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Mushrooms. Yummy or Deadly?

Updated: Jul 18, 2022


With mushrooms and their buzz all over the place. Can they be a viable survival food resource?


I get asked this question a lot during our survival courses. “Why did you guys not teach us about mushrooms?” My answer is one must dedicate the time, and energy to learn and know how to absolutely identify wild edibles before there is ever a need to find them during a wilderness survival/crisis situation. So, when it comes to mushroom identification it can be difficult and must be precise. Even more so than many other plants. Some mushrooms cause death very quickly and some have no known antidote.



Another reason I give is the need for energy. Lots of energy is needed during an emergency. Especially if you’re hurt, moving a lot to get water, constructing a shelter, gathering firewood, and the many other things required to stay alive. That means to have the energy you must have calories and lots of them.


Mushrooms are a fat-burning Thermogenic Food. This makes them a great resource when on a diet, but for survival, the risk of eating something that could be deadly isn’t worth it. This does not mean that mushrooms have no calories, only that they require more calories to digest than they contain. As a result, if you tried to survive on mushrooms, you would starve to death.



Personally, I consider mushrooms a comfort food, and one can use them in addition to other foods obtained in the field. Should you never eat mushrooms in a survival situation? That completely is up to you and with any wild food source, again it is so important that you have researched, studied, and confirmed it with someone who is an expert.


As far as The Woodsrunner School goes, teaching or suggesting mushrooms as a viable survival food resource is just too risky. Due to the possible dangers, and the lack of value to them.


Joshua Barnes



Warning: Never pick and eat a plant that you cannot 100% identify as edible. There are many reference books and field guides that can help in the identification of edible plants. I also suggest a plant walk with an expert to help in correct identification.


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Joshua Barnes

Founder & Director of Operations

Woodsrunner School, LLC




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