Hello my name is Cooper and I hate mushrooms. There, I got that out of the way. Feels good to get that off my chest. This has been my opinion of mushrooms for as long as I can remember. The texture, to me, is less than desirable. The smells, the fact they grow in poop, something my brother was sure to tell me every time he saw a mushroom in a field so I made sure to avoid the areas mushrooms grew as I assumed poop was everywhere, the fact they get slimy, not to mention the fact they can KILL YOU! All of these opinions were fresh in my mind the day we sat down for a lecture last week about mushrooms and I learned that all this time I WAS WRONG.

 

It is amazing to me how one can learn something at a young age and assume it is true without actually researching the facts. I should change that to say it is amazing how I can think something for so long and think it to be true and never check the facts. With all the technology at my fingertips, I often know the latest Hollywood gossip as it occurs or which one of my friends is using the washroom at what time, and yet I knew nothing about mushrooms. For my entire life, so far, I have lived under the impression that you can only eat mushrooms bought at a store. Or, if you were feeling really risky, bought from your older siblings ‘friend’ with the hopes of having a wild weekend night. Either way, it had never crossed my mind that I could go out into the forest, pick some mushrooms and chop them into my breakfast or lunch. Not that I would, again I do not like mushrooms, but it is nice to know the option is there.

 

I found it very interesting to learn all about mushroom and then see it in practice our field trip. Mushrooms are actually very interesting little critters, they are more like animals than plants as they eat food instead of getting it from the sun, and they are important part of the forest life cycle. Without mushrooms trees would not be able to flourish they way they do. Mushrooms help to pass nutrients between trees through their root systems. Who would ever have thought that these complicated little beings were so helpful? I had always just made the assumption that mushrooms equaled trouble. I think this comes from years of my dad getting rid of them from the lawn and me as a landscaper, being told they were bad and to make sure my sites were ‘mushroom free’. They were placed in the same category as weeds by most of the strata’s I worked for. I wonder; if people are better educated about mushrooms will their need to destroy them disappear? Yes there are poisonous ones. Yes it is scary that something can kill you. But, as I have learned through this class, as long as you are educated about what you are looking for and wanting to consume, you can have a tasty treat!