Four people died over the past few weeks in the Northern California town of Loomis when they ate soup made from poisonous wild mushrooms. All four were residents of the Gold Age Villa, a small care facility for the elderly, and the soup was prepared by a caretaker, who got sick but did not die. Police believe the incident was accidental.

Wild mushroom gathering is popular in California. While many consider the practice safe for experts, the above incident is not terribly shocking. In recent years, there have been 10 poisonings and two deaths as a result of ingesting poisonous mushrooms. The state’s Department of Public Health has been issuing warnings about ingestion of wild mushrooms since 2009.

In conclusion, we’re all for local eating, and sometimes that means foraging. But mushrooms are not fucking around. Sometimes you want to leave it to the experts.

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