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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7 Responses to My Adventures In Mushroom Poisoning!

  1. Amy Valentini November 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi Maya,
    Well, I’m very happy that you’re okay and survived your brush with near death. Perhaps you can use this in one of your books. I love mushrooms, too and probably would have done the same thing considering the name of the little devils. Now, you need to get some more and cook them as instructed to see just how good they can be sans the poisioning. : )

  2. maria (farm country kitchen) November 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    since I saw you on the first night of your poisoning I would have to add that red blotches all over your face (didn’t want to tell you at the time to make you feel worse) and alleged puking discreetly on the streets of Manhattan were also part of the symptoms.

    XO, Mom

  3. Maya November 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Thank you, Mom, for sharing embarrassing details when I am trying be ladylike!!! 🙂

  4. Amy Valentini November 18, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    What’s a mother for if not to embarrass her children? Isn’t that right, Maria? LOL!!
    Maya, it gives us a look at the totally normal, down to earth side of a wonderfully imaginative mind. Really Maya, on the streets of Manhattan??!! LOL!

  5. Maya November 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    It has been brought to my attention by a doc at a Poison Center that even “cooking does NOT kill all potential mushroom toxins.” The advice: If you are not CERTAIN what you are buying, don’t.

    Wow! Will do!

  6. Dr. Cathy June 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Maya, thx for sharing your story. I have never heard of nor eaten honey mushrooms, but I do now. Also glad to hear you weren’t deterred from eating mushrooms and learned about how to cook and eat them. I teach my patients nutrition and find their experiences with food can create negative concepts that prevent them from trying great food choices! Cudo’s to you and also appreciate your recipe for a healthy breakfast with veges and eggs. Dr. Catherine Franklin, Atl. GA.

  7. Sally June 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    In Georgia, it is illegal to sell wild foraged mushrooms to the public without being certified in mushroom identification. This is based on legislation of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. However vendors commonly ignore the law and slip through the cracks. I have always wondered if people buying at restaurants and farmers markets know how little regulation is invoked and the risk they are taking purchasing these items. They have no idea whether or not the person who foraged for the mushrooms actually knew what they were doing… But they think becuase it is being sold at the market it is safe….

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