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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 14, 2013

Mushroom Fallacies

JAMA. 2013;310(6):649. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5263

Originally Published August 9, 1913 | JAMA. 1913;61(6):414- 415.

Now that the Fourth of July with its tetanic dangers has passed, we may prepare for the usual “epidemic” of mushroom poisoning which seems to be an inevitable accompaniment of the summer season. The physician, rightly prized in many communities as a cyclopedia of dependable information on matters of hygienic import, is often asked to furnish some criterion of safety in relation to the dietetic use of mushrooms. There is a popular tendency to restrict the name “toadstool” to poisonous species and that of “mushroom” to the edible ones; but since one cannot tell, except by trial, whether a particular “toadstool” is poisonous or not, the distinction is neither satisfactory nor advantageous.