Morel mushroom poisoning?

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Mon May 4 11:15:02 EST 1998

In article <354B09B2.781 at glpbooks.com>#1/1,
  jp at glpbooks.com wrote:
> [Last year I found several specific places to ask questions about mushrooms.
> Now I can't seem to find them. As elusive as morels! Pardon my crossposting.
> Please feel free to suggest better places.]
> I have a question about morel poisoning.
> Background: I have picked and eaten a variety of true morels for years with
> no ill effect. I live in Michigan and have eaten both northern and southern
> Mich. morels. I avoid beefsteaks (rocketfuel), but ate them once years ago with
> no ill effect. Basically, I've always loved morels, but also never overate them.
> (10max)
> Last year I had a morel dinner with maybe 6 mushrooms sauteed in a
> sauce along with drinking a glass of wine. I was knocked out kind of stoned, sick,
> hungover for over a day. I thought perhaps picking them from a new location
> as I had done was part of the problem. Comments from the Net at the time
> suggested that mushrooms are effective at picking up local toxins sometimes.
> Some logging had been done nearby. This year I picked where I had several
> years previously (with no ill effect). I had a dinner with maybe 2 mushrooms
> and a glass of white wine. Again I was somewhat flattened, but only for an hour
> or so, kind of out of it. Laying down didn't feel great, walking kept me
> better oriented. Things were just a little vague.
> Conclusion: I hope that morels aren't somehow ruined for me. Has anyone
> heard of this effect? I will try again with one mushroom and no wine.
> I recall in a famous Michigan book on morels that alcohol reacts with some
> varieties. I'm hoping the trouble is in the wine. Maybe even WHITE wine.
> (I had a fine dinner several years ago with red wine.) It would be too bad
> if I can't eat this fine wild food anymore.
The problem is simple. You have fallen under the dreaded umbrella of Sudden
Morel Toxicity Effect (SMoTe). Fortunately, there is a cure! Now, for only
$10,000 in small, unmarked American bills...

Actually, your problem is related to co-consumption of alcohol with morels.
You are not the only one. Your choices include not consuming alcohol with
morels. Not eating morels (send any dried to me instead, purely for scientific
exploration of their toxicity, mind you). Giving fresh morels only to your
worst enemies who (you hope) will react in a similar fashion as you have.

With the last option, you must always be prepared to shoulder the burden of
having an obnoxious bore accompany you on your next morel hunt.

Try skipping the wine with your next meal of morels. If you have no toxic
reactions...well, dried morels still make wonderful Christmas gifts. ;)

Daniel B. Wheeler

> Any help, advice appreciated. PLEASE COPY ANY REPLY TO EMAIL. THANKS!
> PS: Wife and friends eat these same meals with no ill effect.
> --
> Jeff Potter   jp at glpbooks.BADMAIL.com   delete '.BADMAIL' to reply
> ***"Out Your Backdoor": Friendly Magazine of DIY Adventure and Culture
>        http://www.glpbooks.com/oyb ... with new bookstore & bulletin board

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