Arizona Highways Magazine Issues Statement About October Issue

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 3.07.04 PMPHOENIX (September 13, 2013)Arizona Highways magazine today announced its October 2013 issue features an item on page 13, in which the fly agaric mushroom is identified as being edible. The fly agaric mushroom should not be consumed in its raw form because of its unpredictable psychotropic and physical effects.

“This issue will not be sold on newsstands, and we are alerting our subscribers to the mistake. We regret the error,” said Win Holden, publisher of Arizona Highways magazine.

About Arizona Highways

Arizona Highways magazine’s award-winning photography, travel journalism and steadfast commitment to discovering the state’s treasures have brought the beauty and splendor of Arizona to visitors and natives alike for more than 85 years. Helping to drive tourism to and through the state, Arizona Highways has subscribers in all 50 states and more than 120 countries. It also has a publishing imprint, Arizona Highways Books and physical and online retail stores.  For more information, visit




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19 responses to “Arizona Highways Magazine Issues Statement About October Issue

  1. Where can i find some of these mushrooms?

    • Ed Coleman

      First of all, if you don’t know where to find them then you probably shouldn’t be collecting them. Don’t collect these unless you know *exactly* what you’re looking for and *exactly* how to prepare them! Take a field guide — or better yet, a trained and experienced mycologist. Or join a mushroom club, learn all about them, and join the club on one of their forays.

  2. Bill in San Francisco

    While Amanita Muscaria is not as poisonous as some sources suggest (Wikipedia says that with modern medical treatment it’s not usually fatal), and eating small quantities is more likely to be hallucinogenic than poisonous, the strength of the mushrooms vary widely throughout the year.

    Basically, if you want psychedelic mushrooms, you’re much safer buying them from a hippie who grew them in his basement, because they’ll be from spores of a known kind of mushroom.

    • Ed Coleman

      While A.muscaria may not be “as poisonous as some sources suggest” the Amanita genus includes over 600 species — including some of THE most toxic mushrooms known — and is responsible for about 95% of fatalities from mushroom poisoning. A.phalloides alone is responsible for 50% of mushroom-poisoning fatalities – hence it’s common name “death cap.” MORAL: Do NOT mess with these mushrooms unless you know *exactly* what you’re messing with!

  3. In the immortal words of Bob Early: WHO WROTE THIS???!???

  4. Laurie Herring.

    Please cancel my subscription to Amanita Highways. I’m not feeling too good…

  5. Pingback: Travel Magazine Accidentally Encourages Shroom Consumption -

  6. Pingback: Travel Magazine Accidentally Encourages Shroom Consumption | シ最愛遲到.!

  7. ccmaymd

    “The fly agaric mushroom should not be consumed in its raw form because of its unpredictable psychotropic and physical effects.”

    Shouldn’t be consumed after cooking either. (Some daredevils will eat them after lengthy boiling or other preparation they say dispels the muscarinic acid from the mushroom flesh. I do not intend to test this claim.)

    • ccmaymd

      Correction, muscimol and ibotenic acid. Regardless, this is not an innocuous mushroom and only a fool would eat one in my opinion.

  8. ccmaymd

    Reblogged this on Arizona Mushroom Hunters' Forum and commented:
    Good night! Arizona Highways magazine is recalling its October 2013 issue from the newsstands after mistakenly informing their readers that the fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is edible. Whoops.

  9. Horsefeathers! European variety best for psychotropic effect. North American types bland. (Years ago mushroom guides listed beside
    all active schrooms, “toxic”. Get a mushroom quide. Only a couple of
    lethal types in North America.

    • Laurie Herring

      To state that there are “only a couple of lethal types” of mushrooms in North America is an extremely irresponsible post. According to the North America Mycological Association, there are numerous mushrooms, where consumption could result in neurotoxicity, renal failure, respiratory failure, and cancer. Others just result in nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. Others shouldn’t be consumed with alcohol.

      Foraging for wild mushrooms can be a fun activity, but if you don’t know what you are doing YOU CAN DIE, OR END UP ON DIALYSIS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Mushrooms shouldn’t be consumed based on a picture you found in a guide book. There is simply too much variability in how they appear, and too many look-a-likes. Most states have mushroom clubs that will organize forays with a mycologist. Join one, learn about the edible and poisonous mushrooms in your area… and live to hunt mushrooms again.

  10. Hi Folks,
    The cause of this flap over the edibility of this known toxic mushroom is the fairly recently published paper by William Rubel and the mushroom- circle-famous David Arora, author of the fine field guide: Mushrooms Demystified.

    Their paper, “A Study of Cultural Bias in Field Guide Determinations of Mushroom Edibility Using the Iconic Mushroom, Amanita muscaria, as an Example,” was first published in the respected, although little read by the layperson, journal “Economic Botany,” in 2008. Mr. Arora convinced the editor to do an entire issue on edible mushrooms, and a number of non-professional mushroom enthusiasts, like Rubel and Arora, as well as various professional mycologists, wrote articles for this issue about mushroom collecting and marketing, and various social issues related to the gathering and eating of mushrooms.

    As an intellectual exercise, their article on muscaria eating through the ages was intriguing and well-written, but not always entirely factual.
    I am afraid that their enthusiasm over their ability to both detoxify this very storied mushroom, as well as the tantalizing glimpses of what they interpreted to be an historical acceptance of this species at other times and in other places, led them to over-sell this mushroom as an edible species.

    Now, we are reaping what they sowed.

    My lengthy but quite readable article rebutting their claims has just been published. It is available in print in the current issue of “Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming,” and online on the M the J website here:

    I encourage you to read the whole story before you decide to eat Amanita muscaria as an edible species, whether par-boiled, fried or raw.

    In my well-researched opinion, it is far better eschewed than chewed.

    Debbie Viess
    Bay Area Mycological Society

  11. Pingback: Edibility of Amanita muscaria: followup to the Arizona Highways fiasco

  12. Pingback: Whoops! Arizona Highways magazine declares A. muscaria edible; recalls press run - Arizona Mushroom Forum

  13. ccmaymd

    I concur with Debbie Viess, and discussed the issue at further length on the Arizona Mushroom Forum web site:

    It should be noted that there has been a response from David Arora on the MushroomTalk mailing list. It’s not really a full rebuttal, as he admits he has not read the Viess article.

    Something to keep an eye on for the future! Seems to me that answering this question once and for all would make an important doctoral dissertation for some eager young mycologist.

  14. Pingback: Edibility of Amanita muscaria -- Even more on the Viess vs. Arora debate - Arizona Mushroom Forum

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