I believe most people know that some mushrooms are poisonous, but do we really need laws controlling them? A chef in North Carolina is challenging the ban on selling wild mushrooms in restaurants. 

The law in North Carolina says that any wild picked mushrooms need to be inspected by an expert, but fails to state who would qualify as an expert. 

Chicken of the Woods is a common favorite wild mushroom. 

Chicken of the Woods is a common favorite wild mushroom. 

There are many laws in the USA that use fear of food to control our choices. While some foods can cause health problems if not careful, do we need laws or education?Properly educated people can decide for themselves what risks are worth it. They can also use the education to negate many of the risks. If more people knew about mushrooms, and how to identify them, there wouldn't be a stigma surrounding wild mushrooms, and no need for a law banning them. 

South Carolina has made a move in the right direction by offering licensing for wild mushrooms. Although Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain is the only approved expert, at least they offer classes so that people know what to look for when foraging for mushrooms. Many restaurant owners take the classes, as well, so they can be positive they know what they are buying from their foraging suppliers. 

In my opinion, education will always be better than just making more laws banning anything that might be risky. What do you think? Should there be laws controlling the harvest and distribution of wild mushrooms, or should we work more on educational initiatives? Do you like the idea of licensing for wild mushroom foragers, or do you have a different proposed solution? 


AuthorMelanie Andromidas