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talks about some mushrooms containing agaritine which can be carcinogenic and the problem of digesting chitin (mushroom fibers) which leads to nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. this could be a reason for some people throwing up if they are sensitive. i wonder if powdering aids digestion or expulsion?
EATING RAW MUSHROOMS CAUSES PROBLEMS Jan Lindgren MushRumors, Oregon Myco. Soc., March?April 1997
Most of us think nothing of eating a few sliced, raw, ?store bought? mushrooms in salads, on hors d?oeuvre trays, or when preparing them for the frying pan. Usually the amount eaten is so small that we don?t notice any unpleasant symptoms, but it is not a good idea to eat any mushroom raw. I know the commercial growers will laugh and scoff at this statement and some of you will say you can eat lots of them with no problem, but researchers have shown that even Agaricus bisporus, the ?store bought? mushroom, contains agaritine which metabolizes into a hydrazine.
Many hydrazines are known to be strong carcinogens and can be found in a lot of edible mushrooms. Cooking destroys some or all of the hydrazines, but the steam given off during cooking has been known to make some cooks ill. Besides this fact, the structural material or cell walls in mushrooms is made of chitin, and humans don?t have the ability to digest this derivative of cellulose. The body can do several things to this undigested chitin. It can expel it by vomiting or send it the other way with diarrhea. Small amounts may pass through the gut with other food and go unnoticed, or it may stay in the gut where bacteria will work on it causing bloating, gas, and other discomfort. Cooking does not destroy chitin but may ease its effect. Once in the habit of eating A. bisporus raw, people think they can eat any mushroom without thorough cooking, and this is where they may experience some very unpleasant symptoms. In February, a case recorded at the Or! egon Poison Center told of a woman who ate home cultivated, raw Pleurotus ostreatus with her lunch and experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While this may not be a serious health problem it could have been avoided. A better job of educating people about wild collected and cultivated mushrooms is necessary.
We assume that chefs at good hotels and restaurants know not to serve raw mushrooms, but this isn?t the case. You may recall that on June 8, 1991, about 70 people were made ill at a large banquet in Vancouver, B.C., because they were served raw morels and other raw mushrooms in a salad.
The spring verpas, morels, and brainlike mushrooms (Gyromitra) are notorious for their toxicity in the raw state and, for some people, in the cooked state. Please be careful and remember that drying is not a substitute for cooking and that folding sliced mushrooms into an omelet just before serving or pouring hot vinegar and spices over raw mushrooms is not efficient heating or cooking. The best rule to follow is cook all mushrooms thoroughly before eating and eat them in moderation.
A good reference for more information about mushrooms and health is Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas by Denis R. Benjamin of Seattle.
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