Mushrooms and fungi are always difficult. Google has a real problem with them and I don’t blame him at all. When it comes down to it, they all just look a bit like mushrooms. Even some that have gaudy colour schemes when they have been around for a bit, still look like mushrooms for the initial period of their lives. I suppose it’s because they are really just the fruit of the plant and it’s only when they’ve had time to get their act together that you can tell if they are a plum or a greengage.
The really interesting bit is what the rest of the plant is doing while we stand around trying to decide if this is a mushroom or a fungus or even if there is a difference. There must be a joke in there somewhere – on the lines of “What’s the difference between a stoat and a weasel? Well, you you can weaselly tell a weasel, because a stoat is stoatally different.” Come on, there must be some way mushroom and fungus can be twisted together.
Sorry, the thing I wanted to mention is related to the ‘rest of the plant’ rather than the fruit that catches our eye. Fungi generally are rotters. They will reduce any living wood to a mass of dead wood in no time. They do this because dead wood it what fungi like best (don’t tell Tiger). So they will happily live on any old garbage – and producing garbage is something we humans are good at. They are wonderful things, they just love bacteria and nematodes and so can act as filters to remove microscopic nastiness – from Salmonella to oil in sea water. We definitely need to eat more mushrooms.
It’s the chips, bacon and beans that are going to be the problem.