Public Health Ontario: Foraged Mushroom Consumption in Ontario

Public Health Ontario has published a new Evidence Brief: Foraged Mushroom Consumption in Ontario.

From the introduction to the document:

Wild mushroom foraging for consumption is an unregulated practice in Ontario with potential health risks, particularly to inexperienced foragers. Many species of wild mushroom are poisonous and health effects of such species can range from mild to severe, including death. However, serious poisonings are rare. While there are no reported cases of poisoning linked to commercial foraging, over a thousand calls were made to the Ontario Poison Centre (OPC) over a recent 5-year period that were mushroom-related. At least 90 cases resulted in hospital admission.

The results of the review showed:

  • There are no simple tests to determine if a mushroom is poisonous. Safe consumption of wild mushrooms and other wild foods requires they be correctly identified by knowledgeable harvesters. However, currently there is no mechanism for licensing or accrediting wild mushroom foragers.
  • While wild mushrooms can be found in Ontario’s farmers’ markets, certain farmers’ market food vendors are exempt from the Food Premises Regulation.
  • Assessments and inspections may be carried out at farmers’ markets to ensure compliance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The resource can be found at:

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Fantastic Fungi Futures November 29th

Please join us on November 29th for Fantastic Fungi Futures, an interdisciplinary discussion in anticipation of the December 1st Toronto premiere of Fantastic Fungi

The MST is proud to partner with the ArtSci Salon for this event.

Friday, November 29th, 6 – 8pm
The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
222 College Street, Second Floor, Toronto
Enter on College Street and take the stairs on the left to the second floor. Turn left at the top of the stairs.

This informal event will be accompanied by a popup exhibition with work created by local artists who have worked with a variety of fungi families.

Guest speakers include:

James Scott, PhD - ARMCCM Professor and Head Division of Occupational & Environmental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

UAMH Fungal Biobank:
University Profile:
Research Laboratory:
Commercial Laboratory:

Marshall Tyler - Director of research Field Trip Health

Marshall is a scientist with a deep interest in psychoactive molecules. He spent his academic career at Cornell and Harvard, exploring the intersection of chemistry and biology in an attempt to unravel the molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. He subsequently worked as a leading scientist at PLUS, one of the largest cannabis edibles manufacturers in California. His passion lies in guiding research to arrive at a deeper understanding of consciousness with the ultimate goal of enhancing wellbeing.

Rotem Petranker 

BSc in psychology from the University of Toronto and a MA in social psychology from York University. Rotem is currently a PhD student in York’s clinical psychology program. His main research interest is affect regulation, and the way it interacts with sustained attention, mind wandering, and creativity. Rotem is a founding member oft the Psychedelic Studies Research Program at the University of Toronto, has published work on microdosing, and presented original research findings on psychedelic research in several conferences. He feels strongly that the principles of Open Science are necessary in order to do good research, and is currently in the process of starting the first lab study of microdosing in Canada.

Nourin Aman 

PhD student currently working out of the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) from University of Punjab conducting DNA sequencing. Nourin is working to document and describe macrofungi from arid regions of Pakistan.

Sydney Gram 

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology student researcher (UofT/ROM) using DNA-based methods to study the biodiversity of fungivorous insects.

Tosca Teran

Interdisciplinary artist Tosca Teran works with Mycelium collaboratively – creating the Midnight Mushroom Music Podcast.
Tosca was interviewed On ABC’s Statewide Drive with Fiona Wyllie concerning her work their with fungi.

November 18th Meeting Video Available

Lawrence Millman's presentation Fungipedia and other Tales is now available to MST members to watch on the meetings video page.

MST meeting video screenshot

A presentation on adventures in ethnomycology, ecology, music and fungi history. Lawrence Millman discusses how mushrooms are much more closely related to humans than to plants, how they engage in sex, how insects farm them, and how certain species happily dine on leftover radiation, cockroach antennae, and dung. He explores the lives of individuals like African American scientist George Washington Carver, Beatrix Potter, and Gordon Wasson, Millman considers why fungi are among the most significant organisms on our planet and how they are currently being affected by destructive human behavior, including climate change.

Author-mycologist Lawrence Millman has written 17 books, including such titles as Fascinating Fungi of New England, Last Places, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, Lost in the Arctic, Giant Polypores & Stoned Reindeer, and — most recently — At the End of the World. He has done fungal inventories in places as diverse as Iceland, Honduras, Nunavik, Bermuda, Belize, Western Samoa, and Nantucket Island. In 2006, he found a polypore (Echinodontium ballouii) previously thought to be extinct. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Fantastic Fungi screening December 1st

The long-anticipated film Fantastic Fungi is finally here, and the MST will be onsite for the a special one-night screening at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

Sunday, December 1st
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 605 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Tickets are available from Hot Docs at

After the screening and Q&A, ArtSci Salon invites movie-goers to join them at Paupers Pub (across from the cinema) to continue the conversation.

And join the MST in partnership with ArtSci Salon for Fantastic Fungi Futures, an interdisciplinary discussion on November 29th. See for details.

Fantastic Fungi is a vivid journey into the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit— the mushroom. A story that begins 3.5 billion years ago, fungi makes the soil that supports life, connecting vast systems of roots from plants and trees all over the planet, like an underground Internet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we experience the power, beauty and complexity of the fungi kingdom. The film is a blueprint for what connects all humanity and the natural world. There is much to learn from the mycelium network, and Fantastic Fungi is an inspiring place to begin the process of bringing us together as interconnected creators of our world.