1000 m from the motorway.
It is necessary to take mushrooms with no signs of rot and wormholes, not old, since substances hazardous to humans quickly accumulate in them.
Do not pick mushrooms immediately after the dry period. In such mushrooms, the maximum amount of radionuclides and salts of heavy metals.
You need to start processing immediately after returning from the forest. Mushrooms spoil quickly, and decay products pose a health hazard.
You can reduce the number of radionuclides by soaking the mushrooms in salt water (for several hours), followed by boiling also in salt water with the removal of the broth.
Canned mushrooms can be stored in a cool room for no more than a year.
Do not buy mushrooms in unidentified places. Merchants may not be hygienic, and there is an increased risk of intestinal infections. Among the “healthy” mushrooms there may be worms and old ones. Sellers may not understand mushrooms, and you risk buying not only edible, but also poisonous mushrooms. You do not know where they were collected!
And finally. You can always check the collected mushrooms for the content of radionuclides in the regional centers of hygiene and epidemiology, in the laboratory of veterinary and sanitary examination (available on the markets). For this, at least 1 liter of mushrooms must be provided for analysis.
So, to summarize and determine the basic rules for the safe collection and storage of mushrooms:
- to prepare clothes and baskets for collection the day before,
- dress correctly
- we go in the morning and not alone
- we collect in safe places
- and only those mushrooms that we know are young and not wormy,
- upon returning from the forest, we immediately begin cleaning and processing,
- winter preparations are carried out correctly, and stored in a cool room for no more than a year.
In canned preparations with mushrooms, the formation of botulinum toxin is possible. Characteristic signs of the presence of botulism clostridia in preservation are bloating of the lid and clouding of the contents (due to the production of not only toxin, but also gaseous products).
Observing the basic rules for collecting, processing and preparing mushrooms, you take care of your health and the health of your loved ones!