How do you know Rick Snyder has learned his lesson about not properly regulating things people eat and drink because it may poison them? Today he vetoed a bill that would have eliminated the requirement for people who hunt morels to sell be certified so they don’t poison people with toxic mushrooms. House Bill 5532 introduced by Triston Cole of Mancelona would have eliminated the new 2015 rule that people who hunt for morels in Michigan to sell at markets and restaurants be trained and certified to identify safe mushrooms from toxic ones.
Most impressive of all is the statement made by One Tough Nerd concerning using the word morel in the bill:
… by simply using the lay term “morel” in the bill rather than specifying the particular organisms qualified for exemption (in this case, Morchella species), it would have the unintended consequences of including species in addition to morels for exemption from the certification process.
Good job, Rick! The species Morchella are the true morels and contain a number of subspecies that grow in Michigan. Morchella esculenta is the white or yellow morel that go for $50 a pound or more, and the mushroom high end restaurants want to buy. Black morels, or Morchella augusticeps is the smaller morel with a stronger flavor and appears earlier in the spring before the white. Another Morchella that is pretty rare but can be found in Michigan is Morchella semilibera, or the “half-free” morel.
False morels that also grow during the same time as true morels are Gyromitra, or more popularly known as the “beefesteak” morel, and Verpa species, which look very much like a true morel. Both of these species contain a toxic compound that is a common ingredient in rocket fuel. Hydrazine poisoning is really nasty and causes liver damage.
The Up North Progressive loves morel hunting and has found all of the above mentioned species growing in the same super secret hunting locations visited every spring. This is why it’s important to know what you’re taking home to feed your family is safe, and that goes triple times infinity for hunters planning to sell their morels. Verpa only looks like Morchella on the outside, take a look inside and you will instantly know the difference. If you know what to look for. Which is why maybe taking a class and learning how to do that is a good idea. Before you sell your morels and send people to the hospital.
Good job, Nerd. You chose correctly to protect people from being poisoned. This time.