Seasonal eating can be fatal!

Posted: August 30, 2010 in General

Last night I caught a few moments of two ‘countrysideish’ programmes and it seems ‘seasonal eating’ is the in thing.

However sometimes seasonal eating can be fatal.

IlieEighteen people have died while mushroom picking in Italy in little more than a week. The victims have died after falling into rocky crevasses and gorges or from similar accidents, rather than being killed by eating poisonous fungi. More of that later!

Authorities said an early and bountiful mushroom harvest in the Alpine valleys of northern Italy had attracted more people than usual to scour the woods and forests in search of fungi to bring to the dinner table. Many of them were unfit and ill-equipped, venturing into remote areas without proper footwear or rainproof clothing, and without checking weather forecasts.

Seven of the deaths happened in the Lombardy region while others occurred in Piedmont, on the border with France, and Trentino-Alto Adige, adjacent to Austria.

In the most recent case, a 65 year old woman died after falling 50 yards down a steep rocky slope in a forest near the town of Sondrio, in a mountainous region close to the Swiss border.

Now to dying by eating them

IlieA tiny white mushroom has been blamed for fatal heart attacks in hundreds of villagers in south west China. Researchers descended on Yunnan province in China five years ago to try to solve the mystery of Yunnan Sudden Death Syndrome. Some of the victims just dropped dead in the street while talking to neighbours.

Each summer for the past 30 years, during rainy season, scores of villagers of all ages would suddenly drop dead because of cardiac arrest. As many as 400 deaths have been recorded since the 1980s.

Initially, the team had trouble pinpointing the culprit. Most villagers only spoke their own dialect while their villages were remote and often blocked by landslides. Rapid burials made it difficult to conduct autopsies. However, in 2008, the scientists spotted that the Trogia mushroom, known locally as the Little White or Butterfly mushroom, was often found in the homes where people had died.

Villagers who made their living by collecting and selling wild mushrooms could not sell the Trogia because it was too small. Instead, they took them home and ate them.

A campaign to warn people against eating the tiny mushrooms has dramatically reduced the number of deaths, with none reported so far this year.

However, the scientists remain unsure about why the mushroom is so lethal. Tests have shown that while it contains toxins, it does not contain enough to be deadly. One theory is that the toxins could be acting together with the high concentrations of barium, a heavy metal, in the local water supply.

Now for a few items to wind you up on Bank Holiday Monday

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) or on this occasion not nice, has spent £500,000 on a plush office refurbishment although they have just turned down life-extending bowel cancer drug Avastin for being too expensive.
NICE also have plans to take on more than 160 new staff, although staff numbers have already jumped from 297 to 390 in the year to April 2010.

Last year some 4,000 council houses were allocated to applicants from countries which have recently become part of the European Union, such as Lithuania and Poland. Thousands more go to other European migrants and others without British citizenship even though the waiting list for social housing stands at 1.8 million, with the average wait lasting more than six years.

Finally, this dropped into my comments box yesterday.

“People don’t realise the immigration problem commenced in 1948, when the first Indian children started joining UK schools. In 1955, terrace houses in Middlesbrough were being rented by Pakistanis. In 1972 Heathrow Airport Aircraft landing/s started receiving after 12 pm, during the night and during the cover of night, up to 5,747 aircraft a night all carrying illegal immigrants. This trade is still going on, if you go to Heathrow at about 2-30 in the morning you’ll get an eye-opener. We need to act, my desire is to see a complete stop, that immigrants can only stay here until they are aged 50, and they must pay for NHS treatment. At my local hospital every day in the Eye Dept I see blind and crippled immigrants treated, one is on a board [he lies flat] wheelchair, yet this man is here to improve Britain’s trade prospects? If I write 100 x A4 sheets I will not be able to express my anger at what’s going on.
Leeds, Yorkshire, a land now fit for only immigrants to live in.”

  1. Oh, thanks a lot for this nice topic.

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