Mushroom Fatalities Hit Northern Italy

Maitake mushrooms at Clearwater Farms
Maitake mushrooms at Clearwater Farms
A. Scattergood

If you want to find mushrooms in this town, your best bet is probably to keep your foraging to Clearwater Farms' farmers market stall rather than look for them yourself. And if you're foraging for wild mushrooms in Italy, you might want to stop, as the Telegraph reports that 18 have died while mushroom hunting in northern Italy the last ten days. Contrary to what you might think, the dozen and a half fatalities did not come from ingesting the mushroom, but from falling into gorges or other mishaps.

Collecting mushrooms this time of year is a very popular pastime in Italy and other parts of Europe, and this year has been a spectacular mushroom season in the Alpine valleys of northern Italy. Seven of the deaths occurred in the Lombardy region; the remaining fatalities were in Piedmont and Trentino-Alto Adige, on the border of France and Austria, respectively. The mushroom gathers, according to news reports, were not properly prepared, elderly, or unfamiliar with the terrain and the weather.


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